The Ultimate Houseplant Cheat Sheet

The quality of the air we breathe every day is so important to our overall health. This infographic from Capital Garden Services takes you through the health implications of indoor air pollution and takes you through the best plants for each room. Research has shown that indoor air pollution can increase our risk of stroke by 34% so it really is worth taking the time to read through the infographic and finding the perfect plants for your home.

Sometimes, people buy plants and are a bit unsure of how to take care of them. They might put them in the wrong room or water them too much or too little. For example, many plants, such as the Chinese evergreen and the English ivy, require much less water in winter so it’s important to keep things like this in mind.

Also, some plants need less sun than others. For example, the Snake Plant is a great addition to the bedroom and it needs minimal direct sunlight. Find out more in the infographic.

The-Ultimate-Houseplant-Cheat-Sheet-Infographic

Green Movement: Effective Home Improvements

There are lots of reasons to remodel, renovate, or update your home. You might do so in order to eventually put your residence up for sale or you might do so in order to create a more livable place for you and yours. But one common motivation these days is the desire to be more energy efficient to reduce the end-of-month energy bill. If this strikes a chord with you, getting aboard the green movement bandwagon can bring about tangible results. So read on for effective home improvements that will allow you to live green, save money, and improve home value.

Green Movement: Effective Home Improvements

ATTIC INSULATION

While it’s not exactly the most exciting home improvement measure, adequate attic insulation will help you to keep down your heating costs during the cold weather months. If you live in an older residence, chances are that your attic does not have enough insulation…and it’s possible that it actually has no insulation at all. Have it checked and get enough insulation in your attic. This could potentially save you hundreds of bucks during the cold weather season. While you’re at it, ensure that your walls also have enough insulation.

KITCHEN

When it comes to your kitchen, there are lots of things you can do to make this popular space more energy efficient as well as eco-friendly. Depending on how extensive the remodeling, you can swap your cabinets for options that have the stamp of approval from the Forest Stewardship Council. Wood and wood products with such certification are obtained employing responsible forest management efforts, and they’re made with glues that don’t have formaldehyde. You can also get green countertops that are made from recycled or sustainable products and that are manufactured courtesy of eco-friendly methods. Among other options, you can also upgrade your kitchen with energy efficient equipment like a new fridge, freezer, or dishwasher. And don’t forget to get fluorescent lighting, which employs much less energy versus incandescent lighting.

GARDEN

While a garden might not seem to fit the theme, what better demonstrates that you’re really committed to the green movement than would developing and maintaining a wonderful garden? A garden will give your home more curb appeal in the event that you put it up for sale, make your residence a more inviting place for your family and guests to congregate, and reflect on the outside of your home what you’re hoping to accomplish on the inside of your home. Gardening is, as some put it, a lifestyle. So it’s best to do it right to get the best results.

garden

WINDOWS

According to one source, the average cost to install over 10 windows is $14,504; the average cost to replace between five and 10 windows is $4,917; and the average cost to replace under five windows is $2,219. Of course, there are various factors that come into play to determine how much it will cost. Another source notes that a typical home that opts for windows with the Energy Star rating can save between $126 and $465 annually when changing their single-pane windows. How can you tell if you need new windows? If you live in an older house, you might notice that your windows are drafty. It’s not difficult to determine if this is the case. All you’ll need to do is hold your hand up around the windows to determine if you can feel air. Should you feel air, you can save money by replacing your windows. Over time, the savings on your heating and cooling bills will exceed what you paid to buy and install your windows.

These are just a few effective home improvements you can make if you want to be part of the green movement. So live green, save money, and increase the valuation of your residence.

 

A Few Ways to Make Your Old House the Greenest One in the Neighborhood

Redecorating your house is never easy, especially if you’re trying to do something special with it. Cosmetic changes are always appreciated, but what if you could make a bigger difference with a simple home makeover? Namely, what if you could help your environment become healthier and greener by using specific techniques and materials during your renovation process? In case you’re looking for ways to make your old house greener and save some energy and money in the process, here are a few tips that might come in handy.

A Few Ways to Make Your Old House the Greenest One in the Neighborhood

Insulation, Insulation, Insulation

The absolutely best way to ensure that your house is energy-efficient, eco-friendly and environmentally safe is by getting proper insulation. You don’t have to do much and spend a small fortune, but a well-thought-out plan can do wonders for your house’s sustainability and efficiency.

First, start with an energy audit – do it on your own or let a professional determine what needs to be done. Then, get in touch with a reliable contractor who will install insulation on your exterior walls and spice up your house with a new coat of paint. Finally, think about indoor insulation that will only improve all your hard work.

Doors and Windows

Once you’ve insulated your house, it’s time to pay attention to details. What many people don’t know is that the biggest portion of energy is lost through windows and doors, simply because they’re outdated and in need of replacement.

The easiest way to go is by weatherstripping using rubber, plastic, foam or silicone. Although this sounds complicated, it’s actually quite easy – it’s just a matter of locating and sealing loose parts of your doors and windows so that the air can’t pass through. That way, you’ll practically seal your home from the inside and prevent leaks, thus saving energy by having more control over your indoor temperature. Alternatively, you can install double glazed windows that may be expensive, but are highly effective and save you lots of money in the long run.

Doors and Windows

Solar Panels

Now, if you want to achieve an even better synergy of architecture and green approach to life, take solar panels into serious consideration. These will make your house more aesthetically appealing and instantaneously turn it into the talk of the neighborhood. Additionally, as a great alternative source of creating and preserving energy, they’ll do wonders for your bills. Of course, you don’t have to go all in and cover your entire roof with solar panels, but adding a few might do the trick.

When choosing how to install solar panels, it’s probably better to consult a professional instead of trying to deal with them on your own. If you want to get the best results, they have to be installed properly – not to mention that you simply must pick the best solar panels you can find. Additionally, by choosing only the best brands and service, you can make sure that you will enjoy your panels for a long time.

A Few Ways to Make Your Old House the Greenest One in the Neighborhood

Ceiling Fans

When it comes to interior decorating, there’s nothing more unique than a ceiling fan. After being very popular in the mid-20th century, these are making a huge comeback today. Their vintage look makes them perfect for people who want to introduce class into their homes and aren’t afraid to experiment. Further, these things will effectively and cheaply lower the temperature of any room during summer, especially if you have high ceilings. Once installed – you can probably handle this by yourself – these fans will work almost for free for years and years to come. Ultimately, these are also useful when it comes to heating your house in winter. By applying slight adjustments, they can rotate in a different manner and circulate hot air from the ceiling downwards.

Other Ideas

Some of the other ways to ensure that your house is the greenest in your street include equipping all your light fixtures with LED light bulbs, adjusting your water heater, insulating your attic and basement and updating your heating system. Finally, you could plant a tree or two in your front and backyard and enjoy the comfortable shade they’ll provide you with during summer.

Update Your Home This Spring with These Eco-Friendly Options

Update Your Home This Spring with These Eco-Friendly Options

It can be hard to think of spring while in the depths of winter. However, this has been one of the warmer winters in recent years, depending on where you live. However, the colder it gets, the closer we are to spring! Spring is a classic time to clean and update your home because everyone is sick of being cooped up all winter and you can finally get outside and play. If you’re interested in making your home more environmentally friendly, then this spring is the perfect time to do it.

Give Your Windows a Perk

Bringing natural light in is always a welcome relief from winter, but it can also put a hurting on your climate control. Replacing the windows in one room, each year, lets you update them slowly so you don’t have to shell out the money all at once. Double paned windows allow for the best insulation, but they are more expensive at a minimum of $500 each. In order to get the full benefit, all windows would have to be replaced. A cheaper option is to upgrade the insulation around your windows, but that requires regular upkeep.

home improvement new windows

Paint Your Roof

Greece is well-known for their stark, white homes. There’s actually a very good reason for that. The white helps to keep the home cooler, which is a necessity around the equator. You can achieve the same thing by painting your roof either white or another light color. However, it’s likely that you would have to repaint it frequently, about once a year. If that idea doesn’t agree with you, it’s also a good place for a garden or solar panels!

Update Your Insulation

A properly insulated home is your best defense again wasting extra energy to remain comfortable. Take a look at your home, and see what’s lacking. Insulation in the attic and basement is often neglected, even though it’s vital to keep your home’s heating and cooling costs under control. Putting in new insulation isn’t even that expensive. If you shop around and are willing to put in the work, it’s even something you might be able to DIY, if you get some advice.

Update Your Insulation

Replace Old and Damaged Goods

Old drafty doors need to go. If unchecked, they can be a constant drain on your energy usage. This actually applies to a lot more than just your front and back doors, as well. Garage doors are rarely replaced when they need to be. Damaged siding or roof tiles also need to be replaced before they cause more damage. Doing a thorough, yearly inspection of your home’s exterior can give you the chance to fix problems before they become serious. Plus, a new garage door can do a world of good for improving your curb appeal. That update can pay for its self, as do many other green updates.

Pack Your Home with Green

Pack Your Home with Green

House plants are good for a variety of reasons. They tend to be good for your spirits, they help keep the air clean, they provide a visual reminder of warmer weather and they can help your home be a bit eco-friendlier. In addition to filtering out a wide variety of potentially damaging chemicals from the air, they also pack your home with humidity. Heating and air conditioning both tend to suck that right out of the house!

Update Your Floors

Most classic flooring isn’t exactly environmentally friendly. A little updating can make a big difference in it. This is a slightly more expensive option, but floors take a lot of wear and tear. They all need to be replaced at some point. Bamboo is a beautiful, sustainable option but it’s also pricy. It’s hard enough to last a lifetime, cutting down on the environmental impact of another replacement.

However, if it’s not in your price range, or you don’t like the look, then cork is another green option. It’s much cheaper, incredibly simple to harvest, it lasts a very long time and it has an unusual texture. It’s great for kids and keeps the floor warm during the winter.

Update Your Home This Spring

Take it Outside

Since these are tips for spring, it only makes sense to remember the landscape. Native plants are wonderful, and provide a simple way to keep your lawn healthy with minimal work. You can also look into drip irrigation, composting, rainwater harvesting, and growing your own garden. Leave as many plants and trees as you can, especially if they provide protection to your home. Bushes provide an extra layer of insulation, and lots of plants allow for the wildlife to have food and cover. With humans encroaching on their land everywhere, they need it!

If you plan to spend a hefty chunk or just a bit, there are a ton of options to make your home greener. Pick a small one to start, and progress on to larger endeavors. With all the savings you’ll get from updating your home, you’ll be able to make bigger changes!

Kacey-MyaKacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

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Building A Home? 4 Tips To Reduce Your Construction Carbon Footprint

Building A Home 4 Tips To Reduce Your Construction Carbon Footprint

You might be surprised to hear just how much waste is produced during the construction process. Even for a smaller home, your construction crew could potentially release a huge volume of toxins into the air and contaminate the local environment. If you are getting ready to break ground, then take a look at these four tips for reducing your carbon footprint during construction.

Focus On The Location

Determining the location of your new home is probably the most important step in this process. While building deep within a city is not always ideal, those who buy property far off the beaten path will drastically increase the amount of fuel it takes to transport supplies. Whenever possible, you want to build on a piece of property that is relatively close to the materials you need. You should also research local water sources to make sure that your construction will not contaminate creeks, rivers, and underground aquifers.

Consider Recycled Materials

Not only are recycled materials very trendy right now, but they are also much better for the environment. Many construction companies and contractors sell their leftovers at just a fraction of their original price, and you will be saving those materials from going to the dump. When buying these supplies, you should double-check to see if they have been manufactured with any toxic chemicals. Materials such as construction-grade lumber and pipes are often treated with hazardous compounds to increase their longevity.

Green Insulation

Insulating your new home is one of the best ways to reduce your energy consumption, but you don’t need to stop there. Many older insulation pads and rolls are made with petroleum-based chemicals, and they can wreak havoc on the local environment during the installation process. Modern polymer sprays, like those offered at SPRAY FOAM DISTRIBUTORS, provide homeowners with the same amount of insulation, but they are produced with sustainable materials that will not release additional toxins into the air.

Request LEED Certification

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program is designed to exhaustively test new buildings to ensure that meet the strictest standards for sustainable construction. In order for your home to be certified, a third-party inspector will need to follow every step of the construction process starting on the very first day. In addition to being better for the environment, this certification could significantly increase the value of your home as well.

Green building methods are going to promote biodiversity while protecting the local ecosystems. Many of these alterations will also provide you with long-term savings to keep your energy consumption and utility bills as low as possible over the years.