Monday, April 28, 2008

Things that can be recycled.

Plastics: Plastic bags, water and detergent bottles, milk jugs (check with your city to see if you can recycle only plastics marked with a 1 or 2….or more)

Glass: Food and drink bottles

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Paper: Newspaper, office paper, phone books, magazines and glossy prints, cardboard

Metal: Steel and tin cans, aluminum pop cans, aerosol cans, aluminum foil

Condense and Crush – collapse and tie up stacks of cardboard boxes and newspapers. Crush cans by removing the tops and bottoms of tin cans and stepping then crush the cans.

Rinse and Rid – rinse all glass and metal cans and bottles. Dispose of all plastic bottle lids. There is no need to remove labels from the outsides of cans or bottles.

Sorting Stations:
Depending on the size of your household, you can use a cloth bag in your kitchen to collect all the recycling and then have a second location in your garage for sorting to save space in your house.

If you want something that blends in with your furnishings more, use a piece of furniture like a buffet table or even an old wooden box will do. Just create compartments within to separate your recyclables.

You can also buy recycling units. There are many different kinds to choose from, so choose the one that will work for your family.

To make it fun for kids, label your containers by using chalkboard paint and chalk to label each unit accordingly. Create four stations:

Aluminums & tins

Ship it off:
Check with your community about available curbside pick-up. If that is not available in your community, you will need to take your recyclables to a specific drop-off station.

For large household items or lawn items, you may have to make an appointment for pick up.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

50 Ways to go green

Here is a series of 50 simple things, we are going to post them in a list of 10, that everyone can do in order to fight against and reduce the Global Warming phenomenon: some of them are at no cost, some other require a little investment but can help you save a lot of money, in the middle-long term!

1. Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl)
CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

2. Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats will automatically lower the heat or air conditioning at night and raise them again in the morning. They can save you $100 a year on your energy bill.

3. Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer.
Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has more tips for saving energy on heating and cooling.

4. Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner.
Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

5. Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases.
Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most efficient models available.

6. Do not leave appliances on standby.
Use the "on/off" function on the machine itself. A TV set that's switched on for 3 hours a day (the average time Europeans spend watching TV) and in standby mode during the remaining 21 hours uses about 40% of its energy in standby mode.

7. Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket
You’ll save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple action. You can save another 550 pounds per year by setting the thermostat no higher than 50°C.

8. Move your fridge and freezer
Placing them next to the cooker or boiler consumes much more energy than if they were standing on their own. For example, if you put them in a hot cellar room where the room temperature is 30-35ºC, energy use is almost double and causes an extra 160kg of CO2 emissions for fridges per year and 320kg for freezers.

9. Defrost old fridges and freezers regularly
Even better is to replace them with newer models, which all have automatic defrost cycles and are generally up to two times more energy-efficient than their predecessors.

10. Don't let heat escape from your house over a long period
When airing your house, open the windows for only a few minutes. If you leave a small opening all day long, the energy needed to keep it warm inside during six cold months (10ºC or less outside temperature) would result in almost 1 ton of CO2 emissions.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Milk Paint?

What You'll Need:
Milk Paint solids (powders)
Container(s) for your milk paint - old ball jars work very well
Paint Brush(es)
Polish - a mix of pure bees wax and natural turpentine
Item to paint that has little or no finish
Rag for polishing
Sand Paper

1. Be sure your piece of furniture is clean and does not have any residue from grease or wax, etc. These things will keep the paint from adhering.

2. Place piece on tarp in a well-ventilated area.

3. Sand all areas of item to prep for paint.

4. Wipe down piece to clear off the residue from sanding.

5. Mix ingredients for paint. Mix 1 part powder with 1 part water. *Note: Milk paint in powder form lasts indefinitely until mixed with water.

6. Apply paint with a brush. Apply as many coats as you feel is needed letting the piece dry in between each coat.

7. Let piece dry.

8. It's nice to layer your paints with two or more colors. Then, sand the top layer lightly around edges, at corners and on surfaces where a little natural wear might take place.

9. Now, apply the polish with a small amount on a piece of cloth. You can buy the wax pre-mixed or mix a block of bees wax with an equal amount of turpentine.


Make sure you're applying the sealant to the whole piece of furniture, in an even fashion.

10. Simply seal up and refrigerate your unused milk paint for your next project. Because of the milk solids, the paint is perishable but will last for a few weeks in a cold environment.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Bald Eagle

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meets Wednesday and Thursday at Tallahassee's Ramada Conference Center, 2900 N. Monroe St., and will consider several issues.

Wednesday's agenda includes final action on the proposed management plan for bald eagles and deletion of the bald eagle from the list of threatened species. The commission also will consider proposed rules prohibiting taking, feeding, disturbance, possession, sale, purchase or barter of any bald eagle and its nest or eggs, except as authorized by permit. The rules also would prohibit any person from entering an area on public lands that has been posted as closed for protection of the bald eagle.

Source: Florida Today
Photograph: Hüseyin Gürsu

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Identify your room

Evaluate your space to decide what its main purpose is. If you have a dining room that needs to double as an office and library, focus on the main purpose of the room first. It is a space for eating FIRST, and then it is an office, and lastly a library.

Divide the space according to what you will use it for the most. Make dining a priority in the dining room and then create tucked-away space to accommodate office supplies and equipment. Use closed storage solutions for your desk area (like a computer armoire with doors) when it needs to be in an unusual place, such as your dining room. This will make your office blend in with your room and not pop out like an eye sore.