• [Article 71]Staying Warm During A Winter Disaster

    how to stay warm during a disasterA winter disaster can be any family’s worst nightmare. Snow and ice storms can hit your home without warning, even if your local weather reporters are able to catch a hint of it in time. This is why it’s important for any family to be prepared and ready to keep warm. Ice can knock down power lines and leave you in the cold. Although community centers are usually available in these types of situations, it’s essential that you stockpile on blankets and warm materials in case this type of situation ever happens and you cannot get out of the house. If you live in an area that is prone to bad winter weather, you’ll know this all too well. By ensuring you have a good supply of winter materials stored away, you can keep your family safe and warm while you wait for the power to come back on.

    What Types Of Materials To Store Away In Case Of A Winter Disaster

    Large fleece or wool blankets, hats, mittens, emergency blankets and extra clothing should be the number one priority when you are storing away supplies for any cold weather emergency. Keeping them in a tub or some sort of box that is waterproof is important. In the case where a flooding occurs because of a winter storm, these supplies can be easily damaged and compromised. Sealed emergency blankets can provide a back up in the case where your other blankets are wet, and extra clothing will keep you and your family bundled up.

    Extra Equipment You Can Consider For Your Emergency Winter Kit

    Back up generators can be a costly investment, but they could help you power your house through a winter storm. By investing in a back up generator (and only buying the best one on the market,) you’ll be ensuring quality and quantity in case of these types of emergencies. It becomes even more important for you to have a back up generator if you have young infants or seniors living in your household, as they are more receptive and can be more easily damaged by the cold than most adults. Family members with conditions can also feel the effects much more than you may be able to. Taking these thoughts into consideration before you buy a generator will help you determine the size and power of the one you will need.

    Using a whole home generator may allow you to use your heating and cooling service as long as your heating system runs on electricity. However, heating a home with electric heating is very expensive and will use a lot of gas in the generator. Most of the heating and air conditioning in Boise where we live runs off of natural gas and we can not depend of the gas lines working in time of disaster.

    What Type Of Contacts To Keep During A Winter Disaster

    Like any emergency, it’s important that you consider a list of emergency contacts and who to reach out to in the case of a severe winter storm. This should be an essential part of any winter kit you end up building. If your area is prone to these types of winter storms, you will easily be able to access the information through emergency broadcasts and through word of mouth from your other neighbors. Keep a shovel handy as well if you need to make an escape from your own home.


  • [Article 17]Simple things you can Do To Use Green Energy

    Posted on by Green

    In these times, we are trending towards finding different solutions to use green energy in our everyday lives. What, exactly, constitutes green power? It’s energy that is renewable, or technology that is energy efficient, both of which are positive for our environment. This energy can be used in any home, and you will find out how in the article below.

    Using Less Energy

    One of the simplest ways to help save the environment is to use less energy. Unplug appliances that aren’t in use. Also, remember to turn off lights when they are not needed. This simple tip will save you money aslight bulb well. Lower heating costs with solar heating systems for your pools or hot tubs. Solar water heaters use the sun’s heat to warm water rather than using natural gas or electricity for heat. Some of these upgrades, while more expensive up-front, may qualify for green energy tax deductions. Save on the use of electricity in your home, and become a better consumer of energy by unplugging your electronic devices and gadgets when they are not in use. Even if you are not charging your laptop, cell phone or mp3 player, just having it plugged in uses energy.

    Keeping Out the Sun

    Use drapes or curtains in your windows for when you are not home. This simple act blocks the sun from entering and heating your house in the summer, while in the winter, it keeps the heat from escaping through drafty windows. Generally, your home’s south-facing walls and windows receive the most sun exposure. Therefore, it is especially important to use heavy window coverings on these windows. Check what other energy sources are available in your neighborhood. Checking the costs of running a home with utilities should also include recent legislation about energy costs. You might find that you could save money by switching from an electric furnace to a natural gas one, for instance, or from using municipal water to your own well water. Rather than using a dryer, dry your clothes outside, as long as the weather permits. The sun gives your clothes a great smell. They’ll smell so much better than if you shoved them into the dryer! Also, using your dryer less will save you money in energy costs on your utility bills each month. As was stated in the above article, green energy is currently pretty popular. Green energy is safe for the environment, and includes energy efficient technology and renewable energy. It’s very easy to incorporate green energy into your home, simply by applying the information that you read in this article.

  • [Article 14]Ten Essential Items To Keep On Stock For An Emergency

    A disaster is anybody’s worst nightmare. There is a significant chance that people in your family can become hurt, and items you cherish can be destroyed. If you are not properly insured for such disasters, the damage can be even more catastrophic. However, when it comes to the safety and security of your loved ones, the priority is to keep everyone well and thriving. By having an emergency kit or storage kept on the side for such emergencies, you will be able to ensure that your family is well prepared for any disaster. Here is a helpful yet essential list of ten different things you should keep on hand during any emergency or disaster that your family must face. 

    The Most Essential Of Items

    A flashlight and emergency blankets are the first two items you should consider purchasing for a disaster kit. If you lose power or need to see into places with little to no light, a flashlight will help you sort through the rubble and give you peace of mind. Emergency blankets come with a set of foil that is guaranteed to keep you and your family warm during times where heat is lost or cut off. This is especially important if you have young children or infants in your family, as heat may not come back for ages. Even if you have wool blankets or other emergency items in your stockpile, these can become wet and unusable in an emergency.

    Food And Water

    Canned goods and bottled water are the items that you should have stockpiled in bulk. If you have a safety bunker or place where the family is designated to go in emergencies, keep these two important items there and make sure to replenish them as time goes on. Even if you have been lucky enough to not face an emergency so far, you never know when disaster can strike. If either of these items are expired or broken they become useless to you and your family.

    Tools And Supplies

    Having emergency tools and a first aid kit will help you in a situation wherefirst aid kit someone becomes hurt or you need to do a quick set of adjustments. A toolkit can come in handy in situations where you need to create heat for your family. If you make sure to include a saw or any item of significant bulk in your toolkit, you’ll be able to salvage some wood or other important materials in order to keep heat flowing.

    Other Necessities

    An emergency radio, cash, an emergency plan and special needs items are the last four things you should consider when building your kit for a disaster. A radio will alert you of conditions and safe houses nearby. Cash will become essential if banks are shut down in your area and you need to buy food. An emergency plan, devised by you and your family, will contain important information about where to go. And finally, any special needs items such as medication or infant formula are key.

  • [Article 12]How To Successfully Grow A Healthy Organic Garden

    There are many different reasons for adopting organic gardening techniques. For example, some people prefer to use organic gardening to cultivate edibles for the dinner table. However, effort is required in order to effectively grow. You probably have many questions about how to accomplish your gardening goals.

    Gardening with Children

    Bring your young ones into the garden with you so they will learn about organic methods. A garden can provide a wonderful learning experience for children, and will give you an opportunity to bond with them while you produce healthy food.

    Create a space perfect for any perennial garden with this easy method. Use a spade to dig up some soil, flip the soil over, and finally, sprinkle around 3-4 inches of wood chips on the soil. Let the area have about two weeks, then dig it and plan the new perennials. Using aspirin water will help your plants fight diseases. Dissolve 1 aspirin per gallon of water for a plant disease fighting solution. You can just spray this on them to fight disease. Use this method to spray your plants every three weeks.

    Healthy Soil

    Coffee grounds are a good addition to your soil. Coffee grounds add many nitrogenous nutrients to the soil that will benefit your plants. It is best for your plants to use coffee grounds that are part of a blend of ingredients in the compost or soil you are using for your plants, rather than directly adding coffee grounds to your garden plants. 

    Be sure your new compost pile contains roughly the same proportion of dried and green plants. When you pull weeds from your garden, throw them in the compost. The same goes for vegetable trimmings and grass clippings. These are considered green materials. Dried material includes straw, shredded paper, and cardboard. Avoid using ashes, charcoal, diseased plants and meat-eating animal manure. Don’t use pesticides – kill your weeds naturally! A good thick layer of newspaper can be laid down to control weeds. Weeds need sunlight to grow. Newspapers placed atop weeds will starve them from light and they will eventually die. As an added benefit, the newspapers will decompose over time, becoming organic compost. You can add mulch on top for aesthetic reasons.

    startsWhen you are growing seedlings in your organic garden, lightly brush over them using your hand up to twice a day. This probably sounds like an odd recommendation, but research has shown that this technique encourages more plant growth, than no petting at all. Though organic farming can present challenges that traditional farming with the use of chemicals does not, harvesting the crops is reward itself for the hard work. Although the chemicals may claim greater results, using organic methods to tame your garden will do less harm to your body, and the environment.

    As should be obvious by now, organic gardening requires a bit of forethought and planning before implementation. Also, to get the best results, you must stay focused and keep up with it. Incorporate the insights you’ve learned here to get your organic garden growing this year.

  • [Article 10]How To Implement Green Energy Strategies In Your Home

    It can be overwhelming when you think about making your home greener. Knowing where to start and what changes to make can be terribly difficult. Read these suggestions to discover the green energy options available for you.

    One of the simplest ways to help save the environment is to use less energy. If there is an appliance you aren’t using, then unplug it. Always turn off the television and lights when you are not using them. This is a simple tip that can help you save money, too.

    Switching to Solar

    Solar powered outdoor lighting is a wonderful enhancement to your outdoor living areas. Not only are they a reasonable purchase price, but they do not require electricity to run. This saves you a lot of energy. It also ensures that there is no need to wire lights outdoor.

    Switch to a solar water heater to heat your pools, showers, hot tubs and kitchen faucets to save money. Heating water with natural gas or electricity is not that efficient, but with solar energy, water takes the suns energy and keeps temperatures steady. While some upgrades cost more initially, they can qualify you for deductions on your tax return for using green energy.

    Check monthly to determine if your furnace’s filters need cleaning and replace them yearly. Warm-air registers can also benefit from filters. These filters keep children’s toys, dirt or dust from clogging the heating ducts.

    When you can, wash your laundry in cold water. Almost 90% of energy consumption during clothes being washed is a result of the hot water usage. Most good quality laundry detergents work just as well in cold water. It is also better to clean a full load, not smaller loads.

    Solar water heaters are a great option for your home. If you live where freezing temperatures aren’t prevalent, you can purchase a system that can circulate water via a solar heater prior to being pumped to your home. However, you should still have a traditional water heater as backup for times when the sun won’t come out or if you’re going to be using a lot of hot water.

    Tankless Water Heater Tips

    If you are building a new home or are in the market for a new water heater, consider a tankless model. Tankless heaters require less energy to heat water, as they only heat it as needed. You can get a tankless heater that will supply the whole house or one that supplies a single hot-water faucet. You can save on your energy bill by dressing warmly. If you put on a light sweater, you’ll be two degrees warmer, while a heavy sweater will make you four degrees warmer. Wearing slightly heavier clothes is not any less comfortable and can save you significant money. Try not to set the heat very high in your home unless it’s an absolute must. If it is a little chilly, simply put on a sweatshirt, and pair of sweatpants. If you turn the heat up to 75 degrees, you are using a ton of unnecessary energy.

    Switching out your boiler for a newer, more efficient model can be a great way to save energy. The majority of older boilers weren’t built to save energy, but newer models are much more energy efficient. New boilers create less carbon dioxide, keep you healthier, and save you money.

    Each home has a unique layout, and each has its own area. These differences will make green-energy technology needs vary. There are some techniques and strategies that are sure to work for every household, and others will be area specific. Research and focus on tips and ideas that work for your particular home and then make use of them.

  • [Article 8]Finally You Can Make Your Garden Grow Better Than Ever

    There’s no better time than now! You likely have plenty of questions about what to do and how to begin; this article is going to help. Below you’ll find some handy tips to jumpstart your gardening aspirations.

    Selecting Plants

    When selecting among several varieties of a plant, choose the ones that will produce the largest yield. A lot of times a hybrid that will tolerate cold weather or disease will give you a higher output than heirlooms. Do a soil analysis prior to planting.  Cooperative Extension departments often offer this testing service. It is a worthwhile effort so a garden can be productive on the first year of planting. 

    Always take the time to get the weeds out of your garden. Weeds and gardens do not mix; they will destroy your garden. A clever way to accomplish this is with the help of some white vinegar. White vinegar kills weeds. Pulling those pesky weeds by hands gets old fast!

    Soak seeds overnight, preferably in a cool, dark place. You then want to place a small amount of seeds in a container that’s smaller and then fill it up with water to the top. This lets water soak into the seeds, giving them an extra boost of hydration when they start growing. This way, the seeds will have a much better shot at survival once they are planted.

    If your soil is highly alkaline, try mixing used coffee grounds into the soil. The coffee grounds are a very inexpensive way to add acid back into the dirt. Balanced soil will produce more flavorful, crisp vegetables and greens. If you want to effectively weed out young plants, you can try “boiling” away the weeds.  One simple layer across the weeds with a pot of boiling water will take care of the problem, but you have to remember the same applies to your plants, as well. Boiling water can hurt the roots of weeds and can prevent them from growing. Apply organic mulch generously around your vegetable plants. Mulch keeps soil moist for longer periods of time. This method will also prevent weeds. That helps you save a great deal of effort and time in weed eradication.

    Controlling Pests

    Controlling pests in your vegetable garden can be extremely difficult to deal with. Since you are growing the vegetables for your own consumption, you want to stay away from pesticides. There is only one way to effectively control pests in your garden, and that is to stay vigilant in your efforts. If you catch them when there are only a few around, you can actually pick them off the plants by hand.

    Choose plants that will provide color in autumn. That idea is actually far from the truth. When it comes to vibrant color, the bright foliage of fall beats all the other seasons. Maple, Beech and Dogwood trees are available in a number of fall colors, varying from bright yellow to rich crimson. Cotoneaster, barberry and hydrangea can provide vibrant color if you are considering shrubs for your garden.

    Heather has many valuable attributes – but it also invites critters like spiders so always wear hand protection when working with Heather.

    When gardening, remember to take care of your knees! Not everyone has the ability to remain standing in a bent position for an extended time. Kneeling is a preferred way to get to your plants while minimizing back pain. A kneeling pad can be placed under your knees to help reduce the pain from compression.

    After reading this article, you should feel better about starting your gardening journey. You might have already thought you knew quite a bit about gardening, but now look! Hopefully, the tips that were provided gave you some pointers that will help you get started with your gardening adventures so that you can begin growing like a pro.