Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Jack Johnson Reclaimed Xmas Tree

by Katy Green
www.shoptobegreen.com

Jack Johnson is known for his happy songs and carefree surfer attitude which is totally cool but what I love most about this guy is his love for the environment and his Green Christmas Recycled Tree.

"Growing up in Hawaii, all the Christmas trees were shipped in from Oregon, and it seemed odd to me even as a kid to ship a tree here that'd been chopped down from somewhere else," says Jack Johnson.


Jack Johnson Recycled Xmas Tree
Coastal Living

So Johnson took his family to the beach, where a storm had washed ashore some wood and debris. "I think it was pieces of somebody's turquoise plywood deck that had been all beaten up and washed around, so it looked really neat—it was all weather worn, and it was Kim's favorite color, so I turned it into a tree."



The ornaments that adorn the tree or a collection of glass and different items that have washed up on the beach as well as glass ornaments given to Johnson to adorn the tree.  The top of their tree is directed with four cigarette lighters in different colors, radiating out like a perfect star.

Check out these cool recycled Christmas Trees:


Bottle Green Xmas Trees
Green Bottle Christmas Tree
Christmas trees out of beer bottles and soda cans to CD wreaths
Reclaimed Cardboard Tree
Cardboard Tree


Reclaimed Xmas Tree with CDs
CD Christmas Tree with Tape






Friday, September 13, 2013

Bridal Toilettes...A Victorian Wedding

by Katy Green
www.shoptobegreen.com


1800 Bridal Toilettes
Victorian Wedding Dresses
Bridal Toilettes

Any season is a perfect setting for weddings especially Victorian Weddings. I daydream of lace and long trains with tons of delicate flowers, silk and satin trimmings intertwined and the faint scent of lavender.

During Victorian times wedding dresses were called "Bridal Toilettes". In the 18th and 19th centuries brides did not wear white only on their wedding day. Victorian brides wore many colors from light blue to gold.  

Most women that were married during that time were young ranging from 14 years to 25 years. Lower class women  were expected to be married between the ages of 14-20. Higher class or wealthy women married in their late 20's depending on the suitors. The average age of marriage in the Victorian period was between 18-25.

The Victorian wedding dress was as a treasure back then as it is today and most women packed it away in a trunk or chest and passed it down to other generations. Many of the Victorian period wedding dresses that were made of lace and satin are 
in excellent condition and  so that's why so many are are exhibited in museums through out the world.

The following museums exhibit Victorian Wedding Dresses:


  • Andrea's Museum of Victorian Fashion in Tombstone Arizona, USA features over 400 items of authentic Victorian and Edwardian clothing, accessory, personal and household possessions, ranging in dates from primarily 1840 to 1920.
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum in London UK, ;A Collection include wedding dresses, wedding accessories and jewelry, wedding suits and bespoke wedding gifts from the Renaissance period to the present day.
  • Antique Dress.com is like a museum but the site is mostly an auction site for Victorian clothes and clothes from other time periods.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art  is a landmark NY museum preserving over 9,000 Victorian dresses in their online digital collection as well as many exhibits. Access several wedding dresses from the 1800's-1900's online via the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute which houses over 35,000 costumes.
  • The Kent State University Museum offers a catalog of many wedding dresses from different time periods including Victorian wedding dresses.
  • The Chicago History Museum has an online digital catalog of dresses from the 18th century to present day.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Acai Berry and Acai Berry Cleanse...does it work or not?




acai berry cleanse
Acai Berry 

by Katy Green
www.shoptobegreen.com

We have survived acai berrymania and saturation of everything acai but I am not sure if acai is healthy or  not?

Can you overdose on the acai berry pills or get sick from the cai berry diet and what about Acai berry side effects?

I know...information overload but it's critical that we question anything new that we consume. Who has time to do that? We do!

Let's start with the history of the Acai berry...I can't begin unless I mention the Acai Berry madness on The Oprah Show years ago! 

Acai Berry Juice has antioxidants?

Several studies have found that juice from the Acai berries—which come from a South American palm tree—has very high antioxidant levels. But Consumer Reports couldn't find any studies measuring whether acai has any direct effect on human health. And it may be harmful in certain cases; an additional caveat: While fruit juices can be high in antioxidants, they tend to contain a lot of sugar and calories, and virtually no fiber. So enjoy them in moderation—or better yet, opt for the whole fruit, which provides antioxidants and fiber with fewer calories. Source:Consumer Reports. This report was from 2009.

acai berry sugar content
Acai Berry Sugar Content

How much sugar is in Acai Berry Juice? It depends on the manufacturer of the Acai berry juice..

  • Vitamin Water Acai-Blueberry-Pomegranate 20 oz bottle has 32 grams of sugar or 150 calories of sugar
  • Sambozen Energy Drink 12 oz (acai berry) with 28 grams of sugar or 112 calories.
  • Pure Organic Acai Berry Juice 32 ounces with claims of no sugar and 10 calories from Sunburst super foods. They suggest 1 fluid once in the am as directed by your doctor. Source: Sugerstacks.com and Sunburst Super Foods.com
Acai Fake?

  • Internet marketers of acai berry weight-loss pills and colon cleansers were asked to pay $1.6 million to settle charges of deceptive advertising and unfair billing according to the Federal Trade Commission in 2012. 
  • Fake news advertorials were created to deceive people into believing these cleansing products work.Acai News 



no diet fads
Lose Weight Naturally

Can you overdose on Acai Berry Juice or Acai Berry and what are the side effects?

  • People who are allergic to acai or to plants in the Arecaceae (palm) family should not consume acai.
  • Consuming acai might affect MRI test results. If you use acai products and are scheduled for an MRI, check with your health care provider.
  • No overdose symptoms discovered as yet. Source: NCCAM Acai Review

What does Dr. Oz's website say about the Acai Berry?

Be mindful of what type of acai products you buy because many acai-based juices have added sugar and very little pure acai, so please read the label. The first ingredient on the bottle should be acai, and while acai is loaded with nutrients, I also recommend that you look for the kind that is fortified with extra vitamins and minerals like 1,000% of the daily value of vitamin B12.  Once you find the acai juice brand you like switch it out for your daily glass of orange juice. After one week of nourishing your body with the Amazon’s most potent super berry, you’re likely to feel more energy than you have in years! Source: Dr. Oz Acai Berry written byLindsey Duncan, ND, CN

They also claim acai berry is rich in antioxidants so I searched on the Department of Health under the branch of National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

What does the NCCAM say about the Acai Berry?

  • Acai berry products have been marketed as traditional remedies for weight-loss and anti-aging purposes, but there is no definitive scientific evidence to support these claims. 
  • There is no definitive scientific evidence based on studies in humans to support the use of acai berry for any health-related purpose.
  • Laboratory studies have focused on acai berry’s potential antioxidant properties (antioxidants are substances that are thought to protect cells from damaging effects of chemical reactions with oxygen).
  • Laboratory studies also have shown that acai berries demonstrate anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activity. Source: NCCAM Acai Review

Recent clinical study on Acai Berries:




What i figured out from my investigation on the acai berry... take everything in moderation, try to consume naturally and consult with your doctor for any drastic diet changes or if you are on medication.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

This Is A Green - Organic Ethical T-shirts


by Mistie Dawn

Are you like me and like to know more about where your clothing comes from, how its produced and what materials its made of? Is it full of harmful chemicals? What is it the global impact?

Then This Is A Green may be the t-shirt company for you. Based in the UK and started by two brothers, their goal is to make ethical clothing and organic t-shirts.

This Is A Green T-shirt


These t-shirts are made from 100% certified organic cotton grown in India and then manufactured in a Fairwear Foundation audited factory that is powered by wind. This significantly helps reduce the carbon impact. They are then shipped to the UK where the message of each shirt is hand silk screened using phthalate-free ink. Each is delivered to customers door in reusable biodegradable packaging and anything from 2% to 50% of profits from each sale goes towards charitable causes. 







With more people wanting and looking for transparency from manufacturers as well as ethical production practices it's nice to see a company that is trying to do just that.

My personal favorite is this blue + yellow = green tshirt.

This Is A Green is also venturing out into other products, like a wallet made out of upcycled seat belts. To learn more about this eco-friendly company visit their website.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Gold Madness...but you can keep the Mercury!

by Katy Green

Do you love the look of gold? I do! I love gold earring and bangles.

For centuries people all over the world have adorned themselves with gold and over time gold continues to increase in value, production and consumption!

The Unites States of America is the largest holder of gold and it's not because of the jewelry...most of the gold produced here is kept in central banks and treasury holdings, 258 million ounces of gold...if you don't believe me click here for the US Gold Treasury Report.


It's amazing how much gold is mined every year...over 2,500 metric tons compared to 400 metric tons in 1900!  52% of the gold produced worldwide is used to create jewelry and the USA is second to China as the one of the top producers of gold.

Did you know mining for gold has negative effect on the environment:

  • mechanized mining use to acquire gold destroys the land and the ecosystem
  • use of cyanide and mercury to separate gold from the rock is toxic to the atmosphere
  • miners are exposed to toxins daily which has long term and deadly effects on the miners and the families
  • as gold production increases more mercury and cyanide will be released into the atmosphere circulating the globe, polar regions and our food chain

Recycled gold is the best option because gold mining is harmful to the environment! Please help stop toxicity in the air by ...

GOLD SQUARE EARRINGS

GOLD IS USED FOR SO MANY THINGS:

  • Gold is used in electronics from cell phones to calculators to TVs
  • Nearly one billion cell phones annually contain about fifty cents worth of gold
  • Gold is also used in computers like circuit boards
  • Gold is used in medicine and by NASA for aerospace for travel vehicles
  • Gold is also used to make medals and and in glass for climate control in buildings

 Help save our planet...upcycle, recycle and think locally and globally.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Natural Handmade Soap Obsession!

by Tricia Reyes
www.shoptobegreen.com

Desert Rain Soap$7.00
Desert Rain Soap - handcrafted with ground Chaparral leaves,
Clary Sage and Cedarwood organic essential oil, 100% Vegan

Shoptobegreen is obsessed with naturals soaps... 

Mistie Dawn, founder of Shoptobegreen suffers from allergies and has tried many soaps on the market that claimed to be great for sensitive skin but nothing seemed to work until she decided to create her own line of soaps via 910 Joy Avenue as well as work with reputable green organic vendors that produce natural handmade soaps or liquid soaps.

The thought of making soap reminds me of making bread from scratch... it's quite a process but  it's worth it because we all get to benefit from the aromatic smells of Shoptobegreen soaps, like Hemp and Kelp Face Soap, Lemon Honey Tea Soap (sounds yummy), or Lavender Shea Soap (one of my favorites),G.B. ProudFoot's Liquid Eucalyptus Soap (great for clearing up sinuses while you cleanse) and Rosemary Mint Soap to name a few.



Babylonians
Handmade Soap Originators

I am fascinated by the origin of things, like soap? When did people start making it?  When was the first soap created?


According to Soap History.net, the first evidence of soap is dated around 2800 BC and the first soap makers were Babylonians (first to create soap), Egyptians, Mesopotamian race,  Egyptians, ancient Greeks and Romans. 
I am sure some of you are thinking "that's not possible" people did not bathe for centuries. 
Soap was created to clean utensils and plates not to cleanse oneself and it was made from fat, oils and salts. Wikipedia, claims that a formula for soap consisting of water, alkali, and cassia oil was written on a Babylonian clay tablet around 2200 BC....so there is some discrepancy as to the exact dates of soap.
Middle Ages
Bathing

The Romans created aqueducts in 312 BC (during the Hellenistic period - this is after 2200 BC) they used the water to bathe and clean themselves until they were overthrown and then the Dark Ages and Middle Ages followed....aghast no soap!  NOT TRUE. 

According to Middle Ages.org., people in Medieval Times bathed with soap but mostly in cold water unless you were royalty or a wealthy noble. Most bathed in wooden barrels which were located in monasteries, convents, castles or public bath houses. 

Did you know Queen Elizabeth I was reported to have taken a bath once a month which was considered clean considering the outbreak of danger in bathing too much. People were instructed to wash their hands and face daily but bathed much less during the Renaissance period.


File:Marseiller Seife.jpg
Marseille soap in blocks of 600 g
source Wikipedia Marseille


In 1370 in MarseilleFranceMarseille soap or Savon de Marseille was created as a traditional soap made from vegetable oils. In the USA, William Colgate's company, started making soap in 1806, and is considered the first major soap manufacturing company in the United States. The company pioneered perfumed soap in 1866 and launched Cashmere Bouquet in 1872. 



Alfred Stevens - The Bath
Alfred Stevens "The Bath"

It is important to note, that people were making soap at home prior to mass production so it was not as if they were waiting for soap to purchase in a store so they could take a bathe. 

If you are thinking about making your own soap, check out these quick natural soap making tips:

  1. Making soap at home can be a dangerous process so be very careful and make sure you understand the safety process. Handmade soap requires use of chemicals as well as heating soaps at a high temperature.  At Shoptobegreen, we list all of the ingredients in the soaps we create for our wonderful customers.
  2. There are three ways to make soap, melt and pour, heat process or cold process. Melt and pour may be the easiest but your adding to a plain soap that was already created. Heat process is creating soap from the beginning but you have to heat it the whole way through and cold is the same as the heat process except you are not heating it the entire time.
  3. Keep it simple in the beginning. Try to use a couple ingredients until you familiarize yourself with the process.
  4. If you are wondering how long it takes to make soap, it depends on how familiar you are with the process, the type of soap you plan to make and don't forget set up and clean up. (varies from several hours to several days and that does not include trimming or curing which can take 3-6 weeks)
  5. After you cure your soap you will need to store it in recycled cardboard box or glass container.
Soap is basic need for our daily lives so it is important that what we use to bathe is not toxic to our skin. 

Ingredients in Dove Soap:


For a detailed breakdown of Dove Soap, check out: End All Disease


Hi, I am Tricia and I also go by my alias Katy Green. Hope you enjoyed reading this article.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Shadows and Light - A Street Light Like No Other

by Mistie Dawn

I have just discovered a REALLY cool and exciting Kickstarter project from a company called Shadows and Light. I'm a big fan of crowdfunding as well as new green technologies and when they are all combined into one, even better! Enters Shadows and Light. A company who is developing a smart street light. It runs on solar energy using LED bulbs creating an emissions free street lamp that can provide a wifi and telephony network to the public. Connecting the world and saving Cities energy and billions in costs used to run the typical street light and those aren't the only benefits. Their Kickstarter video provides a lot more information including how these street lights can help emerging and developing countries.


According to Shadows and Light website their mission is to: promote a green and smart solution that brings together people, cultures and ideas from around the world, changing lives, and helping transform communities through connectivity and streetlight. Improved street lighting is widely thought to be an effective way of preventing crime and street violence.

Recharge and connect through the solare generated Wifi
Imagine being able connect your smart devices anywhere there is a street light and it is all generated via solar power? You could also recharge your devices. No more worrying about running out of power or not be able to get a signal. I'm sure your wondering what these smart street lights would look like. 


Smart Street Light Upclose

Key features of the Smart Street Light

They look like normal street lights and yet they are so much better! Communities around the world currently without a reliable electrical infrastructure would be able to generate light and improve their communication systems all while making their communities safer. It is a very exciting and interesting concept. But don't just take my word for it. Tell me what are your thoughts about it? 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Home Improvement Advice Anyone Can Use Now - Part 1


by Jeff Tormey

An essential part of taking care of your house is to understand what you need to buy to get it done. There are many things to consider and so many choices to make and skills to learn. Use some of the suggestions in this article to tackle your home improvement project efficiently and safely.


If you discuss routes you will take in your home in case of an emergency, it can help the safety of your family when in the house. People generally panic when things go awry. Preparing escape routes in advance gives your family something to focus on when confronted with fire or other dangers. So get together and plan a route and think of all possible outcomes of each one.

Don't rely heavily on the lowest estimate for your project(s). When getting bids for your home improvements, you really need to research the companies giving you the bids and scrutinize them thoroughly. Even though lower prices might seem appealing, you want to make sure that you get quality more than anything.



A great time to take on big home improvement project is while the real estate market is experiencing a housing slump. Homeowners can save a great deal on large projects during a slump, because contractors and other building professionals are hungry for work. Home improvements are never ending. Renovations made while the economy is bad will have more value once the housing market gets better.

It can be simple to make window screens if you can't find any you like. You can use frame kits cut to a specific window size, then attach the screen using an inexpensive tool and cording. Some windows use special screens but you can compensate for this in your design.

Make sure to include adequate lighting when you remodel your bathroom. Sometimes people focus more on the fixtures and don't consider the lighting until it is too late. You won't have to spend a lot of money or waste a lot of time installing these lights. You can find smaller lights for your mirror, your medicine cabinet, etc.


If you are putting your TV on the wall, you will save space on the floor and have some space for other things. Doing this type of project might only require about 30 minutes.

Remember to close the curtains of your home to preserve your rugs and carpeting. Sunlight destroys carpet, bleaching the area where it hits most often. Instead, try to leave curtains and drapes open only in the early morning or late evening. Another alternative is to position your furniture in ways that block out sunlight.

Avoid removing necessary items during construction. Take the time to find out just what you'll be disturbing before you pull down cabinets or open holes in walls. Avoid expensive repair bills from damaged electrical wiring by carefully examining the area first.


One of the quickest, most inexpensive ways to brighten up a room is to paint your walls. Consider your options by visiting your hardware store and examining the paint chips it has available. Find the ones that are fun and exciting for you! If you don't love it, you can paint over it.

Install peepholes in your exterior doors. Before letting anyone in, see who is lurking outside. Installing a peephole is a snap and costs very little. This project requires minimal time and tools. With a peephole, you will not be fearful of opening your door.

Always provide payment to a contractor with a check or your credit card, in order to be able to put a stop to the transaction if you need to. If you make a down payment and the contractor skips out on you, you can cancel the payment. It's really good to use a credit card because you'll be able to dispute any transactions for quite some time even after they have transpired.

Give the windows in your home a quick makeover by replacing those old, worn-out blinds. Blinds fade over time from the sun, or get damaged. Pets and children take their toll. Blinds are not that expensive and can make a real difference for your windows. It will surprise you.

Adding a textured finish to your walls with drywall mud can create a new look and disguise any blemishes. It's easy to texture. Apply drywall mud and, using a brush or a sponge, add some texture to the mud.

There are many things that "home improvement" means and most anyone can afford to do. If you aren't able to afford a big home improvement project, do smaller projects that will increase your home's value.

Keep an eye out for sales on carpet installation from anyone that installs carpeting. Many places will offer free basic installation or discounted installation at certain times of the year. When you encounter a sale such as this, take advantage of it since full-priced installation often costs more than the carpet itself.



Be sure and include landscaping in your home improvement plans. Your yard is the first item people view when they visit your home, so a good landscape can improve the look of any home. Keep your grass neat and tidy, and add a border of flowering plants and shrubs to add additional beauty and dimension to your yard.

When you hire a home improvement contractor, check his paperwork to see that all work is backed up with a guarantee. Failure to check the paperwork could result in you being stuck with shabby work, and no recourse to follow. The warranty should specify an exact amount of time as well as what all is included in the warranty.

Give your house a much needed bath, so to speak, by pressure washing it. You can usually rent them for a good price, and they effectively clean dirt and grime off the exterior of a house. Be careful, though, around windows and your roof line. You want to avoid knocking things loose.



Investing in additional insulation now can bring your great savings later. Older homes especially are way under insulated. If you put in some insulation in the attic or crawl spaces you will reduce your energy bills and save a lot of money.

It is a very good idea to have a family meeting to discuss the best ways to escape from the home in an emergency. People are likely to panic in the event of a traumatic incident. When you've mapped out how you'll exit your home in the face of a fire or another emergency, you'll be sure that your family can get out safely. Make the meeting, discuss the necessities and stay prepared for the unexpected.

Make sure to create an all inclusive budget. It can be costly when you have expenses that you did not think of beforehand. Prevent this through planning and you will be able to deal better when dealing with sudden changes.

If you want to save money, then consider getting a drain snake. It will keep you from having to spend your money on expensive drain cleaners as often. Novices may not succeed at using drain snakes, and therefore it may be wise to ask a plumber for a lesson first. Remember to purchase a snake that fits your drain so that your pipe doesn't get damaged.

Before starting your renovation, make sure that you have a well-designed plan in place. If you create a detailed plan, you will be far more likely to complete your project in a timely, affordable manner. Changing your plans or adding tasks in the middle of a project can easily increase your costs and time to completion. Your contractors will be pleased if you have made a decision of what you want before they begin.


Paint stripes on your old walls before installing paneling! Even if you install the paneling carefully, the wall underneath might show through the cracks. Take the time to measure and mark where panels will meet. Try to select a color of paint that matches as closely as possible.

Before wiping down the inside of your kitchen or bathroom cabinets, use a handheld vacuum cleaner. This gets rid of any loose dirt or dust that may be inside. Use a mix of warm water and mild soap to clean the shelves. Begin your cleaning process near the top and move down. You can also put in fresh shelf liners and fix broken components.

Planting vibrant colored flowers outdoors is an easy way to spruce up the exterior space of your residence. Choose the ones you need for each season. Make sure to cut hedges and bushes in order to keep the lawn manicured and mowed. These simple steps instantly improve the appearance of your home.

Painting can create stunning visual impact at a relatively affordable price point. Paint can instantly spruce up a room. Painting a room can totally change the atmosphere of it, even more so if the new color is completely different from the old. One of the advantages of paint is that mistakes are easy to correct.

A good piece of advice is to think about your climate when you are remodeling. If the area you live in is windy, a deck might not be the best idea. However, if you have a lot of clear, calm weather, a deck may be the perfect project for you.

Never waste your money on materials that do not meet quality standards or pose a risk to yourself and your family. For example, quality home flooring can be expensive, but if you shop around, you should be able to find the flooring in your price range. There are discount supply stores out there, as well as bargain hunting places that can help.


Your kitchen can look different without spending lots of money on cabinet replacement. A little paint can make a world of difference. Cabinets can be spruced up with new finishes. So, research techniques online, pick the one that works best for your space and do-it-yourself to save money and update your style.

Cleaning and organizing your pantry is a simple home improvement project that can make your kitchen much more livable. This is a fine time to purge expired canned goods, condiments, and foods from your pantry. Clean and sanitize the shelves and add some fresh, attractive liner paper. Categorize and group similar products together within the same shelf or area. This way, you won't have to search for what you are looking for because all like items will be right at your fingertips.

Add essential items to your entryway to make it both attractive and utilitarian. For example, a table and a small tray to hold items such as keys and outgoing mail can add usefulness. You should also consider adding a mirror for touch-ups and a bench for when shoes need to be removed. These additions can make your home a much more organized space.

If your home has a wooden deck or patio, it helps to know the signs that indicate the need for repairs and upgrades. Search for uneven surfaces or imperfections in the wood, as well as faulty nails or loose screws.

Avoid contractors who encourage you to pay in cash. Contractors who work with you on a cash-only basis have leverage over you. Without any paperwork binding them to the job, they're free to take your money and disappear without completing any work.

Be creative when it comes to choosing a coffee table. Old chests can add a nice rustic appeal to your home's design. Place some accessories and books on the top and it will make your coffee table stand out. You can even give it a country feel by including some teacups and a tablecloth.

If your home isn't complete with a shower, it is wise to think about having one installed. A shower is easier to get into than a bathtub and also limits the water consumed by people in the house. This is especially true if you have kids. You can save 75% of your normal bathtub water by taking a five minute shower instead.


If your next home improvement project involves your roof, you should use a roofer who is trustworthy. So you are not going to want to sleep on finding a quality roofer that is going to get the job done proficiently. Make sure the company checks out with positive online reviews to reduce the chance of getting ripped off.

Make sure any shrubs or trees are not too close to your house. Their roots could cause issues with the foundation of your house. A tree can be transplanted with the attached root ball if it is small enough.

Purchase the best supplies for your home improvement project. You might pay more to begin with, but it will cost less money over time. Higher quality products last longer and survive general wear better. Tools aren't exactly cheap, so replacing them often isn't something you want to be doing.

You should dust your entire home once a week. It only takes a few days for dust to accumulate and for allergens to wreak havoc in your life. Cleaning your accessories frequently makes you aware of any pest invasions right away, in addition to keeping the dust at bay.

Look at all of the quotes you received for the improvement project you have in mind and tale note of whether or not they have a letterhead. Professional businesses will send their quotes on a letterhead, letting you know that they are an established company. This is something that you will want to take into consideration when deciding on who to hire.


When it comes time to pick a contractor, shop around and make sure the estimates you receive are for the very same repairs. Make a list of what you need done and ensure consistency in your requests of prospective contractors. If you constantly alter the details, it will be very hard to find the best value for your money.

When you are getting ready to sell your home, evaluate your living space to make sure that each area has a separate purpose. Buyers shouldn't have to guess what a space is supposed to be; have appropriate furnishings and accessories in each room. Potential buyers will be able to get a better grasp of the space's purpose and come up with compelling ways they could use it themselves. This makes the home more attractive and likely to sell faster.

If you're thinking of renovating your basement or another floor in your home to turn it into an income property, consider the math before you make the decision. It is important that renovations pay for themselves quickly in order to be worthwhile. Do not exceed that budget!

Before you undertake any major home improvement project, it is in your best interest to create a well-laid plan. Planning a project will help keep errors to a minimum and will save time. To get ideas look through magazines, watch DIY TV shows and pay attention to the homes of friends and family members.

Think about adding coordinated metal fixtures to bathrooms to make them look more modern without spending too much. There are complete sets out there that include a full array of hardware: drawer pulls, cabinet knobs, towel racks, curtain rods, and even toilet paper holders. Your local home improvement retailer will frequently offer a coordinated set of bathroom fixtures as a package deal that is very easy to install.


Try to picture your home after the remodeling process is finished to determine if it fits with your neighborhoods personality. Will it be too outlandish? If your project is daring, will you regret having a house that is radically different? Your project should not appear oddball, but be a beautiful enhancement to your property.

Don't complete an unsafe upgrade, hire a professional contractor and designer to provide you with proper home improvement plans. The cost is worth it just for the peace of mind it will give you! These plans will be useful in the future when selling the home because the potential buyers will be assured the improvements were done properly.

Having the appropriate tools is important to any home improvement project. The correct tools will help make the job easier to do and you will better results. The key to using the right tools is having the right knowledge to use them properly.

You can use home improvement projects to allow your personality to shine through. There are many ways homeowners can accomplish this and get more items within a set budget. The article above provides you with some basic information to choose the right project and approach for your needs.



About the Author:

Solar Skylights - Harness The Sun This Summer

by Mistie Dawn

Still sitting on the fence regarding using solar for your home? How about starting off with a small inexpensive project first? You might want to think about trying Solar Tubular Skylights. I first mentioned Solar Skylights in my January 15th post but in case you missed it; Solar Skylights harness the natural light of the sun. They can help you cut down on your daily electricity usage and the heat (especially beneficial in the summer) in your home. Using Solar Skylights brings a soft warm natural light into your home which better for you and your family. 

Skylight

Bonus, solar tubular skylights are easy to install (under two hours) on any roof surface and do not add heat los or gain to the home like standard skylights (electric lights add up to 40% of the average heat gain to the home). These solar skylights can be used for almost any room including bathrooms, closets and small nooks. Also check to see if Natural Light Tubular Skylights qualify for local tax credits as a energy conservation device.


No big and bulky skylights which take up half your ceiling. Solar tubes look similar to recessed lights and your guest may not even notice. Harness the power of the sun and let it beautify your home while saving money and energy. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Survival Seeds Are Making Headlines


by Ben Barker


What exactly are Survival Seeds? Recent stories are projecting a food supply shortage. If this is true, we may want to set up some sort of a food bank to provide support for our families in case a worldwide food crisis occurs. If these stories are even half true, problems with our food supply and accessing our food supply are a stark reality that we must address. Is this sane planning or are we the victims of "seeds of fear" being planted into our heads? Regardless, Survival Seeds need to be considered.



The stark reality is that our food supply is shrinking. Many factors are contributing to this. Food prices are on the rise, as well as food shortages. Bio-fuels are consuming our grain stockpiles at a rapid rate. So let's focus on Survival Seeds and what they offer.

These seeds can grow anywhere in the country. This is because they are open pollinated, super seeds, that are grown by small independent farmers. They are also high-quality, non-hybrid, and non-GMO.

Basically, Survival Seeds are seeds that are ideal for emergency and survival storage. They come in kits purchased online. These seed kits will provide thousands of pounds of nutrient-rich, garden-fresh produce for pennies per pound. They can provide enough food that can feed your family and friends for years. Have the confidence in knowing that you and your family will be able to eat, regardless of our world's situations or conditions.

These seeds have been chosen because they offer a truly extraordinary germination rate. The seed packs are individually packaged to ensure a long shelf life. If you freeze your seeds, you will extend their shelf life by about five times their already tremendous twenty year shelf life.



These seeds have been chosen because they offer a truly extraordinary germination rate. The seed packs are individually packaged to ensure a long shelf life. If you freeze your seeds, you will extend their shelf life by about five times their already tremendous twenty year shelf life.

Survival Seeds are true family heirlooms. They are packed in special waterproof containers, which are called "seed banks". This is the best way to guarantee a long term storage life.

The "Banks" usually come with a variety of about twenty-two "super seeds". Seeds range from varieties that include beans, corn, cabbage, cucumbers, onions, spinach, carrots, lettuce, melons, squash, peppers, and peas.

You should also consider stockpiling canned goods and water, especially if you live in regions where earthquakes, tornados, or hurricanes may strike. Beware of the economic signs. Don't just put your head in the sand and ignore our current economic situation, especially as it continues to decline. As Americans, we have a responsibility to provide for our families. To ensure for their safety and that their basic needs are being met.

Do not expect the government to do this for you. For a meager investment, you can ensure provision for your family if the need ever arises with a Survival Seed Bank.Some may say not to worry and that the sellers of these Seed Banks are using fear tactics to promote their products. For the small investment required you can have the peace of mind knowing that if needed, purchasing Survival Seeds is a smart plan for you and your loved ones.



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Friday, May 24, 2013

Green Living AZ Magazine's Cool Outrageous Stuff Feature


by Mistie Dawn

So excited to announce that Green Living Magazine featured our For Pits Sake natural deodorant in their Cool Outrageous Stuff May 2013 issue. 


Green Living AZ Magazine

"A natural deodorant designed with you and the environment in mind. For Pits Sakedeodorants come in four different mild scents that will leave you feeling fresh. Free of parabens, propylene glycol and aluminum, this 100 percent all-natural deodorant uses only non-toxic, natural skin ingredients with a blend of essential oils to keep odor-causing bacteria away." 
We are very happy to be included with such great company. Summer time is the best time to give our natural deodorants a try. See what all the buzz is about!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Homemade Kitty Litter - What really works?

by Katy Green
www.shoptobegreen.com


Eco Kitty Litter
Mother Cat and her Kitty

I am on a hunt for a feline friend for my 5 year old daughter which is not an easy task. 

Of course, I am also calculating all the costs that are associated with owning a pet such as: kitty litter, cat food, cat toys, vet visits, pet insurance grooming, etc. 

I have owned several cats over the years and what I dreaded the most was changing or smelling the toxic litter box. I can still smell the putrid fumes and imagine the countless offenses to the environment so I searched for an eco-friendly alternative to store bought cat litter and I discovered several options. I am sharing those with you (you probably aware of these already) and if you know of any please share in comments.

Homemade Kitty Litter - Version 1 

This was pulled from the website A Life Unprocessed, she recommends the following:

  • Course bag of ground wheat preferably organic, she uses 50 lbs of organic animal-grade wheat 
  • course grinder or blender (long term it's best to get a course grinder)
  • once used, compost the used litter or throw it in the yard as fertilizer

Homemade Kitty Litter - Version 2  (free except for the baking soda the rest is an upcycling or alternate use experience)

The Greenists recommend the following to make your own kitty litter (their process requires a bit more preparation)

  • Collect used newspapers and shred in a paper shredder
  • Soak the shredded papers in warm water with a few squirts of organic soap or biodegradable soap. They don't say how much water but I would add it slowly until you get a cooked oatmeal like  consistency from the combination of the water, paper and soap. 
  • The water will clean the shredded paper but not totally (remember they used to wrap babies in newspaper so don't gasp)
  • Drain the water from the paper (they suggest an old colander) and repeat the soaking process without adding additional soap.
  • Sprinkle organic baking soda liberally on the wet paper. Knead it in to the mixture (they suggest using gloves).
  • Squeeze the remaining moisture out until it’s as dry as you can get it.
  • Crumble over a screen and leave to dry (it takes a few days).
Once it’s dry, they add an inch and half or two inches of paper crumbles in the litter box. They suggest you  scoop solids daily and change it once a week. Estimated time frame takes half an hour to 45 minutes to make a 2-3 week supply of litter.

Homemade Kitty Litter - Version 3 and 4 and more...
  • Chicken feed mixed with ground corn
  • Grass shavings
  • Corn husks
  • Wood Pellets
If you don't have time to make cat litter, try the following:
  • The World's Best Cat Litter (spoke to many and they it's great but also expensive and it has clumping issues so you will go through a lot)
  •  Tidy Cats Pure Nature (several Moms told me that it is less expensive but gets into the cat's paws)

    Although the cat has the final decision because if they don't like the litter they will go elsewhere. You can always train cat to go to the toilet?