Category Archives: Home Improvement/DIY

Fixing it up and making it “green”

Heat Pumps: Reducing your Energy Usage

The energy consumption in our home is horribly high!  We use a lot and we waste a lot.  We are not proud of either of these facts but our house is insulated poorly and uses a big, viagra sales rx energy guzzling, viagra canada unhealthy electric furnace.  So try as we might to reduce our energy bill, we are only able to effect a small percentage.

While we have committed to upgrading the insulation ourselves (at least to date, we have committed to doing it ourselves) the heating component is something for the professionals.  After talking with many, and doing a lot of our own research, we have been leaning towards investing in a heat pump. Continue reading

Deep Energy Impact: RePower to the People

You would think for a family dedicated to sustainable living, discount cialis viagra we would have the lowest energy usage on the block.  And admittedly, best viagra I thought we were doing pretty good – turning off lights, lowering our thermostat at night, unplugging un-needed appliances.  But then I opened our energy bill and found there was a report that outlined our energy usage versus that of our neighbors in similar size houses.

We weren’t just bad- we were the worst!  I had the same feeling of horror and embarrassment that I had when I got a big red “F” on a test I thought I aced.  I wanted to just crawl in a dark, energy-free zone, out of shame and humiliation.

How could WE be this bad?  Was this even our bill?  Maybe all our neighbors had moved out and we hadn’t seem them leave?  Or someone must be coming over during the night and plugging in their fleet of electric cars! That has to be it!  When none of this seemed plausible, I immediately started looking for flaws in the report’s methodology – the equivalent of hoping for a grading bell curve.

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Beauty Reformed: Adventures in Sustainable Personal Care Products

New Year, generic cialis site New You!  It seems every time I turn on the T.V. or open a magazine, cialis canada someone is talking about transforming themselves through the use of countless beauty products or the latest diet regiment.  The first few weeks of the new year are traditionally devoted to shedding those excess pounds picked up like bad gifts around the holidays as well as investing in a barrage of new products guaranteed to make you look younger, have shinier hair, or whiter teeth.  Our motivations for using these products range from wanting to be “socially acceptable” to a “super model”.

This year at Camp 4, we started looking at our barrage of personal care products and were horrified to see the impact.  By count, that is 23 bottles devoted to hair care,  15 products devoted to skin care, 7 products devoted to teeth, and 34 products devoted to other things (make-up, contact lens, etc).

And then we started reading labels of what are in these products.  Like with processed foods, there were a lot of ingredients with scary, un-recognizable, 45-letter names.  These additives not only have potential environmental impacts, but potential health impacts as well.  After all, they are used in your mouth or on your skin and are easily absorbed by the body.  And then there was all the packaging made mostly from petroleum!  We suddenly did not feel so beautiful.

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Rolling your own – beeswax candles that is!

Beeswax.. it is a very useful by-product of keeping bees.  It’s used by the bees to store nectar allowing it to cure into sweet, discount viagra viagra golden honey.  It can be added to cosmetics and furniture polish, discount viagra treat and used in culinary applications like candy making.  But one of the easiest ways to use this material is in making candles.

I really love the look, treat smell, and light of beeswax candles.  Whenever we entertain, I like to use candles to set a warm and welcoming mood.  It is also a very romantic way to cut down your energy bills!

I stumbled into making beeswax candles not because we had wax from our first harvest of honey  - for my regular readers you’ll remember my early blunder where I killed off half the hive - but because I found sheets of beeswax at a local garage sale and discovered how simple it was to create these beautiful candles.

Working from beeswax sheets (either because you make your own or purchase them) is a real easy way to make fabulous and sustainable candles.  Rolled beeswax candles are also safer to make than dipped candles (less risk of skin burns and fires) and therefore a great project for kids!

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