eco-friendly http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6433/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-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/4-ways-a-home-energy-audit-will-save-you-money">4 Ways a Home Energy Audit Will 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/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">12 Green Living Habits That&#039;ll Save You Every Month</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <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> <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/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</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 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-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/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers">Everything You Need to Know About Cloth Diapers</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-with-leftover-easter-goodies">10 Smart Things to Do With Leftover Easter Goodies</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/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</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 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-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/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About 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/should-you-make-your-young-kids-pay-rent">Should You Make Your Young Kids Pay &quot;Rent?&quot;</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-good-money-examples-every-parent-should-set">3 Good Money Examples Every Parent Should Set</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-prepare-your-kids-to-live-on-their-own">How to Prepare Your Kids to Live On Their Own</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/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">7 Lessons About Money I Learned After Having Twins</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 Banish Plastic Wrap Forever and 9 Other Creative Uses for Beeswax http://www.wisebread.com/banish-plastic-wrap-forever-and-9-other-creative-uses-for-beeswax <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/banish-plastic-wrap-forever-and-9-other-creative-uses-for-beeswax" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beeswax_flowers_000054664516.jpg" alt="Finding creative uses for beeswax" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've been experimenting with a variety of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-all-natural-bug-and-mosquito-repellents">natural materials</a> over the past year. Of all of them, I like beeswax best for its versatility. You can get a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B3U0FW4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00B3U0FW4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=UMCJX6GSEWUQWOWD">pound of beeswax</a> for around $10, and there are so many possible uses for it, like these 10.</p> <h2>1. Candles</h2> <p>Melt beeswax and pour into a container with a wick to make candles. I love these primitive <a href="http://frugallysustainable.com/2011/11/hand-dipped-beeswax-candles-tutorial/">hand-dipped beeswax</a> candles made with hemp cords. You'll melt the wax in a double boiler, dip, and keep dipping until you reach your desired thickness.</p> <h2>2. Lotion Bars</h2> <p>Skip store-bought lotions that contain lots of chemicals and make your own. These <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/diy-natural-lotion-cubes.html">DIY lotion cubes</a> are made with beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, and essential oils. Melt the main ingredients together in a double boiler before adding the scents. Then pour into molds and let set.</p> <h2>3. Ornaments</h2> <p>Get into the holiday spirit a bit early this year with these <a href="http://homemadeserenity.blogspot.com/2009/11/for-love-of-bees.html">DIY ornaments</a>. I made so many of these guys last year. Just melt your beeswax in a double boiler and pour into chilled molds. You can insert ribbon or hemp to hang when the wax is warm or wait to poke a hole after it has set.</p> <h2>4. Lip Balm</h2> <p>Beeswax also creates a mean <a href="http://momprepares.com/diy-beeswax-lip-balm/">lip balm</a>. To make, you'll use many of the same ingredients you melted together in the lotion bars. I suggest using flavor oils versus essentials oils in the last step (they don't actually taste like anything but are safe for regular application). Then pour into empty <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008RLUY46/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008RLUY46&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KQ3O23FKWZKMWTQK">lip balm tubes</a>.</p> <h2>5. Deodorant</h2> <p>If you have sensitive skin, <a href="http://www.thankyourbody.com/homemade-deodorant-stick-recipe-sensitive-skin/">making your own deodorant</a> can transform your personal care routine. It's easy, too. You'll mix together melted beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, arrowroot powder, baking soda, and essential oils. Pour everything into empty <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CMF4CIM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CMF4CIM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VJVWN5UDK32MCWSY">deodorant containers</a>.</p> <h2>6. Boot Polish</h2> <p>Shine up your shoes with this awesomely natural <a href="http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/home-crafts/super-simple-boot-polish/">boot polish</a>. Simply combine melted beeswax with olive oil and pour into a container. Then use a washcloth to buff this mixture into your leather boots and shoes.</p> <h2>7. Paper Crafts</h2> <p>Try <a href="http://craftingagreenworld.com/2011/10/16/how-to-make-beeswax-coated-paper/">dipping paper into beeswax</a> to make unique arts and crafts. And here's a cool tip: Instead of using a double boiler, melt your wax in a Crock-Pot. You can use your creation in scrapbooking, card-making, or in altered book projects. Try coating sheet music, newspaper, or vintage prints for extra flair.</p> <h2>8. Waterproofing</h2> <p>Revitalize and protect your shoes by <a href="http://www.brit.co/waterproof-shoes">waterproofing them with beeswax</a>. Just rub the beeswax all over the cloth upper. Then use a blow dryer to melt and let set for around five minutes before wearing. Bonus: Your shoes will stiffen up if they've been droopy.</p> <h2>9. Wood Polish</h2> <p>Your wooden spoons, bowls, and coffee table will love a good rub with some <a href="http://www.crunchybetty.com/wonderfully-simple-homemade-wood-polish-recipe">DIY beeswax polish</a>. Melt together beeswax and olive oil, then pour this mixture into a glass container. Consider adding a few drops of pine or cedar wood essential oils for scent. Scoop out with a rag and gently rub onto your wooden items.</p> <h2>10. Food Wraps</h2> <p>Looking for a more sustainable, zero-plastic way to keep your foods fresh? Try making these <a href="http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/beeswax-fabric.aspx">wax-dipped fabric wraps</a>. Grab some cotton fabric and cut to size. Then lay them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle with beeswax and bake at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for around 10 minutes. I'm off to make some of these wraps now!</p> <p><em>How do you put beeswax to wonderful use?</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/banish-plastic-wrap-forever-and-9-other-creative-uses-for-beeswax">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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> <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/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</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-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</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 DIY all-natural beeswax candles eco-friendly holistic polish waterproofing Mon, 17 Aug 2015 17:00:21 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1524623 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. 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/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</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/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</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/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-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> Life Hacks DIY Green Living cleaning eco-friendly essential oils household Fri, 31 Jul 2015 15:00:20 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1500869 at http://www.wisebread.com 21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/apple_cider_vinegar_000054736252.jpg" alt="Learning unexpected uses for vinegar" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As an Englishman, I spent most of my life knowing only one use for vinegar &mdash; well, malt vinegar to be precise &mdash; and that was as something to make my fish n' chips taste great. After I discovered the fine cuisines of Guam and the Philippines, I used white vinegar in my cooking. I also heard that vinegar was helpful with cleaning windows.</p> <p>However, when I started digging, I found hundreds of uses for vinegar. It has to be one of the most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-unexpected-uses-for-sugar">versatile and useful</a> liquids on the planet, and it's also very affordable. Here are 21 of the more unusual uses I found for several types of vinegar. All hail its mighty properties!</p> <h2>1. Calm Your Sunburn</h2> <p>You can soothe sunburn with white distilled vinegar (WDV), particularly if you keep it in the fridge. It also has properties that can help stop, or minimize, the peeling and itching.</p> <h2>2. Revitalize Your Rugs</h2> <p>If they are looking grimy from a lot of foot traffic, don't immediately reach for the carpet cleaner. Instead, mix a cup of WDV with a gallon of warm water, and apply with a clean, soft push broom. It's also good for removing stains, if you use a more concentrated form of the solution, and add some table salt.</p> <h2>3. Bring Windshield Wipers Back to Life</h2> <p>If they are starting to streak and stick, don't replace them. Instead, soak a cloth with WDV and rub it back and forth along the rubber. You will be amazed at how much dirt is removed, and how well they clean after.</p> <h2>4. Boost Your Laundry</h2> <p>Adding a half-cup of WDV to your wash will not only make whites whiter, but it will remove any musty smells that clothing of fabric can acquire after a long time in storage. It will also reduce static cling in the dryer.</p> <h2>5. Conceal Scratches in Furniture</h2> <p>Simply mix some apple cider vinegar (ACV) with iodine to make a concoction that makes most scratches disappear. The darker the wood, the more iodine you should use. Experiment.</p> <h2>6. Kill Fruit Flies</h2> <p>Take a small saucer and pour in some ACV, then add a little dish soap to reduce the surface tension. The flies are attracted to the smell, but quickly drown in the vinegar bath. You may catch more bees with honey, but for flies? Use vinegar!</p> <h2>7. Minimize a Bruise</h2> <p>If you soak a paper towel with WDV and apply it to a freshly bumped area on your body, some believe it will reduce the intensity of the bruise, or even prevent it from appearing at all.</p> <h2>8. Keep a Clear Complexion</h2> <p>Actress Scarlett Johansson <a href="http://www.elleuk.com/beauty/exclusive-scarlett-johansson-talks-beauty-with-elle#image=1">washes her face with ACV</a>, and the results are quite impressive if it's all down to that. Of course, we don't know what else she applies. But what we do know is that ACV has antibacterial properties, cutting grease and killing bacteria.</p> <h2>9. Alleviate Athlete's Foot</h2> <p>That fungal infection is not pleasant, and can cause severe itchiness, dryness, blistering, and discomfort. Take nightly footbaths using one part WDV to two parts water and you should see a massive improvement.</p> <h2>10. Turn a Chicken Bone Into&hellip; Rubber!</h2> <p>Why you would ever need this is a head-scratcher, but it can be a lot of fun at parties. If you soak a chicken bone in WDV for at least a few days, it will become as soft and flexible as a rubber bone. But it's highly doubtful the dog will go near it...</p> <h2>11. Kill Weeds</h2> <p>If you don't like the idea of nasty chemicals around the home and garden (and who does?), then reach for the WDV. There are many variations of the way it should be <a href="http://www.garden-counselor-lawn-care.com/vinegar-weed-killer.html">prepared and diluted</a>, but whichever you choose, it will definitely get rid of those nasty weeds in your garden.</p> <h2>12. Soothe Aching Muscles</h2> <p>If you've been overdoing it at the gym, or in the yard, you will have sore muscles. This is due to a build-up of lactic acid, and ACV can draw out that lactic acid. Simply dip a rag into a mixture of ACV and water (about one part vinegar to four parts water) and apply to the areas that need the most attention. Or if you've got a few gallons lying around, prepare a bath of the stuff. You may need a shower after though!</p> <h2>13. Destroy Dandruff</h2> <p>Yes, it's pesky and embarrassing, but it can be eliminated with ACV. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle (you can find them for a buck or two at your local hardware store) and apply to your hair after the shampoo, and leave for about 10&ndash;15 minutes. Then, rinse out. Do this a few times a week, and dandruff will be history.</p> <h2>14. Keep Cut Flowers Fresh</h2> <p>Adding just a tablespoon of WDV to the water of your flowers will help them stay fresh for much longer.</p> <h2>15. Cat-Proof Your Home</h2> <p>Our feline friends really don't like the smell of vinegar, so pour some WDV in a spray bottle and treat areas that you want kitty to stay away from.</p> <h2>16. Clean Your Microwave Quickly</h2> <p>After a while, the inside of the microwave becomes covered in small pieces of food that explode out from the plates and bowls during the heating process. Further use of the microwave makes them tough to remove. So, bring vinegar in to the rescue. Fill a small bowl with equal parts water and WDV, and nuke it for about two to three minutes. You want it to be steaming inside there, which will loosen up the food for you. Then, dip a cloth into the hot vinegar mixture (make sure you don't burn yourself) and wipe away the food and grime.</p> <h2>17. Make Paint Brushes Good as New</h2> <p>Whether using paint brushes for art or interior decorating, it can be tough to get them really clean. Vinegar can help. Fill a large saucepan with WDV and put your brushes in it to soak for at least an hour, but no longer than two. Then, put the vinegar pot on the stove and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 mins. Your brushes will be completely paint-free. Any residue can be cleaned away with soap and water.</p> <h2>18. Bring Old Socks Back From the Dead</h2> <p>We all have gym socks that look well-used, but they have life left in them. You can reinvigorate them with WDV. Fill a saucepan with water, and add one cup of vinegar, and bring it to a rolling boil. Then, drop in those stained socks. Leave overnight, then rinse with cold water in the morning. They will be white again.</p> <h2>19. Clean a Litter Box</h2> <p>The odor-banishing properties of WDV come in very handy here. By pouring a half-inch of vinegar in the bottom of the litter box you have just emptied, you can neutralize those smells. Then, rinse, pat dry, and add new litter. However, as we mentioned earlier, cats do not like that vinegar smell. So, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned and dry before adding new litter, or you could find your cat protesting in the worst way.</p> <h2>20. Soothe a Sore Throat</h2> <p>It seems odd to add something as harsh as vinegar to a sore throat remedy, but it works. Add a few tablespoons of ACV to a cup of hot water, and stir in a few tablespoons of honey to counteract the acidity. Sip the mixture and make that sore throat go away.</p> <h2>21. Say Goodbye to Rust</h2> <p>Instead of paying a lot of money for a CLR treatment, or other over-the-counter rust removers, use WDV instead. Pour the vinegar into a saucepan (the size will depend on the object from which you need to remove rust) and bring to a boil. Then, add in your rusty objects, and simmer for 10&ndash;20 mins. The rust will just fall off.</p> <p><em>Now, those are the 21 biggest uses I uncovered, but did I miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments section. </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/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">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/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</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/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-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> Life Hacks DIY Green Living cleaning cool uses eco-friendly natural Vinegar Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1481964 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/recycled_egg_crates_000019998240.jpg" alt="How to creatively reuse egg crates" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know about you, but I eat a ton of eggs. We have leftover crates upon leftover crates, and beyond <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-crafts-that-will-save-you-money">reusing and recycling</a>, I've started repurposing them in fun ways around my house.</p> <h2>1. Seeding Storage</h2> <p>I actually <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5875765/use-an-egg-carton-to-jumpstart-your-garden-this-spring">started all our seeds</a> in egg cartons this year. They're the perfect size for germination. When the seedlings are ready for planting, just cut out the individual cups and plant directly into the ground. Of course, if you plan to try this one, use the paper cups versus the styrofoam ones.</p> <h2>2. Recycled Decor</h2> <p>Beautify your place on the cheap with this <a href="http://homemadeserenity.blogspot.com/2011/04/make-it-egg-carton-wreath.html">egg carton wreath</a>. You'll cut flower shapes from the cups and fashion leaves from the cover. Then paint with bright colors and glue to assemble. Just don't hang this wreath outdoors &mdash; the moisture will ruin it.</p> <h2>3. Jewelry Organization</h2> <p>Here's a cool <a href="http://shopwalkinlove.com/blogs/walk-in-love/11350757-egg-carton-organizers">jewelry organization project</a> that might also make a great gift. Cut an egg carton in half and paint it with spray paint. Then fill with jewelry and other knick-knacks. This tutorial instructs you to cut the top off the carton, but I think it would be nice to keep it on.</p> <h2>4. Veggie Storage</h2> <p>Or store your vegetables in <a href="http://www.thriftyfun.com/Egg-Crates-for-Veggie-Storage.html">stacked egg cartons</a>. This method will keep spoiled foods from leaking anything onto fresh ones. Bonus: If you have anything &mdash; like tomatoes &mdash; that need ripening in paper bags, they should mature perfectly in the cartons.</p> <h2>5. Scavenger Hunt</h2> <p>Send your kids on a <a href="http://www.iammommahearmeroar.net/2011/03/spring-scavenger-hunt.html">fun scavenger hunt</a> in the backyard. Print out what you want your child to find, stick it on the egg carton, and then hand it off. They can stick found items inside. The author of this activity provides a printout, but your yard might not contain the same stuff (depending on where you live).</p> <h2>6. Sewing Kit</h2> <p>Stow needles, thread, buttons, and more in this <a href="http://www.madebymarzipan.com/?tutorial=egg-carton-sewing-kit">egg carton sewing kit</a>. My favorite part is the personalized design. You can decorate it to suit your unique tastes. Or keep it basic. Whatever you do, don't forget the egg-shaped pin cushion.</p> <h2>7. Paint Palette</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/home-organizing-new-uses-for-old-things/egg-carton-as-paint-palette">egg crate paint palette</a> is pretty easy to put together. Open the crate, squeeze paint inside, and get creative. You can leave some cups open for mixing of colors. Otherwise, when you're done, just let everything dry and use again the next time you want to make art.</p> <h2>8. Gift Wrap</h2> <p>Skip the pricey gift bags and use an <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kirstyneale/3560879400/in/gallery-paneamoreecreativita-72157623683672416/">egg carton to wrap</a> instead. You can paint and decorate in whatever colors or prints that match your theme. Works wonderfully for small items like soaps, underwear, jewelry, chocolates, and more.</p> <h2>9. Mosquito Smoker</h2> <p>Don't let mosquitoes ruin your next backyard bash. You can <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-lubin/an-easy-free-way-to-keep-_b_5648824.html">smoke them out</a> for free using an egg carton. Simply light one edge on fire and set somewhere safe to burn (like your grill top). Alternatively, you can try this same thing with one of those coffee to-go containers.</p> <h2>10. Bird Feeder</h2> <p>This quick and easy <a href="http://thecreativecubby.blogspot.com/2013/06/egg-carton-bird-feeder.html">egg carton bird feeder</a> project will please nature enthusiasts. Remove the lid from your egg carton. Then poke holes in each of the four corners. Thread a string through each hold, then gather together and knot. Fill with bird seed and enjoy.</p> <h2>11. Flower Vase</h2> <p>Create a quick centerpiece for your dinner table with this gorgeous <a href="http://cfabbridesigns.com/holidays/easter/egg-carton-vase/">egg crate vase</a>. Line the cups with plastic eggs and add a little water. Smaller blooms work best, and I love how the author of this project used broccoli to add texture to her arrangement.</p> <p><em>What do you do with your old egg cartons?</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/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">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/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/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles">18 Smart Ways to Reuse Your Empty Glass Bottles</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/10-smart-things-to-do-with-leftover-easter-goodies">10 Smart Things to Do With Leftover Easter Goodies</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/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living crafts eco-friendly egg cartons egg crates recycling repurposing Thu, 16 Jul 2015 17:00:23 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1485981 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-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_pest_snail_000015689543.jpg" alt="Learning how to deter garden pests on the cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When we moved out of our urban neighborhood last year, we had no idea how our summer gardening efforts might change. Almost immediately, we discovered that living slightly closer to the country meant critters &mdash; lots of them. So, we've had to bulk up our pest-control efforts considerably. Here are some friendly ways to keep the fruits of your labor from falling prey to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">bugs</a>, bunnies, deer, and more.</p> <h2>1. Insect Spray</h2> <p>Try this <a href="http://anoregoncottage.com/homemade-garlic-mint-garden-insect-spray-really-works/">DIY insect spray</a> on your plants and you'll see a huge difference in just a couple weeks. You may even have all the ingredients on hand. Combine two cloves of garlic with three cups of mint leaves, cayenne pepper, and biodegradable dish soap. This mix repels bugs, and it's best to spray on the leaves of your plants on a cloudy day so it doesn't burn them.</p> <h2>2. Soapy Solution</h2> <p>Are deer cramping your style? You can cut up bars of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KTB19K/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000KTB19K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=PCTRMYSS5AKFY5NF">Irish Spring soap</a>, attach to stakes using scraps of fabric, and scatter throughout your garden. The benefit here is that you don't need to reapply anything after rainstorms like you do with sprays and other methods. Plus, your yard will smell amazing.</p> <h2>3. Cornmeal Wonder</h2> <p>Get rid of ants and weeds with a simple <a href="http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/organic/cornmeal-in-the-garden.htm">cornmeal application</a>. Stow this tip away for next year because the gluten works against seed development, so it's best to sprinkle in the early spring before the weeds actually sprout up. If ants are your bigger issue, you're in luck. They will carry the cornmeal back to their homes. It disrupts their digestion, but it will take about a week to fully work.</p> <h2>4. Bunny Banisher</h2> <p>We were most surprised last year to find an entire family of bunnies nesting underneath our tomato plants. This season we're hoping to keep them away with this <a href="http://premeditatedleftovers.com/gardening/inexpensive-organic-rabbit-repellent/">organic rabbit repellent</a>. This frugal mix of garlic, red pepper, water, and dish soap works best after it has soaked in the sun for a couple days. Apply to your plants once a week continuous control.</p> <h2>5. Hair Helper</h2> <p>Save money by cutting your hair at home. Then use the clippings in your garden to keep deer and other animals out of your plants. This method is one I learned from my mother-in-law, and it's surprisingly effective. It should help <a href="http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/blogs/is-human-hair-good-for-your-garden">repel deer, rabbits, and snails</a> all while acting as a mulch and natural fertilizer. Summer is a great time for a shorter style anyway. Hair that isn't heavily shampooed works best.</p> <h2>6. Bird Netting</h2> <p>We can't forget birds in this list. Keeping them out can be as easy as installing <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004RA0P/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004RA0P&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4WTVACWGDOBFZATM">bird netting</a> atop your raised beds. You'll need a staple gun to make the process go faster, but just secure the netting to the side of your box, stretch over your plants, and secure on the other side. Alternatively, you can use stakes to secure the netting in the ground if you don't have raised beds.</p> <h2>7. Scare Tactics</h2> <p>Pick up a few cheap aluminum pie plates at the dollar store. Then stake them up using some string to create a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScS-cqS0oX0">quick homemade scarecrow</a>. The sound and bright shine should keep birds and other animals away.</p> <h2>8. Easy Eggshells</h2> <p>Slugs and snails will steer clear of this <a href="http://mymerrymessylife.com/2014/06/organic-gardening-use-egg-shells-to-deter-slugs-and-snails.html">eggshell solution</a>. Place the shells in a large bag and crush using your hands or feet. From there, scatter the pieces around plants once a week. Those critters don't like sharp edges, so it should stop them in their tracks. Bonus: the calcium in the eggshells also fertilizes your garden.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite DIY garden protection methods?</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/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-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-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/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-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</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-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</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 DIY Green Living bugs deer eco-friendly gardening pests plants rabbits repellent Tue, 14 Jul 2015 17:00:12 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1481951 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_cleaning_000027763157.jpg" alt="Couple using homemade stain remover that actually works" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a reason the word &quot;stain&quot; rhymes with &quot;pain.&quot; Even the most fastidious housekeepers dread dealing with stains, and top-of-the-line stain removers tend to do far less than they promise. Store-bought cleaners can also be pretty expensive, and you'll need a different one for upholstery, clothing, pets, and other stuff.</p> <p>If you're fed up with stains and fed up with paying too much for lackluster results, then <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-homemade-stain-removers-that-kick-butt">make your own stain remover</a>! We've got five DIY recipes, all of which have ingredients that you probably have around the house. They're easy to make, and nice and cheap, too.</p> <h2>1. Miracle Cleaner</h2> <p>You may have seen this one passed around Pinterest, and if you haven't given it a try, then now is the time. The &quot;<a href="http://tidymom.net/2014/miracle-cleaner/">miracle cleaner</a>&quot; is a simple concoction of one part dishwashing liquid (preferably Dawn) and two parts hydrogen peroxide, which is commonly used as an antiseptic. The resulting mixture is amazingly tough on clothing stains, successfully removing everything from wine to blood to chocolate. It even takes out pit stains! As with all stain removers, test it in an inconspicuous spot before using. If the stain is extra tough, after applying remover, scrub with a brush and let sit for an hour before laundering. This cleaner also works well on carpets.</p> <h2>2. Homemade Carpet Cleaner</h2> <p>You can't just throw carpet in the wash and hope for the best, and that makes it extra tough to clean. If you don't own a clunky carpet cleaner and don't want to rent one every time you spill something, then try this <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Homemade-Carpet-Cleaner-26558849">homemade carpet stain remover</a>. To make your own, add vinegar, dishwashing liquid, and warm water to a spray bottle. Working over a sink, add baking soda, and quickly screw on the lid. The combination of vinegar and baking soda will produce lots of fizzy bubbles, which are great for cleaning. Be sure to vacuum the area of carpet before and after using the cleaner to remove any residue.</p> <h2>3. Homemade Pet Stain Remover</h2> <p>A common cause of everyday stains are cats, dogs, and other animals. No matter how well-trained your pet may be, an accident is bound to happen from time to time. The next time you take a step into something wet that really shouldn't be, mix up some of this <a href="http://www.housecleaningcentral.com/en/cleaning-tips/odor-removal/homemade-pet-odor-removal.html">pet stain remover</a>. The multi-step process is a great way to remove pesky stains, as well as the odor that goes along with them. Start by making a simple mixture of vinegar and water and applying that to the stained area. Dry well, and apply baking soda to neutralize odor. A final dose of hydrogen peroxide will help work out any remaining stain.</p> <h2>4. DIY Laundry Spot Remover</h2> <p>For a non-toxic and hypoallergenic alternative, this <a href="http://mymerrymessylife.com/2013/08/homemade-natural-fabric-stain-remover-non-toxic-and-frugal.html">all-natural stain remover</a> is a combination of castile soap, vegetable glycerine, baking soda, lemon essential oil, and water. It has a fresh smell, and won't irritate skin. Simply spray it on stained clothing, rub it into the affected area, and let sit for up to an hour before washing like normal. For extra stubborn stains, rinse and repeat.</p> <h2>5. Hard Water Stain Cleaner</h2> <p>Water stains can be especially irritating, and simple window cleaning just isn't enough &mdash; all of the scrubbing in the world doesn't seem to do any good. For a unique and effective way to clean the grime away, combine <a href="http://www.discountqueens.com/hard-water-stain-remover-ingredients/">vodka and Coke</a>. It might be tempting to pour it into a glass of ice instead of a spray bottle, but just go with it. Spray the cocktail on the water-stained surface and simply let sit. You may need to repeat two or three times, but eventually the dull stains will wear away to reveal shiny, clean glass, even without scrubbing. Be sure to fix yourself that cocktail once you're done.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite DIY stain remover?</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/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">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/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</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/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</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/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-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> Life Hacks DIY Green Living carpet cleaning clothing eco-friendly stain removers Thu, 09 Jul 2015 11:00:11 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1478386 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/ants_000019026109.jpg" alt="Learning how to eliminate ants without an exterminator" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ants. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Well, wait a minute. Yes, I can definitely live without ants crawling all over my kitchen floor. So, in the last month I have fought and won the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-bees">battle with these tiny beasts</a>. And I am here to share with you how I did it &mdash; sans exterminator.</p> <p>(Note: Though these methods are all natural, you'll want to keep most of these ingredients and mixtures out of reach of children and pets.)</p> <h2>1. Cleaning</h2> <p>First and foremost, try sweeping, vacuuming, and wiping down flat surfaces (counters, floors, etc.) on the daily. Consistent, scrupulous cleaning should at least help the issue by eliminating anything that's attracting ants. Of course, your castle could be neat as a pin and still have an ant highway a mile long.</p> <h2>2. Blocking</h2> <p>Though I haven't personally had wonderful results with this tip, our neighbor reports that she got rid of ants by caulking gaps near her doors and windows. If there are obvious places where the ants are getting in, this idea might work well for you. We did try it, but they found a new path a few feet over in our dining room.</p> <h2>3. Spices</h2> <p>At the first sight of ants, I sprinkle cayenne pepper or ground cinnamon to make a barrier. I learned this trick while researching ways to keep bugs out of my child's sandbox without chemicals. In your home, sprinkle spices close to entry points to deter the ants from crossing the line. I've read that chalk works in a similar fashion, especially on the outside your home.</p> <h2>4. Vinegar</h2> <p>Or you can go with a spritz or five of vinegar mixed with water. The combination helps to get rid of the pheromone trails the scouts leave the lead other ants through your house. This step is pretty easy if you're wiping down floors and countertops regularly (see above!) &mdash; vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace?ref=seealso">30 Household Products Vinegar Can Replace</a>)</p> <h2>5. Borax</h2> <p>A friend of mine shared with me that she puts out bowls of powdered sugar and borax. The sugar attracts the ants. When they consume it, they also consume the borax, which eventually kills them by disrupting their digestive systems. You can also make a <a href="http://www.stacymakescents.com/homemade-ant-bait">wet mixture</a> by combining about a cup of sugar with a tablespoon of borax and a half cup of boiling water.</p> <h2>6. Essential Oils</h2> <p>Peppermint is a powerful ant repellant. A simple line of the essential oil at window sills or on the floor near an entry point should make ants scurry in a hurry. If you'd rather create a formal solution, try this <a href="http://www.herbsandoilsworld.com/peppermint-ant-repellent-spray/">peppermint spray</a> that combines the power of peppermint, citronella, and lavender essential oils.</p> <h2>7. Castile Soap</h2> <p>I use a lot of castile soap in my indoor routines, so I love that I can spritz a <a href="http://www.lisabronner.com/it-actually-works/">household cleaning spray</a> on ants to give them the hint. To make the spray, just combine water, tea tree oil, and a quarter cup castile soap in a bottle. Use as needed &mdash; it will kill ants on contact &mdash; and wipe up when you're done.</p> <h2>8. Boiling Water</h2> <p>If you can find the source of the ants outdoors, try pouring boiling water over the anthill. My grandmother swears by this method, and she'll occasionally mix in some dish soap in a 1:1 ratio. Try pouring atop the anthill two or three times in a single day for the best results.</p> <p><em>What natural solutions have you tried to deal with ants?</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/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">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/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</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/6-cheap-ways-to-get-rid-of-household-pests">6 Cheap Ways to Get Rid of Household Pests</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/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</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/banish-plastic-wrap-forever-and-9-other-creative-uses-for-beeswax">Banish Plastic Wrap Forever and 9 Other Creative Uses for Beeswax</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-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY Green Living all-natural ants bugs eco-friendly pests Wed, 08 Jul 2015 15:00:15 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1477259 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Easy Ways to Start Green Investing http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_recycling_000013114340.jpg" alt="Woman happy because she made environmentally friendly investment" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We'd all love to invest our money in a way that benefits our finances while helping to build a better world. If that sounds like a pipe dream to you, it's not. Impact investing is a growing trend, and there are plenty of ways to do well and do good with your money. Here are five classes of green investments that are kind to the Earth:</p> <h2>1. Green Bonds</h2> <p><a href="http://www.institutionalinvestor.com/gmtl/3382260/Green-Bonds-Planting-Seeds-for-Eco-Friendly-Investment.html#.VRmawpPF-l0">Green bonds</a> are a perfect entry point for someone interested in making a social investment. Like other bonds, you pay a certain amount of money for the bond now to get a larger amount of money at a specific future date. With green bonds, your up-front investment is used to finance environmentally friendly projects. They're relatively low-risk and provide critical funds that are urgently needed in the short-term for these green initiatives.</p> <h2>2. Green Mutual Funds</h2> <p>Chances are that if you have any type of retirement account, at least a portion of it is invested in mutual funds. If you'd like to use that money to support green projects, choose green funds when allocating your investments. Broadly speaking, these investments are also included under the umbrella of socially responsible investments.</p> <h2>3. Green Stocks</h2> <p>As an investor, you also have the option to invest directly in companies that have a green mission, product, or service. This means you can buy stock in a publicly traded company that produces renewable energy products such as solar panels, or any other &quot;green&quot; mission of your choice.</p> <h2>4. Green Startups</h2> <p>One of the riskiest (but perhaps one of the most potentially lucrative) green investments you can make is in a green startup. There are plenty of entrepreneurs who are founding companies in the environmentally-friendly space. They range from new composting techniques, to energy-saving products, to innovative concepts such as carbon credits that are bought and traded to compensate for energy consumption.</p> <h2>5. Sustainable Product Stocks</h2> <p>Many companies are taking up the green mantle by transforming their products and using renewable resources. Some also pledge a portion of their earnings to environmental nonprofits, and support green efforts in the communities where they operate. These companies can contribute enormously to protecting the environment, and supporting their efforts with your investment dollars and purchases can help encourage them to continue and enhance these practices.</p> <p>As always, it's important to make informed investment decisions. It's best to educate yourself about these options by reading about the ins and outs of green investing. I also suggest seeking the advice of a professional financial advisor before making any investment decisions. Together, we can build a bright future for ourselves and for the planet as a whole through our investment dollars.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing">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/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</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-best-ways-to-invest-50-500-or-5000">The Best Ways to Invest $50, $500, or $5000</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/dont-be-fooled-by-an-investments-rate-of-return">Don&#039;t Be Fooled by an Investment&#039;s Rate of Return</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-investment-mistakes-we-all-make">11 Investment Mistakes We All Make</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/how-to-build-an-investment-portfolio-for-under-5000">How to Build an Investment Portfolio for Under $5000</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Investment bonds eco-friendly environment mutual funds startups stocks sustainability Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:00:12 +0000 Christa Avampato 1380916 at http://www.wisebread.com Using Your Green Practices to Market Your Business http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/using-your-green-practices-to-market-your-business <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/using-green-practices-to-market-your-business" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/using-green-practices-to-market-your-business</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/using-your-green-practices-to-market-your-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009966524Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many buyers make an effort to purchase products and services from businesses that are green, or at least more environmentally-aware than their competitors. To capture those customers, you have to make sure that your green practices are a visible part of your marketing efforts.</p> <p>Not every part of your marketing plan needs to trumpet how amazingly eco-friendly your company is, but integrating descriptions of the steps you&rsquo;ve taken can provide a significant boost.</p> <h3>Address Potential Customer Concerns</h3> <p>Certain industries face more customer concerns about environmentalism than others. If, for instance, your prospective customers know that you are responsible for disposing of waste, they may have questions that your marketing needs to answer.</p> <p>Gabriella LeVota is the director of marketing for <a href="http://www.junk-king.com/" target="_blank">Junk King</a>, which uses print, broadcast, radio, and digital channels to reach potential clients. She&rsquo;s made environmentalism as a key component of Junk King&rsquo;s marketing efforts. &ldquo;In the junk removal industry, there was a real lack of environmental consciousness before our company was formed,&quot; she says. &quot;It seemed imperative that we inform our customers of our green efforts, so they could make the decision for their items to be disposed with full information. Additionally, we are really proud of our green initiatives and feel proud to share our efforts with our community.&rdquo;</p> <p>The customer response has been excellent. &ldquo;Our customers feel at ease knowing that their items are not going to be tossed in a landfill if it is at all possible to avoid,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;We have received great press in the markets we currently serve, as well as being nationally recognized by <i>Inc</i>. magazine and <i>Waste &amp; Recycling</i>. While our press tends to discuss the growth of our company on a national level and into the local market, it always mentions how we are using a green approach to differentiate ourselves in the junk removal industry.&rdquo;</p> <h3>Bring Your Marketing into Alignment with Your Values</h3> <p>A key consideration of how you market your business has to be what you personally value. In part, that&rsquo;s because prospective customers tend to identify well with personalities and stories in marketing. You&rsquo;re better equipped to attract clients whose needs and preferences are in alignment with your own.</p> <p><a href="http://www.arcadianyc.com/home.php" target="_blank">Arcadia</a>, a retailer founded by Jay Gurewitsch, has focused on its Fair Trade credentials as a key component of its marketing efforts. Through strategic partnerships, media outreach, and other elements, Gurewitsch has emphasized the store&rsquo;s connection with the New York City Fair Trade Coalition (FTC NYC) and the rest of the Fair Trade community.</p> <p>Ian Edwards, an Arcadia representative, says, &ldquo;Gurewitsch's world view has been about fair trade and sustainability. It was how he started Arcadia, the store in the first place &ndash; relying on unique gifts and products that were sourced ethically. So, it's part of the fabric of the store's story &ndash; which has extended to operational efforts, too, like low-wattage LEDs and FSC papers and local sourcing.&rdquo;</p> <p>Those efforts have not gone unnoticed &ndash; nor unrewarded. Gurewitsch&rsquo;s personal commitment to sustainability has built a brand that is very attractive to his target market.</p> <p>&ldquo;The fair trade/sustainability angle is the ethical way to do this kind of business,&quot; says Edwards, &quot;and his customers respond to that. Also, fair trade is a market differentiator. Many customers enjoy the experience and story line behind how the product came to be &ndash; a premium, if you will and an opportunity to contribute to a solution for some global challenges. He has the rep of being the go-to guy for fair trade products in NYC.&rdquo;</p> <h3>The Right Campaign in the Right Place</h3> <p>When it comes to talking about your company&rsquo;s green efforts, make sure that you&rsquo;re telling the right people in a way that will matter to them. Not everyone will be motivated by your green messaging; for many audiences, cost, usefulness, or other factors may be the motivating features. In general, however, few people actively <i>avoid</i> the eco-friendly label, so your green marketing is unlikely to dampen sales. Just be sure each of your audiences is getting the message that resonates with them.</p> <p>That means surveying your market, as well as testing your promotions to see if you get a more positive response with a green focus or by concentrating on other parts of your brand. It may also mean testing different approaches in different channels. As long as you have taken genuine steps to green your business, however, it&rsquo;s worth including your efforts in your marketing materials.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/using-your-green-practices-to-market-your-business">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/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</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/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</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-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</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-authenticity-could-make-or-break-your-small-business">How Authenticity Could Make or Break Your Small Business</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/need-business-credit-build-your-personal-credit-first">Need Business Credit? Build Your Personal Credit First</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center cause marketing eco-friendly fair trade green marketing marketing small business Tue, 14 Jun 2011 19:38:38 +0000 Thursday Bram 561108 at http://www.wisebread.com Beyond the Slow Cooker: 10 Eco- and Budget-Friendly Household Helpers That Progress Left Behind http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-the-slow-cooker-10-eco-and-budget-friendly-household-helpers-that-progress-left-behind <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyond-the-slow-cooker-10-eco-and-budget-friendly-household-helpers-that-progress-left-behind" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3308812949_4bc1f20ab0.jpg" alt="hanging laundry" title="hanging laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="304" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cleaning? Cooking? Ugh, you say. Make friends with it, compadre; they've got to be part of the frugal warrior's toolkit. Me, I avoid cleaning as much as possible until a young offspring can't find clean underthings and I want to howl in the chasm of Boring Adult Responsibilities and go hide in the kitchen, which I enjoy much more. When that no longer works, and when the children look at me like <i>You Did This to Me,</i> I look for ways to make it easier. I also look for ways to make it cheaper, because when my frugal and eco-selves are in partnership, then I can feel my groove coming back. Because if there is one thing I've learned, it's that I want to spend my better days kicking ass and making change, and not spend them in Target buying overpriced refills and feeling like some crazy woman on a commercial who smiles at her mop while a song plays in the background.</p> <p>So you understand why I need, need, need to share these revelations with you. Some of these tools or tricks don't save any time, and a few take more time. But if I spend a few more minutes living out my values, then it's like <i>I'm</i> the thing plugged into the outlet and feeling my power.</p> <h2><b>1. The Carpet Sweeper</b></h2> <p>I bought a Casabella carpet sweeper for my kids from a Montessori-based toy and supply catalog (&quot;Now you're Mommy's Little Helpers, darlings!&quot;) and now I join in the fight to use it. It picks up a surprising amount from our well-traveled rugs and floors, and I don't need to use electricity, or my own stress circuits, as much.</p> <h2><b>2. Take Back the Mop</b></h2> <p>C'mon, Swiffer. How hard is it to bring up a mop and bucket filled with hot water and Murphy's Oil Soap? I'd rather take two minutes to do that than pay for your expensive refills. Plus the carpet sweeper gets bits in the meantime. Jealous, much? Plus flushing that dirty water down the toilet is <i>pure victory.<br /> </i></p> <h2><b>3. Area Rugs</b></h2> <p>Do you remember relatives that would take rugs outside and beat them? Small area rugs just beg for this simple cleaning. Roll them up or just shake them out the window &mdash; you've just saved yourself some money and gotten an upper-body workout. Fantastic for when guests are coming in 1.5 seconds: as they are walking up your steps, you can be shaking the bathroom rug out the window and feeling confident that their private bathroom time won't involve passing judgment upon you. You can't beat it with a stick, man.</p> <h2><b>4. The Art of the Drying Rack</b></h2> <p>Don't have the space or the time? You might be surprised. A strong drying rack can cost under $20, but if you air-dry most of your clothes, you could save five percent or more on your electric bill and some of the beating dryers can take on clothes. Do you have a small outdoor space or deck on which to place a drying rack? If not, then consider washing a load of clothes during the day and then setting up the rack at overnight in your kitchen. Newer washers pretty much take all the drippiness out of wet clothes, anyhow, so most items will try overnight. For items that take longer fold down one half of the rack and leave the rest to dry through the day, until the next load is ready. </p> <p>Air-drying is not a huge effort when it becomes part of your routine, and I've actually found the process pleasant in the way I find gardening pleasant: your efforts are met by Mother Nature's, to your benefit. If you go so far as to wash out your plastic bags, drying racks can also hold these. Just puff out the sides before placing them between the rungs. <i>(Yes, I do this, and yes, I also wear makeup, so calm down.)</i></p> <h2><b>5. Feather Duster</b></h2> <p>Speaking of Swiffer, they have helped fuel a feather duster backlash. Dusters spread dust, they say. I'm so over that assertion, because I hate to dust. What takes less time, my friends: feather dusting OR dusting and then running out to buy refills? When I see other people wiping things down I want to scream, because that strikes me as Stepford territory. If you dust before you vacuum, gravity helps you get all the yuckies. So find a lovely duster, with a wooden handle and real feathers. Some of these are almost things of beauty. After you've dusted a room, just take it outside and twirl it between your palms quickly to release the dust to the air. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.</p> <h2><b>6. Windows</b></h2> <p>Room air fresheners, candles and other artificially scented items are outrageously expensive and contain toxic pollutants that are even worse for you if they mix with ozone. If your house smells stale or your pets have given it a bad name, open the windows for a few minutes. (So what if you lose heat, or cool air? Your house stinks, so make an energy offering to the gods.) If you have guests coming, light a beeswax candle (the other ones are junk) and ask yourself if you have 15 minutes to bake something quickly (such as fruit with oatmeal, butter and brown sugar on top), so you can fill your home with a lovely smell and have a treat on hand to boot. The 20-second fix? Heat a pan of water on your stove and add cinnamon, oranges, and any other spices you enjoy. You can reuse the water for tea later.</p> <h2><b>7. Cast Iron Pans</b></h2> <p>I can't believe people ever stopped using these incredibly affordable pans. Get used to the way it handles temperature, and you'll have yourself a non-stick pan every time &mdash; except, for me, eggs on occasion. Get a pack of scrubbers and have no fear of Teflon poisoning your soul. Wash with water or a dab of mild soap and dry by wiping or letting it sit on a hot stove for two minutes. Oil as necessary. Once you cook a grilled cheese in a cast iron pan, or grill vegetables on a grill-top piece, you'll never look back. (Plus it adds iron to your diet, an added plus for women who like to kick ass.)</p> <h2><b>8. Hand Blender</b></h2> <p>I've burned out a motor in both a pricey little mini-Cuisinart AND an electric hand blender. <i>I love the burnt smell of $50 out of the window.</i> I've hemmed and hawed about replacing them for long enough that I started to use a hand blender in the meantime. I had bought it for my children to help with baking projects, but it did light whipping and blending jobs beautifully. The older, full-sized metal rotary blenders are so strong and fast that there is less likelihood of burnout. Obviously, you'll still need a large Cuisinart or blender, or both. But the invention of small appliances that sputter out at chopping nuts or bread crumbs is NOT a frugal cook's best friend, so nuts to them.</p> <h2><b>9. Bread Machine</b></h2> <p>You there. I heard you scoff when I suggested you bake in order to scent your home. <i>Fine.</i> I still say speed cooking kills two birds with one stone: gives you something to eat and makes your house feel homey and alluring to everyone around. Have you seen a bread machine at a yard sale lately? Grab it. Buy one new, even (gasp). Why? Just do the math: bread costs $2.00 a loaf, and a loaf may get you through a week of bagged lunches if you're lucky. Less time if you have to pack multiple school lunches. Really flavorful, natural breads cost twice as much. Crusty farmer's market bread might run you as much as $6, and I've had to tamp down my bread snob self if I want a shred of convenience. </p> <p>Spend ten minutes in the morning drinking coffee and dumping six or seven items into your bread machine's loaf pan, and an hour later (if you use the speed-bake setting) you have a loaf appropriate for any meal, made with the ingredients you can control and improve upon. Add nuts and dried fruit for a real meal. You can program the newer bread machines to operate while you are out, and you can come home to warm bread. Winter may not be so bad after all.</p> <h2><b>10. Rags</b></h2> <p>Post-recession, has it come to this, you ask? Rags? I can still afford paper towels, thank you very much. Cool. Go with your paper towel self. But notice how, on the days you can't find the size-a-sheet varieties, you don't leave the store quite as cheerful as when you came in. Notice how you may wipe up a water spill and leave the sheet out to air dry and reuse. If this scenario fits you, you are ready for rags.</p> <p>Note: This is not the Great Depression. Not every shirt that your washing machine shrinks or stains needs to be reborn as a rag. You will find fabrics that you like to use. You may just want a few of those pretty microfiber cloths that polish glass with water alone (ka-ching!). You may be all about the old cloth diapers, mama. Just embrace rags: fill a whole drawer with them, and your cleaning caddy to boot. Once you are in a laundry routine you will always have a rag on hand and you will save the paper towels for special occasions. Feeling good? Maybe you are ready to graduate to cloth napkins, and total frugal domination. Join us in the fight, and take back the home. And when you're done, get the heck out of the house and go do great things in the (hopefully) greener world.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Annalise Silivanch, writer and Area Chair of Humanities at University of Phoenix.</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annalise-silivanch">Annalise Silivanch</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-the-slow-cooker-10-eco-and-budget-friendly-household-helpers-that-progress-left-behind">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/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/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <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> <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-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Green Living Lifestyle budgeting eco-friendly Household tips Fri, 02 Oct 2009 13:00:02 +0000 Annalise Silivanch 3657 at http://www.wisebread.com Pure Genius - All In The Name Of Eco-Friendly http://www.wisebread.com/pure-genius-all-in-the-name-of-eco-friendly <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pure-genius-all-in-the-name-of-eco-friendly" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/staircase_drawers.jpg" alt="Staircase Drawers" title="Staircase Drawers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="186" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ok, recycling is as eco-friendly as I get so far, and I&#39;m even too lazy for that sometimes. So I really have to applaud these people who have dedicated their best brains to creating some of the most ingenious inventions I&#39;ve seen, all for the sake of a more sustainable future. </p> <p>I recently stumbled upon this site, <a href="http://www.inhabitat.com">Inhabitat</a><a href="http://www.inhabitat.com">.com</a>, which is worth looking at not only for the fabulous design but also some damn good ideas.</p> <p>For instance, I work at an architectural firm and wondered the same thing <a href="http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/06/25/ample-sample-upcycling-design-contest/#more-4809">this guy</a> did: why don&#39;t we ever do anything with all those samples of tiles, glass, rubber, etc. that potential suppliers inundate us with daily? I figured decorating my bathroom with all the spare tiles would be pretty clever, but that&#39;s not nearly as fun as <a href="http://www.amplesample.net/">what these people came up with</a>.</p> <p>But the strangest and most intriguing to me has to be this:</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/Vertical_Farm.jpg" alt="Chris Jacobs vertical farm" width="193" height="250" /> </p> <p>No, that&#39;s not just a building. See the green inside? That is one of the designs associated with the <a href="http://www.verticalfarm.com/index.php">vertical farm project</a>, the brainchild of Dr. Dickson Despommier, a Columbia University professor of environmental sciences and microbiology. The idea behind the project is that in 50 years, most of the human population will live in urban centers. Their solution to overcrowding and its environmental consequences: start building farms into skyscrapers!</p> <p>Some of the purpoted benefits of such a scheme:</p> <p>-Organically grown food, sans pesticides</p> <p>-No weather related crop failures</p> <p>-Year-round crop production</p> <p>-Animals can be raised in them as well **small ones, such as chicken and fish**</p> <p>-No tractors, plows or shipping, thus less use of fossil fuels</p> <p>-And the best benefit: we can&#39;t go to the moon or Mars until we try skscraper farming! Woo hoo! No creepy Total Recall moments.</p> <p>The farm has yet to be built, and I just hope I&#39;m around long enough to see it. In the meantime I guess I can enjoy the staircase drawers.</p> <p>&#160;</p> <p>Staircase by Unicraft Joinery. Photo courtesy of blogger Emily on <em>Inhabitat.</em></p> <p>Read more about the two-in-one staircase <a href="http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/06/11/a-brilliant-storage-idea-staircase-drawers/#more-4609">here</a> .</p> <p>Vertical farm picture: design by Chris Jacobs. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/joann-hong">Joann Hong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pure-genius-all-in-the-name-of-eco-friendly">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/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</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/3-ways-millennials-can-avoid-of-financial-fraud">3 Ways Millennials Can Avoid Financial Fraud</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/should-there-be-a-fat-tax-on-junk-food">Should There Be a &quot;Fat Tax&quot; on Junk Food?</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/6-easy-ways-to-protect-your-debit-card-from-skimmers">6 Easy Ways to Protect Your Debit Card From Skimmers</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-airbnb-scam-will-ruin-your-vacation-and-your-budget">This Airbnb Scam Will Ruin Your Vacation — and Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs drawers eco-friendly farm farming furniture stairs sustainable vertical farm Tue, 26 Jun 2007 20:39:03 +0000 Joann Hong 776 at http://www.wisebread.com