Green Living http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4805/all en-US Do These 10 Green Appliances Actually Save You Money? http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_refrigerator_000076458411.jpg" alt="Woman learning if green appliances actually save her money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>These days, there's a lot of discussion about energy usage and the environment. And if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, there's a push to use more energy efficient appliances.</p> <p>Most household appliances now come with models that are &quot;Energy Star&quot; certified, meaning that they've met energy efficiency standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. In general, Energy Star appliances may cost a bit more up front, but could save you money over time through reduced electricity and water usage. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-green-products-that-arent">8 Green Products That Aren't</a>)</p> <p>Here's a look at some common appliances and the possible cost savings associated with each one. Keep in mind that savings will vary depending on electricity rates where you live.</p> <h2>1. Refrigerator</h2> <p>Your fridge uses a <em>ton </em>of electricity, so it's logical to think you'd save money by switching to a more energy efficient model. But the actual cost savings is only significant if your current fridge is very old. The EPA has a handy calculator to help consumers determine potential cost savings. If you have an average-sized fridge acquired between 2001 and 2008, your cost savings by switching to an Energy Star certified model are estimated to be about $15 per year, based on the average national electricity rate. But if you're replacing a fridge from the 1980s, the savings jumps to $145 annually. Your savings may be more or less depending on the electricity rates where you live.</p> <h2>2. Freezer</h2> <p>If you have a standalone freezer, you may save a few bucks by switching to an energy efficient model. Most new freezers use about 10% less energy than older freezers, and the savings grows when compared to freezers that are more than 10 years old. Nearly half of the 36 million freezers in use in the U.S are older than 10 years, according to the EPA &mdash; and this is costing Americans $990 million annually.</p> <h2>3. Washing Machine</h2> <p>Another energy hog that uses up not only electricity, but water wobbles in your laundry room or garage. If you get an Energy Star certified model, you'll decrease water usage per load from 25 gallons down to 13. To put that in context, a typical family uses 400 gallons of water every day. New washers also cut down on electricity usage by 25%, resulting in a savings of $180 a year, according to the EPA. You will have a bigger impact on your utility bills by washing in only cold water &mdash; a cold rinse costs about 60% less than a warm one, according to Silicon Valley Power.</p> <h2>4. Dishwashers</h2> <p>The biggest cost savings from energy efficient dishwashers comes if you switch from a model made prior to 1994, according to the EPA. Those older models waste 10 gallons of water per cycle and use more electricity, costing you as much as $35 per year on your utility bills.</p> <h2>5. Dehumidifiers</h2> <p>The EPA says newer models of dehumidifiers are 15% more efficient than older ones. But even if you have the appliance on 10 hours a day for an entire year, you're only going to spend roughly $150. So it's not a level of savings that will impact your wallet all that much.</p> <h2>6. Air Purifiers</h2> <p>These machines that remove fine particles in the air can use more energy than you think. In fact, some suck more electricity than your fridge. But you can save as much as 40%, or 225 kilowatt hours per year. That results in a $25 savings annually, or about $215 over the life of a unit.</p> <h2>7. Hot Water Heaters</h2> <p>Nothing in your home uses more energy, except for lighting. And if you switch to an Energy Star water heater, you could save big bucks. In some states, you may even <em>get </em>cash to buy one. The federal government reports that a family of four will spend about $300 a year on electricity from an Energy Star heat pump water heater. That's less than half of the cost of an old standard electric heat resistance pump, and a projected savings of more than $3,000 over the life of the heater. Seven states offer incentives to buy an energy efficient heater; New Hampshire tops the list with a $1,000 rebate.</p> <h2>8. Televisions</h2> <p>Televisions are growing in size and resolution, but are also getting more energy efficient overall. And that's good, because Energy Star models are reportedly 25% more efficient than older televisions. Your overall savings, however, isn't massive. Even if your audio system and Blu-ray player are Energy Star compliant, your overall saving is about $200 over the life of the equipment.</p> <h2>9. Pool Pumps</h2> <p>Owning a pool doesn't make a lot of financial sense, but you can cut down on the cost by getting an energy efficient pump. Newer pumps are two-speed or variable-speed model, which can reduce the amount of electricity used by as much as 70%. This could translate into $280 to $340 saved annually, according to the government. There may also be rebates, depending on the state where you live.</p> <h2>10. Water Coolers</h2> <p>If you like to have bottled water dispensed from a cooler in your home, you might save a few dollars by getting an energy efficient model. The savings is relatively modest, at roughly $70 over the life of a unit. For the most savings, look for units with on-demand hot and cold capability.</p> <p><em>How efficient are your appliances?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-will-you-save-with-energy-star-appliances">How Much Money Will You Save With Energy Star Appliances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-low-flow-shower-head-get-640-roi-in-one-year">The Low-Flow Shower Head: Get 640% ROI in One Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living appliances eco-friendly energy efficient energy star epa Tue, 02 Feb 2016 18:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1646410 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Finally Make Your Finances Paperless http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-finally-make-your-finances-paperless <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-finally-make-your-finances-paperless" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000045925468_Large.jpg" alt="finally making her finances paperless" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>These days, the bulk of our correspondence has been digitized. But even so, it can sometimes seem like we're drowning in all that rectangular white stuff. Greeting cards. Handouts. Flyers. Warranties. Instruction manuals. Business cards. Bills.</p> <p>Here's how you can finally sweep up all the spillover. After all, a cluttered hard drive is far better &mdash; and easier to navigate &mdash; than a cluttered home.</p> <h2>1. Stop Trying to Save Everything</h2> <p>Shedding ties to paper is a form of minimalism. Indeed, many of the documents you've been storing in filing cabinets and desk drawers should be dumped rather than digitized. For some, it's a hard reality to accept. But consider this: One of the top reasons we save so much paper is for fear of needing it in the future. Honestly though, when are you going to need the tattered pages of your 10th grade English essay? And remember that since your recent utility bills and bank statements are readily available online, there's simply no need to keep your own hard copy.</p> <p>Another reason we hoard paper: Memories. Often the paper we save is tied to a moment we don't want to let go of. Without hard evidence, will we continue to remember? What we all need to realize, and accept, is that the memories live on &mdash; even when the physical evidence is gone.</p> <h2>2. Make Time for the Three S's</h2> <p>Set aside time each day to scan, save, and shred. Maybe it's 20 minutes before bedtime. Maybe it's after breakfast, but before you leave the house. Carve out a stack to start on and tackle it day by day, assessing whether each item should be added to your digital storage, saved in hard copy form, or tossed.</p> <p>You'll need to keep physical copies of documents pertaining to your identity and assets, such as social security cards, loan documents, marriage and divorce certificates, living wills, and insurance policies. Into the garbage go the product instruction manuals (most companies post these online), past bank statements (shred them first), and personal notes from 13 years ago (alright, you can save one or two&hellip;). Most other documents should be digitized.</p> <p>If you're stuck thinking, <em>Do I need to keep a hard copy of the receipt for the expensive necklace I just bought?</em> consider how difficult it would be to obtain another copy. In this case, if the necklace clasp malfunctioned and you wanted to return it to the jeweler, you probably wouldn't be able to do so without proof of purchase. But a digitized copy of the receipt will function just as well as the original. So, you should scan it and save it on your hard drive. And don't forget to label. The beauty of digitizing our paper trail is that we can more easily find miscellaneous items such as receipts and cable bills by using keywords to search, locate, and extract critical information. It sure beats sifting through the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet on your hands and knees.</p> <h2>3. Get a Scanner</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/1PQfkWI">Doxie</a> is a small but powerful scanner that tackles everything from photos to legal documents. And it doesn't even require a computer. Doxie scans straight to the cloud, which is a real asset for jet setters. Another home-use scanner with a cloud storage component is <a href="http://amzn.to/1ONets8">NeatDesk</a>. It's fast and the feed takes a variety of papers, including business cards and receipts. But before you go purchasing one of these scanners &mdash; or any other &mdash; make sure it's the right fit for you. Do you plan to digitize photos? If so, you'll want to make sure that the scanner you choose is well equipped for the task. Will you be scanning large documents that might not feed into a smaller, portable scanner? Then you'll want to explore other options.</p> <p>Additionally, there's a ton of great organizing tools out there that will help you stay on top of your docs, once you've scanned them. <a href="http://www.devontechnologies.com/products/devonthink/overview.html">DEVONthink</a> and <a href="https://evernote.com/?var=2">Evernote</a> are just a couple of options to consider. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-scanners?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Scanners</a>)</p> <h2>4. Scan On-the-Go</h2> <p>Mobile apps like <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/genius-scan-pdf-scanner/id377672876?mt=8">Genius Scan</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.i2e.docuscan&amp;hl=en">Docu Scan</a> can help you to easily export and sort documents as they come to you throughout the day. This way you won't have a backlog of paper to digitize because you'll be tackling your paper trail as it comes. Mobile scanning is one of the easiest ways to stay on top of your paperless game.</p> <h2>5. Don't Get Discouraged</h2> <p>All the scanning, labeling, and shredding can be a slog. When you get discouraged, remember this: The average person wastes 16 to 55 minutes per day <a href="http://iosrjournals.org/iosr-jbm/papers/Vol17-issue4/Version-1/L017417984.pdf">searching for lost items</a>. Over a lifetime, that amounts to one to three years! No matter how you dice it, the time you spend digitizing will save you time in the long run.</p> <p>If you're truly overwhelmed by the task of digitizing the paper you've accumulated thus far, why not digitize new documents and correspondence as it comes. Later, once you've got the hang of it, you'll feel more compelled to dig into the rest.</p> <p><em>Have you gone completely paperless? Was it a struggle? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-finally-make-your-finances-paperless">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/soy-milk-tofu-and-veggie-burgers-for-pennies-anyone">Soy Milk, Tofu, and Veggie Burgers for pennies, anyone?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/old-calendars-never-really-go-out-of-date">Old calendars never really go out of date.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Green Living digitize documents go paperless icloud paperless saving documents Wed, 27 Jan 2016 12:00:08 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1645870 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ways the Government Pays You to Live Green http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-the-government-pays-you-to-live-green <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-the-government-pays-you-to-live-green" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_riding_bikes_000063700085.jpg" alt="Couple finding ways the government pays them to live green" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you care about the planet? Do you care about saving money? Those ideas are not mutually exclusive.</p> <p>If you are environmentally conscious, it's worth knowing that you can &quot;live green&quot; and get help from the government to do so. Federal, state, and local governments offer tax breaks, credits, and straight cash payments to people who keep an eye on their carbon footprints.</p> <p>There is plenty of help available, and it's worth checking with the IRS and your state and local governments to see where you can save. Here are 11 big ways that governments will pay you to live green.</p> <h2>1. Cash for Burning Biomass</h2> <p>Forget the oil burner or electric heat pump. You can get government money by using a biomass stove, which burns things like wood, plants, grass, and even corn. There's a federal tax credit of up to $300 for stoves that use biomass, and some states have additional credits. (Maryland, for example, will rebate up to $700 for a new pellet burning stove.)</p> <h2>2. Tax Breaks for Electric Cars</h2> <p>Electric and hybrid vehicles are cool, but they often have a higher price tag than regular automobiles. So the federal government wants to help out by offering a tax credit of up to $7,500. Take that into account the next time you're eyeing a Tesla, Toyota Prius, or Nissan Leaf.</p> <h2>3. Incentives to Use Alternative Energy</h2> <p>There are are all kinds of incentives for you to electrify your home using something other than fossil fuels. There's a 30% federal tax credit for installing a geothermal heat pump, wind turbines, or solar panels, for example. There are also grant programs at the state and local level. The idea is that these credits will offset at least some of the relatively high cost of installing these systems, thus making it easier financially for homeowners to go green.</p> <h2>4. Money for a Home Energy Audit</h2> <p>There are some local governments that will give you cash just for an examination of how you use energy in your home. In most cases, you will get recommendations on ways to use less energy, but you can get the tax credit even if you don't make any changes. Takoma Park, MD offers $100 just to get the audit done.</p> <h2>5. Money for Windows, Doors, and Skylights</h2> <p>Sometimes getting new windows isn't just about making your house look pretty. If they exceed EnergyStar requirements for efficiency, you can get a tax credit of up to $500 on the cost. Good windows and doors can help keep out drafts and help heating and cooling systems work more efficiently. This credit also applies to new insulation and your roof.</p> <h2>6. Cash Back on Appliances</h2> <p>The federal government used to give credits for energy-efficient refrigerators and the like, but that's been phased out. However, there still may be localities that offer similar incentives for EnergyStar rated appliances. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-small-kitchen-appliances-that-arent-worth-the-money">13 Small Kitchen Appliances That Aren't Worth the Money</a>)</p> <h2>7. Public Transit Subsidies</h2> <p>The federal government and some state governments encourage employers to offer a pre-tax benefit for workers who use public transportation to commute. Under the federal tax break, workers can reduce their taxable income by as much as $255 per month. The federal benefit also works for parking, so it's not entirely a &quot;green&quot; incentive. Some states (including California) allow workers to &quot;cash-out&quot; the parking benefit if they bike, walk, or carpool to work.</p> <h2>8. Bike-to-Work Incentives</h2> <p>The IRS allows employers to reimburse workers for up to $20 a month for expenses related to biking to work.</p> <h2>9. Tax Incentives for Your Home Office</h2> <p>The federal and state government want to make it easier for you to work from home. Many expenses related to having a home office, including equipment, furniture, and some utilities, can be tax deductible. In 2013, the IRS announced a &quot;simplified&quot; deduction that allows for up to $5 per square foot of space used as a home office (up to 300 square feet.) To qualify, you must have a space that is used &quot;exclusively&quot; for work.</p> <h2>10. Tax Deductions for Supporting National Parks</h2> <p>The National Park Service operates 59 parks, most of which are known for their natural beauty and prized by conservationists. If you're the type of person who likes to camp, hike, and climb, your donation to the National Park Foundation is tax-deductible. Additionally, the Park Service will offer free admission to parks on 16 dates in 2016.</p> <h2>11. Cash for Reclaimed Water</h2> <p>In many states, businesses can reduce their taxable income by using reclaimed wastewater, or so-called &quot;greywater.&quot; And homeowners in states including Arizona can get a tax deduction on equipment to allow for recycled water usage. &quot;Greywater&quot; is generally not good to drink, but can be used for toilets, crop irrigation, and other non-potable uses.</p> <p><em>Have you taken advantage of any of these eco incentives?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-the-government-pays-you-to-live-green">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-important-tax-changes-for-2016">5 Important Tax Changes for 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hobo-living-made-easy">Hobo Living Made Easy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-you-probably-need-an-accountant">5 Signs You Probably Need an Accountant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-the-tax-season-rush-with-these-early-prep-steps">Avoid the Tax Season Rush With These Early Prep Steps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Lifestyle Taxes alternative energy deductions electric cars environment incentives Wed, 20 Jan 2016 16:00:03 +0000 Tim Lemke 1639403 at http://www.wisebread.com 19 Things You Can Buy That Make the World a Better Place http://www.wisebread.com/19-things-you-can-buy-that-make-the-world-a-better-place <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/19-things-you-can-buy-that-make-the-world-a-better-place" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping.jpg" alt="woman shopping to make the world a better place" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What's better than giving a great gift? Giving a great gift that gives back. If you're on the hunt for a fantastic way to brighten someone's day (or just in need of a new thingamajig for yourself), peep these companies, whose proceeds help those in need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-where-you-can-always-shop-for-a-worthy-cause?ref=seealso">20 Places Where You Can Always Shop for a Worthy Cause</a>)</p> <h2>1. AmazonSmile</h2> <p>By visiting AmazonSmile, you can choose a participating charity that will be linked to your account, to which Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases. You also can pick your own favorite charity if you don't want to donate to the featured organizations.</p> <h2>2. Warby Parker</h2> <p>Pick up a pair of Warby Parker's stylish glasses &mdash; regular or prescription, everyday or sun-ready &mdash; and they will make a monthly donation to their nonprofits partner, which, in turn, will train men and women in developing countries to give basic eye exams and sell glasses at affordable prices. (The donation from Warby Parker also covers the cost of sourcing an equal amount of glasses sold.)</p> <h2>3. The Alpha Workshops</h2> <p>Purchase anything from the Alpha Workshops' products section &mdash; which features designer furniture, lighting, and wallpapers &mdash; and 50% of your purchase will cover design and educational programs for people with HIV/AIDS. Even without a purchase you can support the cause with a straight donation, the smallest of which is $25, and goes directly toward one Basic Trainee's weekly lunch stipend.</p> <h2>4. SoapBox</h2> <p>SoapBox, a mission-based personal care brand, provides a bar of soap or a month of cleaner water to a person in need for every product sold. The line includes body washes, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, bar soaps, and more.</p> <h2>5. Project 7</h2> <p>Your purchase of the tasty gum and mints from Project 7 will help fund one of its seven affiliated nonprofits, which include planting trees, emergency relief from natural disasters, feeding impoverished U.S. communities, providing clean drinking water in developing countries, and more.</p> <h2>6. Toms Marketplace</h2> <p>Everybody knows the one-for-one shoe program that made Toms Shoes famous, but it also has a Marketplace with a wide selection of other great goods &mdash; like clothing, accessories, and jewelry &mdash; that help fund other Toms projects, like helping to restore sight to someone through surgery, prescription glasses or medical treatment with a Toms Eyewear purchase, or training for skilled birth attendants in developing countries with a Toms Bags purchase.</p> <h2>7. State Bags</h2> <p>For each of the fashionable bags and accessories sold at State Bags, a backpack is donated to a local American child living in situation of need. Plus, Beyoncé is a fan!</p> <h2>8. Better World Books</h2> <p>Every time you make a purchase at BetterWorldBooks.com, they will donate a book to someone in need. As of July 2015, 17 million books have been distributed around the world.</p> <h2>9. Baby Teresa</h2> <p>For each 100% organic cotton accessory purchased from Baby Teresa, the company will donate formula to a baby in need. Buy a romper, and a romper will be donated to a baby in need.</p> <h2>10. Yoobi</h2> <p>For every Yoobi desk and organization supply item purchased &mdash; available exclusively at Target stores or online at Yoobi.com &mdash; the brand will donate an item to one of its Classroom Packs, which, once filled, will be given to a classroom in need.</p> <h2>11. Cooper &amp; Ella</h2> <p>A donation will be made based on the number of blouses purchased from fashion brand Cooper &amp; Ella to provide hot meals via its Empower program to a school in India, with a goal to provide 100,000 meals the first year.</p> <h2>12. Road Twenty-Two</h2> <p>Buy a shirt from Road Twenty-Two &mdash; which employs formerly incarcerated, homeless, or substance-addicted women to provide them steady income and valuable skills &mdash; and it will donate a shirt to a shelter.</p> <h2>13. The Company Store</h2> <p>You'll sleep better at night knowing that your purchase from The Company Store website or catalog results in an equal donation of a comforter to a homeless child in the United States.</p> <h2>14. Joan Hornig</h2> <p>American jewelry designer Joan Hornig donates 100% of the profit from your purchase to the charity of your choice.</p> <h2>15. Out of Print</h2> <p>Each product sold at Out of Print &mdash; a literary-minded apparel and gift brand &mdash; results in a book donation to a community in need, while also supporting the authors, publishers, and artists whose indelible work has impacted our lives.</p> <h2>16. Raven + Lily</h2> <p>Shop Raven + Lily's fair trade jewelry, apparel, accessories, and gifts to help the ethical fashion and lifestyle brand employ women in developing countries. They also provide access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, and education to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. Raven + Lily currently employs over 1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages.</p> <h2>17. Faucet Face</h2> <p>At Faucet Face, tap is where it's at. They will donate 2.5% of all sales from their eye-popping glass bottle collection, plus a complete filter for each sale of five or more individual bottles to the clean-drinking-water charity Third Millennium Awakening. This organization employs locals in India to create filters and distribute them to needy families. Custom designs also are available.</p> <h2>18. 2 Degrees Food</h2> <p>Every purchase of a 2 Degrees Food gluten-free and vegan snack bar helps feed a hungry child, with a mission to provide 200 million kids sustenance.</p> <h2>19. Smile Squared</h2> <p>Your pearly whites will shine even brighter knowing that a toothbrush will be provided to a child in need when you make a purchase at Smile Squared.</p> <p><em>What are some of your favorite products and brands that give back? I'd love to hear some of your choices in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-things-you-can-buy-that-make-the-world-a-better-place">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-great-gifts-that-keep-on-giving">31 Great Gifts That Keep on Giving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-where-you-can-always-shop-for-a-worthy-cause">20 Places Where You Can Always Shop for a Worthy Cause</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unbearably-stupid-packaging">Dumbest packaging ever?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/packing-it-in-the-independent-of-london-issues-a-challenge">Packing it in - The Independent of London issues a challenge</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Shopping charitable organizations charity retail therapy shopping Wed, 13 Jan 2016 12:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1637337 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Have an Eco-Friendly Holiday http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-have-an-eco-friendly-holiday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-have-an-eco-friendly-holiday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_christmas_000079423583.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter having an eco-friendly holiday" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found ways to have an eco-friendly holiday, the best holiday goods to buy at dollar stores, and rules that every smart shopper lives by.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/eco-friendly-holiday-tips">12 Ways to Have an Eco Friendly Holiday</a> &mdash; Get creative with your wrapping paper. Use old maps, newspapers, or even children's artwork. [Small Footprint Family]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/spending/T050-S001-things-to-buy-at-dollar-stores-for-the-holidays/index.html">Best Things to Buy at Dollar Stores for the Holidays</a> &mdash; Need to serve up a feast? Pick up a stack of disposable bakeware at a dollar store. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/money-beliefs/4-rules-every-smart-shopper-lives-by/">4 Rules Every Smart Shopper Lives By</a> &mdash; Always keep your receipts for at least a month in case you change your mind about a purchase or the product is defective. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/protect-identity-holiday-season/">How to Protect Your Identity This Holiday Season</a> &mdash; Tune in to Experian's #CreditChat to learn how to protect your personal and financial information this holiday season! The chat begins at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 16. [Experian]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/your-last-excuse-for-not-exercising-just-disappeared/">Your Last Excuse For Not Exercising Just Disappeared</a> &mdash; Studies found that even as little as 15 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise can decrease a person's risk of death. [Money Talks News]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Best-Places-Work-2016-39335354">The 50 Best Places to Work in 2016</a> &mdash; According to Glassdoor, the top three companies to work for are Airbnb, Bain &amp; Company, and Guidewire. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/1212/Amazon-Video-now-offers-your-favorite-cable-channels">Amazon Video now offers your favorite cable channels</a> &mdash; Subscriptions to Starz, Showtime, and other channels are now available to Amazon Prime members! [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.girlsjustwannahavefunds.com/5-tax-breaks-you-might-not-know-about/">5 Tax Breaks You Might Not Know About</a> &mdash; Seniors over 65 can deduct all medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of their adjusted gross income. [Girls Just Wanna Have Funds]</p> <p><a href="http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2015/12/11/29-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-fast">29 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Fast</a> &mdash; Share your talents! You can teach or do demonstrations for after school programs, community education classes, and senior centers. [Living Well Spending Less]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/12-ways-to-make-christmas-more-magical-for-kids">12 Ways to Make Christmas More Magical for Kids</a> &mdash; Get your kids to help put up lights and decorations! [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-have-an-eco-friendly-holiday">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money">Do These 10 Green Appliances Actually Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers">Everything You Need to Know About Cloth Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living best money tips eco-friendly Holidays Tue, 15 Dec 2015 20:00:04 +0000 Amy Lu 1621147 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Green Products That Aren't http://www.wisebread.com/8-green-products-that-arent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-green-products-that-arent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/green_living_mascot_000072404055.jpg" alt="Man discovering green products that aren&#039;t" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Going green is something most of us are trying to do on a daily basis. But sometimes, products are not quite as green as the fancy packaging and ad campaigns would have us believe. Here are eight offenders; beware of their claims, or the implications they are making.</p> <h2>1. Seventh Generation Lemon Dishwashing Gel</h2> <p>Say it isn't so! Seventh Generation is a label synonymous with natural, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing">eco-friendly products</a>. In fact, their mission statement is &quot;To inspire a consumer revolution that nurtures the health of the next seven generations.&quot; However, its lemon-scented Dishwashing Gel received an F on the <a href="http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/2629-SeventhGenerationAutomaticDishwashingGelLemon">EWG product safety scale</a>, and contains sodium borate and methylisothiazolinone (look it up&hellip;it's nasty). It appears that when Seventh Generation states the product is non-toxic, they mean &quot;not acutely toxic.&quot; That, in itself, is some very tricky language right there.</p> <h2>2. Aveeno</h2> <p>Aveeno's tagline is &quot;Active Naturals.&quot; But look beyond the fancy packaging and use of the word natural, and you will find some very unnatural ingredients. A class action suit filed against Aveeno cited that it used <a href="http://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/21985-aveeno-class-action-lawsuit-natural-claims-moves-forward/">many synthetic ingredients</a>, including glycerine, cetyl alcohol, and sodium hydroxide, on top of things things like petrolatum, mineral oil, and dimethicone. And, the <a href="http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-03-12-formaldehyde_N.htm">carcinogen 1,4-dioxane</a> is present in Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash. While these ingredients are used widely in the beauty industry, Aveeno is making a play for the green market. And that is not right.</p> <h2>3. Tarte Cosmetics</h2> <p>You will be very impressed with the things the Tarte CEO has to say about the brand: &quot;Today Tarte is a leader in healthy, eco-chic beauty, offering cruelty-free cosmetics infused with skinvigorating ingredients like superfruit and plant extracts, vitamins, minerals, essential oils and other naturally-derived ingredients.&quot; Sounds amazing, right?</p> <p>Tarte products have been found to include crushed beetles (carmine), formaldehyde releasers, parabens, and their Amazonian Clay Illuminating Moisturizer received an <a href="http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/513882/tarte_Amazonian_clay_BB_illuminating_moisturizer/">EWG toxicity rating</a> of 7/10. Just know exactly what you're buying before you pay extra for something that claims to be green.</p> <h2>4. Huggies Pure &amp; Natural</h2> <p>We all want to make eco-friendly, natural choices when it comes to our children. So when you see Huggies Pure &amp; Natural on the shelf, boasting organic cotton and packaged in green leaf nirvana, you think you're making a sound choice. Well, not so fast.</p> <p>The University of Cincinnati revealed that the organic cotton used in the diapers is actually <a href="https://uccomm2004.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/greenwashing-huggies-pure-natural/">only on the outside</a>. The stuff in contact with the baby's skin is what you'd expect to find in any regular diaper, including wood cellulose fiber, polyacrylate, polypropylene, and polyethylene. As of August, a federal class action suit filed against Huggies claims the use of toxic synthetic ingredients, including one that can &quot;<a href="http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/08/10/pure-huggies-diapers-are-toxic-class-claims.htm">strip skin of pigment</a>.&quot; And, the diaper is NOT biodegradable &mdash; even the packaging is <a href="http://www.blisstree.com/2009/08/24/sex-relationships/huggies-goes-green-well-at-least-goes-greenwashing/">only 20% recycled materials</a>.</p> <h2>5. Coca-Cola Life</h2> <p>The use of a green label on its own is not grounds for a green claim. But when you consider the usual color of Coca-Cola is red, black, or silver, the green is striking. However, Coca-Cola Life is nothing special.</p> <p>It has 35% less sugar than regular Coke, but adds an artificial sweetener (stevia) to make up for that. And there are still 10 teaspoons of sugar in a 600ml bottle of Coca-Cola Life. All in all, it is a sugary drink packaged in green, and sprinkled with magic marketing dust to make you believe it's a better, greener choice. It's not.</p> <h2>6. American Plastic Lumber</h2> <p>Take a look at American Plastic Lumber's website, and you'll see a logo that screams &quot;eco friendly&quot; in every way. In their About Us section, you'll read a statement on how the company has provided recycled plastic lumber for two decades across the country and beyond.</p> <p>However, the FTC has brought two cases against APL for <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/06/ftc-brings-second-case-year-against-plastic-lumber-products">false claims</a>. In actuality, their products contain an average of less than 79% post-consumer content. And in some cases, they contained only 15% recycled materials. The company has been very careful with its wording since those cases, but the logo and the implication remains.</p> <h2>7. Lush Cosmetics</h2> <p>Greenwashing is rampant in the cosmetics industry. There are many examples of beauty products that make claims implying an eco-friendly footprint, but Lush is doing it to cover some toxic ingredients.</p> <p>As Nicole Dunst writes in her <a href="http://ecocult.com/2015/greenwashing-alert-lush-cosmetics/">greenwashing alert</a> on Lush, &quot;Some of the ingredients they consistently use in their products have consistently been advised against by such respectable organizations as the Environmental Working Group and the American Cancer Society.&quot; Those toxic ingredients include sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, and cocamide DEA (another 7/10 ingredient on the EWG toxicity scale).</p> <h2>8. Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner</h2> <p>This product got into the EWG's cleaner <a href="http://www.ewg.org/cleaners/hallofshame/">Hall of Shame</a>. Simple Green states that it is both &quot;non-toxic&quot; and &quot;biodegradable,&quot; yet contains: 2-butoxyethanol, a solvent absorbed through the skin that damages red blood cells and irritates eyes; and a secret blend of alcohol ethoxylate surfactants, some of which are banned in the European Union. What's more, the product is supposed to be diluted for every use, yet it comes in a spray bottle!</p> <p><em>Now, have you had any experiences with green products that were not as eco-friendly as they stated? Please let us all know what to avoid. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-green-products-that-arent">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-great-gifts-that-keep-on-giving">31 Great Gifts That Keep on Giving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-only-what-you-need">Use only what you need</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-diy-magazines-can-help-you-be-self-reliant">These DIY Magazines Can Help You Be Self-Reliant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-thrift-store-how-far-will-you-go-for-a-bargain">The Ultimate Thrift Store: How Far Will You Go for a Bargain?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-brand-name-beauty-buys-under-20">10 Great Brand Name Beauty Buys Under $20</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Shopping cosmetics eco friendly false advertising false claims greenwashing Wed, 25 Nov 2015 12:01:05 +0000 Paul Michael 1616590 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/diy_halloween_decorations_000050085508.jpg" alt="Making Halloween frights you can make from trash" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Halloween will be here before we know it, so here's a bunch of awesome ideas for decor that will cost you only pennies. Better yet, a lot of the supplies you'll need for these projects can be found in your trash and recycling bins. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash?ref=seealso">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a>)</p> <h2>1. Milk Jug Ghosts</h2> <p>Talk about easy! These <a href="http://www.isavea2z.com/easy-halloween-craft-ideas-milk-jug-ghosts/">milk jug ghosts</a> take only minutes to make. Clean out your jugs, draw on a spook-tacular face with Sharpie marker, place several mini LED lights in each one, and line them up outside your home. Don't forget to weigh each one down with a few pebbles.</p> <h2>2. Milk Jug Skeleton</h2> <p>Apparently milk jugs are made for Halloween crafting. Check out these <a href="http://www.thepartyanimal-blog.org/milk-jug-skeleton-fun-recycled-craft-decoration-halloween/">DIY skeletons</a> made using seven old milk jugs, string, and patience. The tutorial walks you through the specific bones to cut from each jug. After you have them all ready, just punch holes in each so you can connect with your string. You can even coat your skeleton with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GLG7HS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000GLG7HS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IC3LRAEQHZXV6QNE">glow-in-the-dark spray paint</a> for extra fun.</p> <h2>3. Acid Bath</h2> <p>Are you lucky enough to have access to an old oil drum? Creep out your neighbors with this <a href="http://www.fulcrumsites.com/haunt/html/new_props_9.html">acid bath</a> decoration. Slip yourself (or a dummy) into the drum with a scary mask on. Then use spray foam to create that skin-bubbling look.</p> <h2>4. Monster Yard Lights</h2> <p>Clean out a few plastic jugs and make these <a href="http://craftsbyamanda.com/halloween-monster-yard-lights/">monster yard lights</a>. You'll decorate them however you want before placing a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R7PM36/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000R7PM36&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=AWPOITLNTF4LSXQB">tap light</a> inside to illuminate. To finish, insert a broom handle or another sturdy stick into the spout. Then place them wherever you need a little fright outdoors.</p> <h2>5. Poison Bottles</h2> <p>Use recycled jars, bottles, and boxes to make freaky apothecary <a href="http://magiamia.blogspot.com/2013/08/it-glue-gun-plastic-time-again.html">poison bottles</a>. You'll create your designs and words on the recycled bottle of choice and then paint over it with several layers of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001DCTH2G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001DCTH2G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GOP6VWKMNZ5WJZ6E">chalk paint</a>. You can leave them plain or coat with another color to cultivate a more distressed look.</p> <h2>6. Paper Jack O'Lanterns</h2> <p>If carving standard pumpkins isn't enough for you, try using your discarded newspaper in this giant <a href="http://www.spookyblue.com/halloween/giant-jackolantern/index2.htm">papier mache jack o'lantern</a> project. The author uses a vintage plastic pumpkin as a form, but you can build one from chicken wire or another object. Rip paper into 10 inch lengths, slather in a glue mixture, apply to your form, and let dry. Then get creative with cutting or painting your faces.</p> <h2>7. Specimen Jars</h2> <p>Okay. These <a href="http://laura.moncur.org/archives/2012/10/08/specimen-jars-for-halloween-decorations/">specimen jars</a> are beyond disturbing. Disassemble an old baby doll and distribute its body parts into recycled pickle jars. (I warned you, right?) Fill with water and a drop of red and green food coloring.</p> <h2>8. Bottle Lanterns</h2> <p>Or give your wine-loving friends a boozy spook with these <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Wine-bottle-jack-o-lanterns/">wine bottle jack o' lanterns</a>. Drink a bunch of cheap wine, then clean out the empty bottles. Spray paint the widest section (under the neck) orange. Draw their faces on with a Sharpie marker.</p> <h2>9. Bulb Spiders</h2> <p>Recycle all those burned out Christmas lights by making these <a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20150209234231/http://www.flickr.com/photos/34241256@N07/4221641924/">bulb spiders</a>. You'll wrap metal wire around the bulbs to create the legs. The author of this project left them colorful. I'll give them a coating of matte black spray paint.</p> <h2>10. Spooky Eyes</h2> <p>Use a couple used toilet paper rolls to make these <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMPwGMts-ho">spooky eyes</a>. You'll draw eyes onto each roll and then cut them out using a hobby knife. To finish, place an LED light into each roll and position them in a dark area.</p> <h2>11. Living Dead Dolls</h2> <p>I don't know about you, but my daughter has tons of half broken Barbie dolls laying around the playroom. I might collect them up, spray paint them white, and make these <a href="http://www.madebygirl.com/blog/images/savers6.jpg">Dolls of the Living Dead</a>. After they've dried, accentuate their eyes using a fine tip Sharpie marker. I've seen similar projects using vintage dolls that are even more frightening.</p> <h2>12. Trash Corpse</h2> <p>While you're taking out the trash, snag an extra black bag to make this <a href="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/39/99/47/399947e85bff575332e601bbfa2aaf72.jpg">trash bag corpse</a>. Fill the bag with crumpled newspapers and tie off different areas with rope to form the shape of a body. Bonus points for adding caution tape to section off your creepy crime scene.</p> <h2>13. Trash Ghosts</h2> <p>Only have white or clear bags? No problem. Try assembling these incredibly convincing <a href="http://www.monstertutorials.com/2015/03/27/ghost-1-how-to-make-a-packing-tape-and-trash-bag-ghost-tutorial/">trash bag ghosts</a>. You'll use a dress form or friend volunteer to frame out the body using packing tape. Then carefully remove your form by slicing it down the back. Do the same with the head before attaching the pieces with more tape. Distress and decorate however you like and hang with fishing wire.</p> <p><em>What are you decorating your home with for Halloween?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-pretty-projects-for-pine-cones">5 Pretty Projects for Pine Cones</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living arts crafts decorations Halloween recycling trash to treasure Wed, 21 Oct 2015 15:15:37 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1591933 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Drive a Hybrid or Electric Car on the Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-drive-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-on-the-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-drive-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-on-the-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car_gas_tank_000023830503.jpg" alt="Learning how to get a hybrid or electric car on the cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've considered switching from a conventional gasoline vehicle to an electric or hybrid car, you'll be happy to know that you can expect to save money in the long run. The purchase price may be higher upfront as compared to a traditional gas model, but we've found a number of ways to help you get a green car on the cheap. Consider these options.</p> <h2>1. Buy It Used</h2> <p>Whether you decide to buy new or used, it's important to look for the best deals in your area before you ever step foot into a dealership. By purchasing a used hybrid vehicle, you won't have to sacrifice any of the features you want and can also save some significant money in the process. And since it can take many years for a new hybrid car to pay off in value, a used vehicle makes even more sense from a financial perspective. Make sure to research tips on buying a <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/tips-for-used-hybrid-car-shopping.html">used hybrid or electric car</a> for additional ways to save.</p> <h2>2. Research Before You Buy</h2> <p>Green cars aren't always more expensive upfront than comparable gas models. By doing your research and choosing the right model, you can save thousands of dollars on your purchase. You can easily compare the cost of a hybrid versus a non-hybrid from the same manufacturer to determine if buying a new or used hybrid can save you money.</p> <p>When you are comparing various options, make sure to consider more than just the base price. You'll also want to compare things like the mileage, range, charge, charging times, battery life, battery replacement and maintenance costs, power, specs, and your personal driving comfort so that you can get the best vehicle for your needs and lifestyle. The more features you add to your new car, the higher the price tag will be.</p> <h2>3. Watch the Gas Prices</h2> <p>Did you know that <a href="http://time.com/money/3529146/cheap-gas-prices-hybrid-electric-car/">cheaper gas prices</a> also translate to cheaper prices on hybrids and electric cars? Cutting back on gas is one of the major benefits of having a hybrid or electric car, but when gas prices drop, that benefit is suddenly less valuable. And as gas prices drop further, you can expect the price of hybrid and electric cars to continue falling as well.</p> <p>Use this as a bargaining tool when purchasing a new or used electric or hybrid vehicle. If you have a plug-in hybrid vehicle, then make sure to keep the battery fully charged so that it will use as much electricity possible, which will save you money at the pump.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=seealso2">Best Credit Cards with Gas Rewards</a></p> <h2>4. Take Advantage of Available Incentives</h2> <p>Keep in mind that once you purchase a hybrid or electric car, you may be eligible for <a href="http://driveclean.ca.gov/pev/Costs/Vehicles.php">special incentives</a>, which will result in you saving more money. In fact, you may be eligible for as much as $7,500 in federal tax credits and another $2,500 in state incentives just for making the switch to a more environmentally friendly vehicle.</p> <h2>5. Lease It</h2> <p>Electric cars depreciate in value very quickly, as is the case with traditional gas models. Leasing the vehicle &mdash; rather than buying it &mdash; is a great solution if you aren't planning on keeping the car for the long-term, because you won't have to worry about the large initial depreciation hit. There are some great lease deals available and the low monthly payments can save you even more in the end.</p> <h2>6. Sign Up for Zipcar's Plan (In Select Cities)</h2> <p>If you aren't sure that an electric or hybrid vehicle is right for you, then consider signing up for <a href="http://www.zipcar.com/press/releases/zipcar-pilots-electric-vehicle-program-in-chicago">Zipcar's car-share pod</a>. The Electric Vehicle Pod is available to members by the hour, which will result in only a fraction of the cost of owning an electric vehicle. You can use the service the same as you would a normal Zipcar; simply rent the electric car when you need it, for as long as you need it, and return it when you are done. This is especially ideal for city-dwellers who don't drive on a daily basis. Check the site to see if it's available in your area.</p> <p><em>Do you know of other ways to get a hybrid or electric vehicle on the cheap? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-drive-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-on-the-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric">Should Your Next Car Be Electric?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car">3 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a New Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-car-repair-mistakes-that-can-cost-you">8 Common Car Repair Mistakes That Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Green Living electric cars gas prices going green hybrids ride sharing vehicles Mon, 12 Oct 2015 15:00:26 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1571535 at http://www.wisebread.com Everything You Need to Know About Cloth Diapers http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/baby_diaper_change_000049964944.jpg" alt="Parents learning cloth diapering basics" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One way you can save big bucks during baby's first years is by cloth diapering, especially if you plan on having multiple children and can reuse them. Choosing cloth for your child will also save you tons of cash on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-trash-bags">trash bags</a> (not to mention heaps of diapers in the landfill). Here's the process broken down for those who might be curious or even feel intimidated.</p> <h2>How It Works</h2> <p>Many people are surprised to learn that cloth diapering doesn't take a whole lot more effort than standard diapering. You put the diaper on your child, he or she soils it, you change the diaper, and then you start fresh. The only difference is that you'll be dealing with the diapers again on the washing end. As you can imagine, getting the job done requires some planning and practice.</p> <p>The good news: laundering diapers is far less gross and time-consuming than you might think. And there are many options available to you depending on your commitment level and lifestyle.</p> <h2>Types of Diapers</h2> <p>There are a multitude of cloth diapering options, and what you choose is up to you. Some diapers have a gazillion snaps. Others have tricky Velcro closures. Some need covers. Others come in two parts. Here are the most common types &mdash; demystified.</p> <h3>1. Pocket</h3> <p>The majority of my cloth diapers were pocket style from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=bum%20genius%20pocket%20diaper&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abum%20genius%20pocket%20diaper&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=D32B7OKWILONMOMC">bumGenius</a>. Basically, the diaper comes in two parts &mdash; the waterproof outer shell and the absorbent insert. Our diapers fit our daughter from a few weeks after she was born until she was potty trained. Stuffing and un-stuffing does take a few extra minutes at wash time, but it becomes automatic.</p> <h3>2. All-in-Ones</h3> <p>If you choose <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=all-in-one%20diaper&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aall-in-one%20diaper&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=7S3KD65PIFLRURHZ">all-in-one diapers</a> (AIO), you'll get everything you need in one convenient package. There's no stuffing or covers required because it's all sewn together. My only issue with AIO is that they take longer to dry than the other types. Otherwise, they're super easy to use and come in a variety of fabrics.</p> <h3>3. Prefolds</h3> <p>A lot of people picture <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=prefold%20diapers&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aprefold%20diapers&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=556WLYXRRNKOXFJM">prefold diapers</a> when they think of the cloth process. This type is much like what your mother or grandmother may have used with pins, but it's still a popular choice today and most often the best choice for your budget. Instead of pins, you can use snazzy <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YWKWJO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004YWKWJO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZCF7D3XWJUB2Z2GH">diaper fasteners</a>. You'll cover your prefolds with a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=prefold%20cover&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=GUGNZRWDPDH45VNL">waterproof cover</a>.</p> <h3>4. Fitted</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=fitted%20diaper&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=AAZBTMFBJ7NGI44P">Fitted diapers</a> also require waterproof covers. The key difference between fitted and prefolds is that they don't need folding or any special fastener to stay closed. If you choose this type, you'll have to buy different sizes as your baby grows. Each size fits a good range of weights, though.</p> <h3>5. Hybrids</h3> <p>I eventually added some <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ZYM06K/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003ZYM06K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5M6LGQVHONC6VQ2U">gDiapers</a> to my collection when we started traveling and using a sitter more frequently. As the name implies, hybrid diapers provide a mix of options depending on your preferences. You can fill the reusable waterproof cover with a disposable or cloth insert. They come in one-size and individual sizes. Hybrid diapers certainly offer the most flexibility in the bunch.</p> <h3>6. Used</h3> <p>Seriously. There are thousands of people who incorporate used cloth diapers into their stashes. In fact, that's another reason cloth is a good investment &mdash; you can sell them or reuse them when your baby is done. Check out sites like <a href="http://clothdiapertrader.com">ClothDiaperTrader</a> where you can get gently used diapers for a fraction of their original prices.</p> <h2>Smart Setup</h2> <p>Once you've chosen your diaper type(s), move your attention to your diaper station setup. Much of what you assemble will be the same as if you were using disposables. However, there are some key things that will make life easier on you and others who diaper your child.</p> <h3>1. Diaper Pail and Liner</h3> <p>You'll need somewhere to store the dirty diapers while they're waiting to be washed. We used a tall <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004L9L3KW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004L9L3KW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ONSCRGLHSFCGLMP4">plastic garbage can</a> with a snap-shut cover and wheels. Instead of lining it with a garbage bag, we bought two reusable <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Q2Z9TK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004Q2Z9TK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4YMSAPCV7A6ZBOVR">diaper pail liners</a> that get washed with the diapers. Toss the diapers in the bin, wheel it to your washing machine, and go.</p> <h3>2. Prep Your Diapers</h3> <p>If you use pocket diapers, prefolds, hybrids, or anything else with more than one part &mdash; stuff it or lay it out ahead of time. I used to do this while watching television when they were fresh from the dryer. If you use all-in-ones, you can skip this step. Regardless, taking a bit of time to have everything organized is well worth it.</p> <h3>3. Diaper Liners</h3> <p>Over time, diaper creams and salves can cause the diaper to lose its absorbency. If you need to use creams on your baby, you'll want to use <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=cloth%20diaper%20liners&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acloth%20diaper%20liners&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=F3TCUUSCVQZPT5BV">diaper liners</a> to protect the fabric from buildup. To make sure you use them, stick them somewhere next to your wipes. Bonus: Diaper liners also make cleaning up solids much easier.</p> <h3>4. Cloth Wipes</h3> <p>Using <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=cloth%20wipes&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acloth%20wipes&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=END2OJ54XJRTHJIO">cloth wipes</a> is entirely optional. But if you're already washing diapers, tossing in wipes isn't that much more work. You can even make your own cloth wipes by cutting pieces of flannel fabric and soaking them in a gentle <a href="http://www.zany-zebra.com/cloth-wipe-solution.shtml">wash solution</a> that's just a mixture of water, soap, and oil. Keep your wipes in a plastic bag or container until you're ready to use.</p> <h2>Notes on Laundering</h2> <p>To keep your stash fresh and friendly for your child's bum, you'll want to wash every day or every other day. Jillian's Drawers, a cloth diaper shop near where I live, suggests washing no more than <a href="https://www.jilliansdrawers.com/newtocloth/washingcloth">12 to 18 diapers at a time</a>, using your machine's highest water level setting and hot water.</p> <p>Try sticking to detergents that leave little residue, fragrance, and other gunk on diapers. Skip fabric softeners. The buildup can make diapers lose their absorbency over time. You can use specific diaper detergents like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003N0JXSO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003N0JXSO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LGUI5RZZ56WNR3YD">Rockin' Green</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F8LIZQM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00F8LIZQM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=H3VBRZQXI5C6AZZL">Molly's Suds</a>. A lot of people use plain Tide or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AM16MZO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AM16MZO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LVNYB2W6UHZX7W6J">Charlie's Soap</a>.</p> <p>What about number two? It's also a great idea to install a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OKSCWN6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00OKSCWN6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HPMQJTMACZRZBJN3">diaper sprayer</a> on your toilet to help wash away solids before they sit for too long. It takes just minutes and can save you a big stink later.</p> <p>And when it comes to drying, the sun works wonders. If you can, put your diapers on a line outdoors and let the air freshen and the sun zap out stains. Otherwise, dry prefolds and diaper inserts in your machine. Try hanging covers and other diapers on a line or drying rack. They'll keep their integrity longer with gentler care.</p> <p><em>What does your cloth diapering process look like? Any tips to share?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-your-kids">6 Terrible Things Science Says You Do to Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-child-care-purchases-you-should-never-skimp-on">9 Child Care Purchases You Should Never Skimp On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-parenting-books">The 5 Best Parenting Books</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money">Do These 10 Green Appliances Actually Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-afford-to-have-a-baby">Can You Afford to Have a Baby?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Green Living babies cloth diapers eco-friendly kids parenting reusing Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:00:42 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1578820 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_diy_toy_000041049236.jpg" alt="Little girl learning ways to upcycle old shoeboxes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I wear shoes. You wear shoes. And you know what all these shoes come in? That's right, say it with me: shoeboxes. As it turns out, they can a do lot more than just house footwear. Check out of a few of these smart ideas, and feel free to share your own genius upcycling projects in the comments! (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects?ref=seealso">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a>)</p> <h2>1. Charging Station</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.tashachawner.com/diy-tuesday-recharge-station-for-all-of-your-devices/">DIY recharge station</a> will blow your mind. First, cut sections out of an old shoebox to thread your USB and other charging cables through. You'll connect these guys to a power board you'll place inside. Then spiff it up with paint and bookplates for a more finished look.</p> <h2>2. Wall Shelving</h2> <p>To add instant storage place to any room, try creating these <a href="http://www.cremedelacraft.com/2012/05/diy-wall-shelves-from-shoebox.html">shoebox wall shelves</a>. Just take the bottom of the shoebox, coat it in spray paint, and use patterned paper or other accents to decorate. Of course, you can't put heavy stuff in these shelves, but they'd work great for office supplies, small personal care items, and trinkets.</p> <h2>3. Play Guitar</h2> <p>Kids will love this <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/entertainment/crafts-hobbies/make-a-shoe-box-guitar">shoebox guitar</a>. You'll need your box, a paper towel tube, some rubber bands, some funky paper, and basic crafting tools. After you cut a space to thread in the tube fingerboard, carve out a sound hole, you'll add the rubber band strings, and personalize it. The <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/family/kids-parenting/toys-you-can-make/shoe-box-guitar">finished product</a> is adorable.</p> <h2>4. Ultra Organizer</h2> <p>Or try making this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu2pJLID0Ec">shoebox organizer</a> to keep on your desk. To get started, cut the lid off the box and save it for later. Draw a triangle on each side of the box and then cut it out. Fold everything over and use tape to secure the sides. From there, you'll make a few more cuts and attachments before covering the whole thing with pretty fabric and filling with whatever you need to organize.</p> <h2>5. Projector</h2> <p>When I first saw this project, I blurted out: &quot;No <em>way</em>!&quot; You can make a <a href="http://content.photojojo.com/diy/turn-your-phone-into-a-photo-projector-for-1/">DIY projector</a> out of a shoebox (and your smartphone) for just one dollar. All you need to do is cut a hole in the box that's big enough to accommodate a magnifying glass. Make a quick stand for your phone using a paperclip. To display your images, rotate your phone's screen, fool with focusing, and turn your brightness option all the way up.</p> <h2>6. Blackboard Art</h2> <p>Here's a project that's all about those lids. You can easily make portable <a href="http://stowandtellu.com/chalkboard-painted-box-lids-fall-decor/">blackboard art</a> using just a couple tools to help. First, paint your shoebox lids with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006BAEI6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0006BAEI6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YQPWWNM424YDLUF7">chalkboard paint</a>. After it dries, draw lists, signs, art, poems, quotes, or whatever else comes to mind. I've used chalkboard paint many times, and I love how it comes in all sorts of different colors now.</p> <h2>7. Mini Foosball</h2> <p>Keep this <a href="http://www.handimania.com/diy/mini-foosball-table-kids.html">mini foosball table</a> in your office or give it to your kids. This project is super easy. Clip wooden laundry pins to small dowels. Use a hole punch to make holes all along the side of your shoebox. Give everything a coat of paint or cover it with cool paper. Then play until your wrists get tired.</p> <h2>8. Cord Organizer</h2> <p>Here's another take on a <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/TP-Roll-Organizer-Box-instructable/">shoebox organizer</a>. This project is going to help you wrangle all those rogue cords strewn about your house. Gather up a bunch of toilet paper rolls, tape them together, and place them in the box. Place once cord in each roll. Make it pretty or keep it purely utilitarian. I might just have to try this one &mdash; my phone charger recently fell prey to my cats.</p> <h2>9. Shoebox</h2> <p>Stay with me here. This project to make a <a href="http://www.ikeahackers.net/2011/06/i-love-my-shoe-boxes.html">windowed shoebox</a> is written for an IKEA box. But you can easily apply the same idea to your leftover shoeboxes. Cut a rectangle in the side of the box using an X-Acto knife. Then use double-sided tape to fill that space with a sheet of PET plastic. Decorate the box however you like. Use it to store shoes, craft supplies, toys, and other small items.</p> <h2>10. Play Oven</h2> <p>I have a preschooler at home who would play with this <a href="http://madebyjoel.com/2014/01/diy-shoebox-pizza-oven-toy.html">shoebox oven</a> for hours. You'll cut some slots in your box to accommodate a door for the pan to fit inside. Then use excess cardboard to make a pizza peel. And if you don't have a play pizza, create one out of felt with an assortment of toppings.</p> <h2>11. Jute Bin</h2> <p>Skip the storage aisle at the store and make this cute <a href="https://southernflaircrafts.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/upcycled-kleenex-box/">storage bin</a> out of a box and jute. The project is written for a tissue box, but the idea is the same. Take the base of your shoebox and use glue to adhere the jute around it. Then use some canvas fabric to finish it off with a clean look. You can use it to store towels or anything else in plain sight. The cost of this project might only be a couple dollars versus the $10 or more you'd spend for something similar at the store.</p> <h2>12. School House</h2> <p>We'll end here with yet another crazy shoebox toy. Check out this <a href="http://mollymoocrafts.com/back-school-crafts-shoebox-school/">school house</a>! Cut windows out of your box using an X-Acto knife, finish off raw edges with duct tape, and take some time to make a few accessories (blackboard, posters, etc.). By the way, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=lego%20people&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=NVIAAEGJXAXAUNS5">Lego people</a> make perfect pupils.</p> <p><em>What do you do with your old shoeboxes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash">13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living art projects cardboard crafts recycling shoe boxes toys upcycling Thu, 24 Sep 2015 17:00:15 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1567511 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000038268512.jpg" alt="Woman finding cool ways to make treasure out of trash" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before you drag your garbage and recycling to the curb, read this article! There's so much you can do with an old jar, can, or cardboard box. All you need to do is clean it up and get creative. Here are 12 crafty projects that will literally turn your trash into treasures. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-Shirts</a>)</p> <h2>1. Glass Jars</h2> <p>Martha Stewart shares that your <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/268444/bottle-beauty?czone=home%2Fsmart-savings-cnt%2Fsave-money">discarded glass jars</a> can be a beautiful feature in your decor. Simply rinse them out, let them dry, and then pour some dishwasher-safe enamel paint inside. Hang each bottle upside-down for at least 48 hours before using.</p> <h2>2. Wipes Containers</h2> <p>Do you have tons of wipes containers destined for recycling? I do. Try using them to make <a href="http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/wipes-container-reuse-and-a-giveaway/">plastic bag dispensers</a>! Clean out the wipe container, decorate it however you like, and then assemble your plastic grocery and shopping bags. Stash the dispenser in your car, in your kitchen, or wherever else you might need bags.</p> <h2>3. Coffee Cans</h2> <p>Transform all those kicked coffee cans into useful <a href="http://kelliskitchen.org/2013/07/cheap-organization/">storage containers</a> in your kitchen. Of course, you can use them whenever they end up empty. But spiff them up a bit with spray paint and chalkboard labels. First wash them in your dishwasher. Then fill with newspaper while you paint to keep the inside safe for your ingredients. Let them cure for five days before using.</p> <h2>4. Milk Jugs</h2> <p>Save one of your milk jugs to make this simple <a href="http://ajourneytoadream.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/helpful-yet-simple-diy-for-spring.html">watering can</a>. Your plants will thank you. All you do is wash out the jug, heat a needle to poke holes into the cap, and fill with water. Make a big one for outdoors, a small one for indoor plants, and a tiny one for your kid to play with in the bath.</p> <h2>5. Cardboard Boxes</h2> <p>Get a load of this <a href="http://smallfryandco.blogspot.com/2011/08/cardboard-storage-repurpose.html">cardboard storage system</a>! This project would work well with frozen food boxes or even pizza boxes. Make sure your boxes are clean, then cover them with colorful wrapping paper. Label them for easy organization, and you're done. I'd love to store some of my favorite record albums this way.</p> <h2>6. Bottle Caps</h2> <p>I love this project to transform plastic bottle caps into <a href="http://www.kiwimagonline.com/2010/07/the-abcs-of-recycling/">alphabet magnets</a> for your refrigerator. Collect at least 26 caps, then glue letters into them using cutouts from dated magazines. Stick some self-adhesive magnetic tape on the back and let your child go wild.</p> <h2>7. Toilet Paper Rolls</h2> <p>Save your toilet paper rolls and turn them into these adorable <a href="http://www.sweetcharli.com/2012/09/save-your-toilet-paper-rolls.html">gift boxes</a>. Pick off any remaining paper, flatten the roll with your hand, cut the ends into half circles with scissors, and fold the sides to close. Then decorate however suits your mood using ribbon, paint, stickers, and bows.</p> <h2>8. Liquor Bottles</h2> <p>Take an empty liquor bottle and turn it into something useful. For example, this <a href="http://thediyplaybook.com/2015/04/patron-art-life-changing-hack.html">Patron soap dispenser</a> looks great and helps you keep your hands clean. Drill a hole into the cork top of your bottle. Then take the top off one of your old soap dispensers and thread it through the hole. Fill with soap. For bottles that don't have cork tops, try just screwing the pump into place.</p> <h2>9. Rice Bags</h2> <p>We eat lots of rice in our house. A couple years ago, I turned one of the burlap rice bags into a nifty <a href="http://www.cremedelacraft.com/2012/04/diy-burlap-pillow-from-rice-bag.html">throw pillow</a> to decorate our family room. Just cut off the handles of the bag, stuff it with cotton filler, and close the zipper. If your bag doesn't have a zipper, simply sew it shut with a straight stitch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-basic-sewing-tricks-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso">7 Basic Sewing Tricks That Will Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>10. Cereal Boxes</h2> <p>My daughter wants a piñata for her birthday this year. I saw this <a href="http://ohhappyday.com/2011/10/mini-pinatas-diy/">mini piñata</a> project a while back where the base is made from cereal boxes. Just use scissors and an X-acto knife to make your shape. Cover the whole thing with crepe paper, and fasten with glue and tape. Don't forget to make a trap door so you can fill it with goodies!</p> <h2>11. Wine Corks</h2> <p>I've seen a million and one different wine cork projects over the years. This <a href="http://www.craftynest.com/2010/03/wine-cork-bath-mat/">bath mat</a> may just be the most practical of the bunch. Now, you'll need some patience (or lots of vino-loving friends) to collect all 175 corks to complete this project. Cut each cork lengthwise, arrange them in a rectangle, and cut a piece of shelf liner to size. You'll then hot glue all the corks into place on the liner.</p> <h2>12. Juice Cartons</h2> <p>Corral all your change into one of these cool <a href="http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/milk-carton-coin-purse">juice carton purses</a>. Pull open the top of the carton and clean it out. Cut off the bottom of the container and measure for a few more precise cuts. Fold the sides in like an accordion. Then keep folding and fastening until you're done. Keep it in your car so you're never out of quarters for the meter again.</p> <p><em>What new uses have you found for your old trash?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eco-capitalism-how-to-make-money-from-garbage">Eco-Capitalism - How to make money from garbage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash">13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living crafts garbage recycling repurposing reusing trash upcycling Thu, 17 Sep 2015 15:00:24 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1556350 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Easy Ways to Prep Your Garden for Winter http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-easy-ways-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/children_gardening_000068058399.jpg" alt="Children prepping their garden before winter comes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your garden provided beauty and sustenance throughout the season, but now it's time to close up shop until next year. Or is it? Here's what you need to know about extending the life of your garden and preparing it for next year. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests?ref=seealso">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a>)</p> <h2>1. Enjoy the Harvest</h2> <p>There are plenty of crops you can plant at the end of summer. Try extending your garden enjoyment with <a href="http://www.almanac.com/sites/new.almanac.com/files/Succession-gardening-chart-cropped.pdf">radishes, beets, lettuce</a>, and other vegetables that do well in cooler weather. If you're gardening for the first time this fall, you'll notice fewer pests and other issues than you deal with in the spring and summer months. Missed this season's planting dates? Remember this tip for the future.</p> <h2>2. Clear It Out</h2> <p>At the end of each season (when frost hits), we take time to remove all the leftover plants in our raised bed and other garden spaces. We toss the old plants into our compost heap to create super rich soil for next year. Don't skip this step. Mary Lou Shaw at <em>Mother Earth News</em> explains that clearing out &quot;prevents the build-up of <a href="http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/preparing-your-vegetable-garden-for-winter.aspx">disease and harmful insects</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Prepare the Soil</h2> <p>Now is the time to beef up your soil's quality. You can add <a href="http://www.colostate.edu/Dept/CoopExt/4dmg/Garden/longwint.htm">compost, peat, leaves</a>, and even well-rotted manure to your empty garden. Carl Wilson and Mary Hartman at the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension explain that &quot;Soil microorganisms and beneficial soil insects will help incorporate these materials into the soil before the ground freezes and in the spring after it thaws.&quot; A robust garden starts with quality soil.</p> <h2>4. Keep Hydrating</h2> <p>According to horticulturist Sharon Yielsa, you should keep <a href="http://extension.illinois.edu/gardenerscorner/issue_02/fall_07_05.cfm">watering your perennials</a> until the ground freezes. The extra hydration will help maintain a healthy root system and help the plant thrive next spring. The best way to water is by soaking plants just once a week versus giving them a light watering every day.</p> <h2>5. Cut It Back</h2> <p>Some perennials should be <a href="http://www.garden.org/regional/report/arch/inmygarden/4258">cut back before winter</a>, so get your garden scissors and check out a few guidelines from the National Gardening Association offers. Plants like heliopsis, purple coneflower, and black-eyed Susans are actually beneficial to birds, so don't cut them. Plants like bearded iris, peonies, bee balm, and garden phlox act like safe havens for insects and disease spores, so clip them clean.</p> <h2>6. Cover It Up</h2> <p>My neighbor is big into her roses. We have our own bush, so she explained to us that we need to cover it during the cold weather. Hardy plants like roses, hydrangeas, transplanted evergreens, and more can benefit from a <a href="http://www.finegardening.com/shelter-plants-winters-worst">burlap or styrofoam cover</a>. Tender plants get some added protection with mulch, shredded leaves, and even pine boughs.</p> <h2>7. Kill Weeds</h2> <p>If you have an area that's just covered in nasty weeds &mdash; cover it up with <a href="http://www.almanac.com/content/putting-garden-bed">black plastic</a>. You'll keep this sheet in place over the entire winter. This action will keep the seeds from sprouting so you can get a fresh start in the spring.</p> <h2>8. Use the Space</h2> <p>You can use your <a href="http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/garden-yard/root-cellars-zm0z11zkon.aspx?PageId=1">garden as a root cellar</a> of sorts when you're not growing stuff in it. Of course, your root crops (beets, carrots, parsnips) are what will do best with this method. Just dig them up, cut their tops down to one inch, then dig a trench that's six to 10 inches deep and 18 to 24 inches wide. Replant those crops at the bottom of the trench and cover with soil.</p> <h2>9. Think Ahead</h2> <p>The fall season is a great time to plant bulbs for flowers like daffodils, tulips, and crocuses or plants like onions and garlic. <a href="http://www.americanmeadows.com/how-to-plant-flower-bulbs">Plant bulbs</a> around the time of the first frost. You'll want to loosen the soil and add any compost before planting the bulbs with the pointy end up. Big bulbs should be set about eight inches deep. Smaller ones should go in a shallow five inches.</p> <h2>10. Make Plans</h2> <p>While your gardening efforts are still fresh in your mind, make a plan for next year. What plants did well? Which ones didn't so much? Did you deal with certain garden pests more than others? Ask yourself a bunch of questions to find your strengths and weaknesses. Draft up a few dreams, too. Then when the weather is chilly and the snow piles high, try reading books like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591865484/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1591865484&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DP7LOH7EWFG6IUFF">Square Foot Gardening</a> to learn how to maximize space for next year's crops.</p> <p><em>How do you prepare your garden for winter?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow">10 Edible Garden Plants Anyone Can Grow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-easiest-plants-to-grow-indoors-and-outdoors">The 7 Easiest Plants to Grow Indoors and Outdoors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-your-black-thumb-green">How to Turn Your Black Thumb Green</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs">7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Energy Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-not-do-to-your-yard-this-fall">10 Things You Should NOT Do to Your Yard This Fall</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home gardening green thumb harvests planting plants winter Fri, 04 Sep 2015 15:00:29 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1542139 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Cheap Ways to Get Rid of Household Pests http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-get-rid-of-household-pests <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-cheap-ways-to-get-rid-of-household-pests" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/garden_ants_000018275537.jpg" alt="How to get rid of household pests" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have a pest problem? It&rsquo;s time to take control &mdash; pest control. Commercial traps and poisons costs can add up quickly and be less than effective, and calling in the professionals can easily exceed your budget. (Note: if your infestation is totally out of control, then <em>definitely</em> call a professional.) To rid your house of unwanted visitors the DIY way, try the following cheap and effective techniques. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests?ref=seealso">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a>)</p> <h2>1. Clean Up</h2> <p>The best way to keep pests out is prevention. I know, I know, you already have pests. But preventative measures can help keep the problem from escalating, and actually help get rid of existing pests. The best way to keep unwanted bugs and rodents away is to keep your house extra clean and in good repair. Pests tend to be attracted to the unsightly elements of a house, like unsealed or old garbage, leaky pipes, and food residue. They can also enter your home through cracks, rotted wood, and be attracted by overgrown plants and piles of firewood or debris nearby. Keeping things tidy will help keep pests out in the first place, and a good clean up can help make your home less than hospitable to current invaders.</p> <h2>2. Spritz With Vinegar Spray</h2> <p>If your pesky problem is ants, then try a <a href="http://homeguides.sfgate.com/rid-ants-apple-vinegar-74243.html">vinegar and water spray</a>. Mix roughly one part water and one part vinegar in a spray bottle. Track down the ants to find their trail and see where they are entering the house. Spray at their entrance and along the baseboards, door, and/or windows. Follow the trail and spray its entirety. This will kill the ants sprayed, and more importantly, it will ruin their scent trail. Keep an eye out for more ants, and spray wherever you see one hanging out. Let sit before wiping up dead ants with a cloth, and repeat when you see more ants. Even if they don&rsquo;t come back right away, repeat a few times the first week to keep them at bay.</p> <h2>3. Homemade Bait</h2> <p>Vinegar spray isn&rsquo;t enough to get the job done? Create a <a href="http://creeklinehouse.com/2013/05/the-very-best-homemade-ant-killer.html">homemade ant bait</a> to rid your house of the pests. Rather than buying costly traps, make a Borax and sugar mixture and put in small containers. Place them in the ants&rsquo; path and let them feast. These ants will take the mixture back to the colony to share, killing more ants. This process could take a few days, as more ants come to grab the mixture and take it back to their hiding place. Depending on the time of year and the type of ant, they may be more into fatty foods, so something like peanut butter would make a better bait. If the sugar fix isn&rsquo;t working, try mixing Borax with something oily or fatty.</p> <h2>4. Diatomaceous Earth</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re not into organic gardening, you might be scratching your head. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00025H2PY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00025H2PY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=Q3NI5LWHBBHARRFB">Diatomaceous earth</a> is a powdered substance made up of fossilized remains of phytoplankton. It&rsquo;s non-toxic, harmless to mammals, and lethal to bugs. Some farmers feed it to their animals to help ward off pests, and some people include it in their diet for various potential health benefits.</p> <p>To get rid of pests in your home, sprinkle food-grade (not the kind for swimming pools) diatomaceous earth along baseboards and in corners &mdash; anywhere you typically find bugs. Use enough to get a good dusting, but do not pile up the powder, or bugs will just crawl over it. It may take a few days to work, but it will eventually kill the bugs in your home, and keep future bugs at bay. Diatomaceous earth can be effective at killing ants, spiders, and even bed bugs.</p> <h2>5. Less Water</h2> <p>It seems too simple, but if you&rsquo;ve got tiny little gnats flying around your house, your plants could be the problem. Fungus gnats are attracted to moist soil, and will happily have babies in your potted plants. An easy way to get rid of these tiny insects is to let your plants completely dry out on the surface before watering. This will kill the larva and prevent new gnats from reaching maturity. Make sure your plants have good drainage, and clean up any standing water. Not only will these techniques solve your gnat problem, they are also good for your plants.</p> <h2>6. DIY Traps</h2> <p>Fruit flies and cockroaches can be a real annoyance, and while setting traps won&rsquo;t completely rid your home of an infestation, they can help catch stragglers and keep your living areas bug-free. To create a <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-2-liter-soda-bottle-wasp-t-43290">homemade bug trap</a>, cut off the top section of a plastic soda bottle. Invert it, and tape or staple it to the bottle opening, making a funnel into the bottle.</p> <p>To catch fruit flies or gnats, pour apple cider vinegar in the bottle. If you don&rsquo;t have a huge population of the little flies in your house, using this trap for a few days can take care of the problem. For cockroaches, fill the bottom of the bottle with soapy water. Cockroaches are attracted to water, and will crawl in and drown. If a wasp made it&rsquo;s way in your house, or they are ruining your picnic, pour some honey or other sweet into the trap to attract them.</p> <p><em>How do you ward off pests &hellip; naturally?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-get-rid-of-household-pests">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen">Naturally Get Rid of Ants in Your Kitchen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snail-free-gardening">Snail Free Gardening</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home ants bugs household infestations pesticide alternatives pests Thu, 03 Sep 2015 17:30:31 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1540832 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 27 Ways to Make the World a Better Place http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-27-ways-to-make-the-world-a-better-place <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-27-ways-to-make-the-world-a-better-place" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_volunteering_000044881110.jpg" alt="Women finding ways to make the world a better place" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on ways to make the world a better place, smart tactics for taming your laundry, and hostel etiquette for the budget traveler.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Simple-Ways-Go-Green-38206173">27 Ways to Make the World a Better (and Greener) Place</a> &mdash; Never ever litter, and if you see someone else do it, call them out. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2015/08/24/10-smart-ways-to-tame-that-laundry-pile/">10 Smart Ways to Tame that Laundry Pile</a> &mdash; Stick with cotton, rayon, hemp, and other fabrics that are easy to wash and will stay wrinkle-free.&nbsp;[Living Well Spending Less]</p> <p><a href="http://frugalbeautiful.com/blog/hostel-etiquette-survive-twentyperson-room/">Hostel Etiquette: How To Survive A Twenty-Person Room</a> &mdash; When you're sharing a space with other people, showering is a must! Just be sure to keep it short so you're not wasting water. [Frugal Beautiful]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cashthechecks.com/the-6-steps-to-buying-your-first-home/">The 6 Steps To Buying Your First Home</a> &mdash; Shop around to find a real estate agent that you're comfortable working with. This should be someone who pays attention to your needs, has time to work with you, and knows the area you're looking in. [Cash The Checks]</p> <p><a href="http://www.aspiringmillionaire.com/2015/08/how-to-keep-on-sale-items-from.html">How to Keep On-Sale Items from Destroying Your Net Worth</a> &mdash; Don't give in to the marketing machine! If you weren't going to buy an item at full price, then you probably don't need it anyway. [Aspiring Millionaire]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.frugalvillage.com/2015/08/20/thrifty-tips-on-how-to-save-money-in-your-dog-friendly-household/">Thrifty Tips On How To Save Money In Your Dog-Friendly Household</a> &mdash; Invest in some good grooming tools and give your dog his wash and haircut at home. [Frugal Village]</p> <p><a href="http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk/10-reasons-not-to-lend-money-to-your-friends/">10 Reasons Not To Lend Money To Your Friends</a> &mdash; You might be enabling bad behavior when you lend money to a friend. If that's the case, it's better to help them find the support they need instead. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="http://www.wellkeptwallet.com/2015/08/how-to-sell-a-car-on-craigslist/">How to Sell Your Car on Craigslist</a> &mdash; Be thorough and honest when you write up the listing for your car. Include specs, any bonus features, and maintenance and care history.&nbsp;[Well Kept Wallet]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/why-was-my-credit-card-application-denied">When Good Credit Isn&rsquo;t Enough: Why You Could Be Denied A Credit Card Despite Your Excellent Score</a> &mdash; A bank may also look at your employment and income if you're applying for a card with a high credit limit. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-talk-to-your-child-about-stranger-danger">How to Talk to Your Child about Stranger Danger</a> &mdash; Teach them to say no, run, yell to attract someone's attention, or tell someone if they are confronted with a dangerous stranger. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-27-ways-to-make-the-world-a-better-place">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money">Do These 10 Green Appliances Actually Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling: Get Paid to Recycle by 15 Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-silver-naturally">How to Clean Silver Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living best money tips green habits Thu, 27 Aug 2015 19:02:45 +0000 Amy Lu 1538730 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils http://www.wisebread.com/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/essential_oils_000021273674.jpg" alt="Learning how to use essential oils at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Essential oil use is on the rise in home care products on the market. If you look around the web, you&rsquo;ll also find recipes for putting oils in things like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-uses-for-laundry-detergent">laundry detergents</a>, candles, cleaners, and much more. What&rsquo;s not to like? They smell great. And many are antibacterial, which helps keep stuff clean and fresh. So we&rsquo;ve collected a solid list of ways even beginners can start using essential oils at home.</p> <p>(Note: You&rsquo;ll find a number of ideas for using oils online, and most are safe and effective. However, it&rsquo;s smart to follow some basic <a href="https://www.naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/safety">safety guidelines</a>. For example, use caution when putting oils on your skin &mdash; you should always dilute them with a carrier oil to avoid irritation. Keep solutions containing essential oils out of reach from kids and pets. And never ingest oils unless you&rsquo;re trained on their use.)</p> <h2>1. Cleaning Wipes</h2> <p>Stop tossing paper in the trash and try making these <a href="http://livesimply.me/2014/08/12/diy-cleaning-wipes-reusable-disinfecting/">disinfecting cleaning wipes</a>. Find an airtight glass jar and roll some clean washcloths inside. Then pour in a solution of water, white vinegar, and various essential oils.</p> <h2>2. All-Purpose Spray</h2> <p>Along these same lines, you can make a powerful <a href="http://homespunwithlove.blogspot.com/2013/08/homemade-bacteria-buster-countertop.html">all-purpose spray</a> to keep bacteria at bay on all your hard surfaces. Just fill a bottle with distilled water and put in 20 drops of essential oils. I&rsquo;d add a bit of vinegar for good measure. Try anything from cinnamon oil to eucalyptus oil to grapefruit oil.</p> <h2>3. Toilet Cleaner</h2> <p>Get your throne sparkling without all the harsh ingredients with this <a href="http://mymerrymessylife.com/2013/05/homemade-toilet-bowl-cleaner-recipe-non-toxic.html">DIY toilet bowl cleaner</a>. You&rsquo;ll combine castile soap with water, baking soda, and eight to 10 drops of essential oils. Use an old squirt bottle for the easiest dispensing.</p> <h2>4. Hand Sanitizer</h2> <p>Keep bacteria at bay with this handy <a href="http://livesimply.me/2014/09/17/diy-hand-sanitizer/">hand sanitizer</a>. You&rsquo;ll whip up a mix of aloe vera gel, witch hazel, vitamin E, and tea tree and lavender oils. Store in a travel-sized squeeze tube for washing on the go.</p> <h2>5. Car Freshener</h2> <p>Is your car smelling funky? Try this simple <a href="http://www.frugallyblonde.com/2015/04/diy-car-vent-air-freshener/">air freshener</a> idea that takes only minutes to make. You&rsquo;ll hot glue a piece of ribbon around a bobby pin. Then slip a tiny cotton ball soaked in essential oils in the loop you made. Clip onto your vent. Reuse again and again.</p> <h2>6. Fabric Spray</h2> <p>Or make your home smell sweet with this <a href="http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/07/homemade-fabric-refresher-thats-a-breeze-to-make.html">DIY Febreze spray</a>. The second recipe gives you a great fabric spray for use on clothing, curtains, couches, and whatever else needs freshening. Just combine alcohol, vinegar, and essential oils in a spray bottle and spritz.</p> <h2>7. Soy Candles</h2> <p>These scented <a href="http://www.swoonworthy.co.uk/2014/10/how-to-make-soy-wax-candles-with.html">soy candles</a> are a wonderful gift idea. First, find some creative containers (old mugs, cups, and bowls work beautifully). Then place a wick in the center before melting soy wax in a double boiler. Add essential oils, pour into your vessel, and let sit until cool. Consider using citronella oil if you&rsquo;re trying to ward off mosquitoes.</p> <h2>8. Hand Soap</h2> <p>We started making our own <a href="http://livesimply.me/2014/09/02/diy-homemade-liquid-hand-soap/">hand soap</a> years ago and haven&rsquo;t gone back to buying it at the store. Stir together some castile soap, water, vitamin E, almond oil, and tea tree and lavender essential oils. Then pour into a small glass container or &mdash; better yet &mdash; use a recycled hand soap dispenser.</p> <h2>9. Laundry Detergent</h2> <p>There are a lot of <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/DIY-Essential-Oil-Laundry-Detergent-35259295">laundry soap</a> recipes you can find online. Take your solution up a notch by adding essential oils. Simply add 30 drops of lavender to the soap, borax, washing soda, and water. The oil gives your clothing a pleasing scent and naturally fights offensive odors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes?ref=seealso">5 DIY Laundry Detergent Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>10. Home Filter</h2> <p>Give your entire house a boost with essential oils in your <a href="http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/64648/chemical-free-air-freshener">furnace&rsquo;s air filter</a>. Choose your favorite scent or make a blend. Either way, just put on a few drops and lock your filter into place. Scent should last a few weeks.</p> <h2>11. Poo Spray</h2> <p>Have you seen those powerful (and expensive) bathroom sprays at the store? You can make your own <a href="http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/09/make-your-own-no-2-spray-for-the-bathroom-extra-strength-version.html">poo spray</a> with a few simple ingredients. Mix together lemongrass, grapefruit, and bergamot essential oils with water in a small spray bottle. Then use whenever you need to banish odors.</p> <h2>12. Carpet Freshener</h2> <p>Shake some homemade <a href="http://www.cleanmama.net/2013/05/diy-homemade-cleaners-carpet-freshener.html">carpet freshener</a> on your stinky floor. You only need two cups of baking soda and drops of any essential oils that strike your fancy. Sprinkle onto your carpet and let sit for around 15 minutes before vacuuming.</p> <h2>13. Floor Cleaner</h2> <p>Get your wood floors shining like new with the homemade <a href="http://www.mom4real.com/make-homemade-wood-floor-cleaner/">floor cleaner</a>. Fill a big jug with water, leaving room for 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup castile soap, and 30 drops of lemon essential oils. When you need to clean, combine a cup of this cleaner with one gallon of hot water.</p> <p><em>How do you use essential oils around your home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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