Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Truth About Styrofoam [infographic]

truth-about-styrofoam.jpg by Wheels For Wishes

Bills Got You Down? Tips for Saving Money at Home

saving money at homeOwning a home is a smart idea for most people who can afford it. After all, paying rent just gives you a place to live and you don’t build any equity in your space. That’s not very wise for people who have the funds to invest in a home.

Home ownership also means big bills, at least in a lot of cases though. While it’s still worth buying a house for most people, there are times when you can feel like that house you bought is a real money pit.

Use this guide to help you figure out how you can reduce your bills. It’s well worth the effort and the average homeowner could save $100 or more per month.

  • Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling bills are killers for homeowners, especially those who have a large space to deal with. While you probably won’t be able to go without heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, you might be able to reduce your usage of those two things.

Start by opening your curtains in the winter to let warm sunlight in during the day. Keep them closed during the day in the summer, but let the cool night air in in the evening. Just make sure those curtains are shut early in the morning.

The other thing you can do is to install a programmable thermostat. That will allow you to set the temperature higher or lower when you’re not home to save cash. Then you can set it to come back up or down depending on the season by the time you arrive home from work or the day’s activities.

Using an electric consumption calculator can also help you track monthly expenses before you get your bill.

  • Extra Services

A lot of homeowners these days spend a fortune on things like internet, cable TV and streaming services like Netflix. While most are affordable on their own, they can easily add up to hundreds of dollars per month before you know it.

Go through your monthly charges and see what you can cut down on. Do you need the fastest internet available, or would something more affordable make sense?

Are all of those streaming services essential or could you cut back to one? Minor changes can go a long way over the course of a year.

Thank you to today's sponsor who shares our belief that saving money and energy is always a good idea. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Block Island Organics purifying facial cleanser (review & discount code included)

purifying facial cleanserOur Daily Green first became acquainted with Block Island Organics in 2014 when we tested their organic sunscreen. They recently contacted us to test and review their purifying facial cleanser.

The timing couldn't have been better. I recently underwent a series of allergy testing for what appeared to be serious eczema on my hands. My hands were dry, cracked, peeling, bleeding and swollen. I was in constant pain and no amount of doctor recommended "Intensive Repair, Very Dry Skin Lotion" was helping. I was slathering it on day and night and my hands just weren't improving, and in fact, were getting worse.

After weeks of misery, we opted to do the allergy patch test. When the results returned, we discovered that I have a severe allergy to a common ingredient used as a preservative in nearly every commercially produced body care and cleaning product on the market. Including the lotion. What is that ingredient you ask? CL+ME- isothiasolinone or Methylisothiazolinone, or MI, or the commercial name Kathon®. 

I spent over an hour at the local drug store reading one label after another, feeling more and more disappointed. If you scan almost every bottle of facial cleanser, shampoo, conditioner, dish detergent, laundry detergent, you'll find this ingredient near the bottom of the list. It's become a very common preservative in many products that contain water, as concern over parabens as a preservative have increased. Companies reformulated their products with a new preservative and it turns out, it causes contact dermatitis in quite a few folks. So much, that it was named Allergen of the Year in 2013 by the Dermatitis Society.

organic ingredients
This is why I am so delighted with the Block Island Facial Cleanser! Guess what they use as preservative? Trifolium pratense, or the biological name for Red Clover Extract. Created in nature, not a lab, this preservative will keep bacteria and mold from forming in the product without causing chemical contact dermatitis. I started to use this cleanser and besides not being allergic to it, I actually love it. It foams up gently, with coco polyglucose (a coconut oil based surficant) as the foaming agent which carries away the dirt and oil. Yet the cleanser doesn't  leave your skin dry or tight, just clean and glowing. And though I'm not really given to "selfies" I thought I would show you how nicely it cleans my face, firsthand & un-retouched. Talk about truth in advertising, huh?

You can order any of the Block Island products and Our Daily Green readers will receive an exclusive 20% discount. Simply use the code kimu when you check out to receive your discount good through October 21, 2015.

Our Daily Green is happy to work with Block Island.
We received the facial cleanser free of charge, but our opinions are completely our own. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Five ways to keep animals from harming your lawn

backyard pests
image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Taking good care of a lawn or yard makes your property both beautiful looking and inviting. The trouble is the property might end up being inviting to animals. Even those who love our four-legged friends do not want to see the creatures ruin a lawn. To keep such a disaster scenario from occurring, here are five tips to protecting a lawn or yard from animals.

  • Fence off a yard or lawn.

  • Putting a fence around the lawn or yard is going to make it a bit tough for animals to easily traverse on your property. While it is true that certain animals can jump or climb over the fence, not every beastie is going to be inclined to do so. If the animal smells rotting garbage (i.e. food) elsewhere, then walking past your fence to another home is going to be its plan. Of course, if the animal smells food on the other side of your fence, the barrier is not going to necessarily be all that effective. This brings us to the next point.

  • Rake the lawn of all debris that might attract animals.

  • Simply keeping a yard "mostly" clean and throwing away all garbage is really not advisable. A soda can that rolls out of the recycling bin and under a hedge has enough sugar inside of it to draw in curious animals. Those animals just might end up causing a lot of havoc and damage to the yard.
    As often as possible, get out your rake and clean up anything that might attract animals. Your furry neighbors cannot do damage to the lawn or yard if they choose to skip it and visit a debris strewn neighbor's place. You may even wish to get into the habit of disposing trash as far away from your property as possible. Again, give the creatures no incentive to visit.

  • Add a Repellent

  • To spray effective natural repellent products on the lawn is a humane way to keep animals at bay. The minute a domestic or wild animal comes across an unfamiliar scent, he/she probably is going to choose to stay far away from the property. Similarly, you do not want to add any scents to the lawn that draws these animals in.

  • Set up motion detector lights.

  • Yes, those same lights that are used to scare away burglars might prove to be effective in chasing away some animals. Perhaps a deer or a raccoon that wanders onto your property is going to be spooked the second a light turns on out of the blue. Animals are always fearful of predators, which is why they prefer to move at night and under the cover of darkness.
    The mysterious and unexpected appearance of a flashing light could lead an unwanted visitor to depart the scene. Honestly, you cannot rely exclusively on the lights to chase animals away just as you could not rely solely on them to chase away burglars.

  • Do not grow natural food sources.

  • Perform a little research into what type of plants and flowers are a major part of the diet of animals living in your area. Then, simply do not grow them. If such plants and flowers are on your lawn, perhaps it may be best to dig them up and offer a less inviting replacement.

    Our Daily Green wants to thank today's sponsor for their responsible tips to living in harmony with nature.