Tag Archives | green home

Tips to Maintain Your Privacy at Home

Tips to Maintain Your Privacy at Home

Whether you are a parent with young children or someone that likes entertaining, everyone is familiar with the experience of finding unwanted guests in just about every room in your home. You might find a kid playing with your laptop in your office or a house guest in your bedroom. No matter the culprit, it can be frustrating to feel like no space is sacred. Even intruders with pure intentions can cause you to feel anxious or uncomfortable.

Creating a private space might seem impossible, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. A few simple steps can prevent unwanted visitors into your private spaces and give you the peace of mind that your things are safe and secure where you left them. Whether you simply need a barrier to stop the mildly curious or something with a bit more security, there are budget-friendly options for all needs.

Change the Hardware

To keep unwanted guests out, choose door hardware with a sturdy lock. This will make it clear to anyone that tries to open the door that this space is off-limits. While a heavy-duty lock would do the trick, there are also more creative hardware pieces to consider. Wrought iron slide locks couple well with non-traditional sliding door styles, such as barn door fixtures. Check out the best barn door hardware for a unique take that can add character as well as security.

Slide locks can provide a polite but firm message to nosy guests and can be put out of reach of adventurous small children. A simple slide lock can be purchased from the hardware store on a budget, but unique pieces can often be found at local shops or farmers’ markets where a local blacksmith has a booth with the added benefit of supporting local businesses.

Install a New and More Secure Door

Many homes, especially those that are not brand new, may have lightweight doors with handles that just don’t latch very well and may swing open at the slightest breeze. Wooden doors and doorframes will warp over time and need to be replaced.

It is important to check door frames for wood rot. It may not always be obvious to the casual eye when the damage to the door frame is caused by more than warping from age. Replacing the entire frame is relatively inexpensive if you can do the work without a carpenter. Once the frame is secure, an additional easy solution to a door that won’t latch is to install a new door with new hardware. Sometimes a soundly closed door is enough to discourage nosy guests.

Install a Green New Door

When you’re doing any DIY project, it’s important to keep smart recycling tips in mind. The same idea applies when you are looking to install a new door. A quick check with a local carpenter or Habitat for Humanity ReStores will give you access to recycled building materials and doors to choose from rather than buying a new door from a home improvement store. Choosing a recycled piece is the green choice, but it can also provide you with a beautifully unique door. This solution is particularly good for a creative space such as an art or craft room or a home office where the door becomes as much art as functional security.

Consider a Few Budget-Friendly Security Measures

For more serious security concerns, or in cases of persistent intruders, there are a few budget-friendly security options that can be put into place. Installing a deadbolt on offices or the master bedroom is certain to keep out intruders of all sizes. It is inconvenient to have to carry a key to get in and out of these rooms, but the inconvenience might be worth the peace of mind. Little fingers can do a lot of damage to expensive electronic devices in the space of a few minutes.

A deadbolt can be as simple as a key lock entry or can be as sophisticated as requiring keypad entry or specialty cut keys that only a locksmith with specialized equipment can reproduce.

Helping Holidays: 4 Green Gifts That Give Back

The holidays are all about celebrating acts of giving, making it the perfect opportunity to make your gift giving smarter this season. There are so many amazing businesses out there that give back when you purchase one of their products. These companies are tied to doing good somewhere in the world every time a purchase is made. Read on for my 4 favorite gifts that give back – and if you hurry you can still get these goodies by Christmas.

1. Warby Parker Glasses
Eben and I both wear glasses and love the stylish, affordable frames from Warby Parker. For every pair of glasses that you buy, a pair is donated to a person in need. If you don’t wear glasses, that is alright – Warby Parker also offers fantastic sunglasses.

+ Warby Parker  

2. Feed Bags
I have been familiar with FEED Bags for a very long time – I remember first seeing them in Whole Foods back when we lived in Georgia! FEED Bags come in a huge selection of styles and sizes and with each purchase a portion of the proceeds go towards feeding the children of the world.

+ FEED Projects

3. TOMS Shoes
Most likely you are already familiar with TOMS shoes – for every pair you purchase a pair is donated to a child in need. With a great selection of shoes for everyone on your list, TOMS is the perfect holiday gift!

+ TOMS
4. Smile Squared
Every year I stick a toothbrush in the holiday stocking – this year I will be stuffing a brush from Smile Squared! Smile Squared is another company that donates a product to a child in need – in this case, an eco-friendly bamboo toothbrush – because a healthy smile is a happy smile.

+ Smile Squared

Do you have a favorite gift to give that gives back too?

5 Budget and Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Shopping Tips

5 Budget and Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Shopping Tips Sweet Greens

While this time of the year is the most wonderful  – it is also the busiest. You may feel like there are so many things that you need to prepare and buy and deciding where to start can be overwhelming. Instead of getting things done ahead of time, many of us tell ourselves we will get everything done when the holidays get closer. Then, the next thing you know the holidays are upon us and we end of spending too much money, getting completely stressed out, and not making the best choices – not exactly the feelings that you want to experience. It happens to the best of us, right?To get your holiday shopping off on the right foot, I thought I would share my favorite budget and eco-friendly holiday shopping tips. These are all tips that I use every year to make sure that this time of the year is definitely the most wonderful without breaking the bank or losing my head!

1. Make a List – Check it Twice
Every year, I create a simple holiday gift list in my iPhone. It includes the name of everyone on my holiday shopping list, gift ideas for each of them and my spending limit per person. Since my list is on my phone, I can consult and update it at anytime. Then, I mark off each person as I finish their holiday gift shopping. This has saved me a lot of time and money and I never have to ask myself – did a buy a gift for so and so? Or, how many gifts did I buy for Eben or the mister? I just check the list and I am done!

2. Start Early
The earlier that you start your holiday shopping, the better. Just think, if you finish all of your holiday shopping early, you can spend the day after Thanksgiving at home, snuggled up with your family and a yummy warm beverage. I can’t think of anything more stress-free then having all of the holiday shopping done before December even arrives. It really frees up all of December to focus on making fun memories with my family. This is another place that #1 comes in, if you shop early picking up items when you find them on sale – you save a ton of money.

3. Shop Locally
Instead of hitting the closest big box store this holiday season, consider supporting small, independently owned businesses. Many towns have a shopping area that is filled with adorable shops that focus on the work of local artisans and many have eco-friendly options. In my opinion, a handmade gift is the best gift! You could also give a gift from your local farm, such as; fresh vegetables, fruits or dairy items. Another option is to check out Etsy for fantastic handmade goods, you can click here to shop Etsy shops located in your local area.

4. It’s All About Quality
Each year, I like to focus on purchasing the mister and Eben quality gifts that they will enjoy for years and years to come. I focus on items that I think they will really enjoy and steer clear of items that are disposable, or would only be enjoyed temporarily. My favorite items to purchase for them include; books, experiences (see below), heirloom quality items that they will keep forever and gifts that focus on their favorite hobbies.

5. Give the Gift of Experience
I am a huge fan of giving the gift of experience, some that I have given in the past include annual passes to local nature and science museums, state parks, botanical gardens, art centers and even scuba lessons. I think gifts that allow the recipient to learn something new or go to place they have always wanted to see builds memories and brings much more happiness long-term than any material gift could ever could. Plus, it’s just another excuse to spend more quality time with my family – and that is the best gift of all.

What are your favorite holiday shopping tips? Please share them in the comments section – I would love to hear! 

5 Tips for Throwing Green Summer Parties

green-bbq

Summer is almost here which means BBQ’s, baby showers, and engagement parties are right around the corner. Since these events are often filled with flowers, decorations, catered food, and disposable cutlery and plates, their carbon footprint is often bigger than you’d expect. Don’t worry, there are tips you can take to make your summer party more eco-friendly. Read on for my five great tips for greening your summer parties.

#1. Serve Locally Grown Food
Unless you know where the restaurant or grocery store catering your event sources its food, chances are it’s traveled a long distance to make it to your doorstep, using manpower, gasoline, and a lot of packaging. And while a catered meal is impressive and beautiful, most hosts find themselves throwing away 30-50% of the food after the party is over. These two factors amount to a lot of unnecessary waste. Instead of ordering an elaborate meal that won’t get eaten, why not shop for produce, cheese, and pastries at your local organic farmer’s market? For starters, you could grill seasonal veggies, make fruit-infused water with local citrus and cucumbers, or even pick up a few growlers of a local micro-brew. Some farms even sell locally raised meats! You’ll be supporting local farms and serving seasonal, organic food so it’s guaranteed to be a healthy, delicious spread.

#2. Go Compostable
If you’ve ever hosted a party you know that the used plates, napkins, utensils, and platters from your event make trash day quite the spectacle. Instead of adding to the enormous amount of garbage already filling our landfills and oceans, spend an extra few bucks on compostables. Specialty stores, and an increasing number of mainstream supermarkets, carry everything from compostable cups and forks to straws. And you don’t necessarily have to compromise design; sites like SustyParty.com sell biodegradable party supplies that are fun and colorful. If you’re planning a big event, many eco-product sites offer discounts for bulk orders of compostable party supplies.

#3. Let Nature Do the Decorating
Instead of hosting your party inside where you’ll need to decorate (and air condition your guests!), take it out back or to a local park and let nature’s beauty do the work! You’ll be saving money, trips to the store, and the waste created by cheap decorations that only offer a single use, and won’t be filling the house with cut flowers that will only last a week.

#4. Email Invitations
Paper invitations and RSVP cards are becoming a thing of the past. With the speed and convenience of electronic invites, there’s no reason not to go green! Sites like Evite offer dozens of designs for all kinds of holidays and events, and personalizing is encouraged. Creating and emailing invitations or sending guests a message about updates takes mere minutes. Plus, your guest list and RSVP’s will all be in one handy place!

#5. Green the Gifts
If the event you’re hosting is for you or you have a say in the gifts, offer guests the option to give money or gift certificates. Even items purchased from a registry can end up being duplicates, or the recipient may change her mind if the list was made before she had enough information. If the guest of honor is also eco-conscious, she may accept a hand-me-down like used baby clothes or a beloved heirloom, with as much excitement as a store-bought gift.

YOUR TURN: How do you minimize waste at your gatherings? Do you have tips we didn’t think of? Let us know—and get creative!

Make Your Move More Earth-Friendly

NOTE FROM SWEET GREENS: Thank you for supporting the companies that keep Sweet Greens in business.
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There are a number of ways to reduce your carbon footprint on the planet. One way is to have a green home. You can even make your move easier on the environment as well by hiring a moving company. If you are making a long distance move hiring a moving company, such as North American Van Lines, it is much more cost efficient and is also easier on the environment since you will be moving all of your belongings at once rather than having to make multiple trips in a personal vehicle. That saves a substantial amount of gas and will also make your move go much more quickly.

What a Green Home Has to Offer

In order for your home to be considered a “green” home there are a number of things that you need it to have. Your appliances should be Energy Star compliant. Energy Star appliances use much less energy than appliances that do not have the sticker on them. Your home should also be built with materials that have been locally sourced, renewable, or non-toxic. You could even use materials that have been repurposed such as old barn wood. You may also choose to have your home situated in a certain way so that you can make the most out of what mother nature has to offer. For example, if your home faces the south, you can get the full benefits of solar heat that the sun gives off, and you will not have to turn on your lights and heat on as often. This is a more green way to live and will also save you money on your utilities.

Enjoy the Benefits of Green Features

The sun also has therapeutic benefits, so you will be able to enjoy a better mood and happier outlook on life. You can also cut down on your water usage by utilizing a rainwater recapture system or by using more efficient plumbing fixtures. Even if you implement a few green features into your home, you will gain the benefits that a green home has to offer. You can gradually add more green features of your home but a great place to stay is with your appliances since you use them often and you can save a lot of energy consumption in that area quite easily.

Ways to Make Your Home More “Green”

Other ways to consume less energy are to get an on-demand water heater and to install triple-paned windows. You should also replace your regular bulbs with LED lights. Be sure also to unplug anything that you are not using such as your printer, computer, and television as they can still drain power when they are not in use.

Take a Load Off and Hire a Moving Company

Hiring a moving company for your move will make moving less stressful, and you will not have to worry about moving those large items on your own. You can also focus on other things while your movers take care of the heavy lifting. Moving a few items on your own is no big deal, but when you are moving far away from your old home, and you are moving an entire household, it is just simply too much to do on your own. Not only will it take much longer but you are more likely to injure yourself and to break things as you hurry and try to get everything done on your own.

It is just not worth the headache. Plus, hiring a moving company can save you money as you will not have to take as much time off of work to get moved. You also won’t have to get all of your moving supplies or make multiple trips with your vehicle to get the move completed.

It can also be helpful to stay organized so that you spend less time hunting around for things once you get to your new place. You can do this by properly planning boxes to their corresponding rooms. So, if things belong in the kitchen, you should label it as such. Try to pack similar items together as well so that you can put things away more quickly since you unpack. A little planning will save time and your sanity.