Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 11/25/2016

Greening up your home is not only good for the environment it is also good on your wallet. According to the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. generates about 208 million tons of municipal solid waste a year, that's more than 4 pounds per person per day. Here are some minor changes you can implement at home that will add up to real benefits. Green up your appliances Replace your old refrigerator and save as much as $150 a year. Appliances are the biggest drain on a home's total energy bill. Replace appliances older than 10 years with energy-efficient models that bear the "Energy Star" logo. Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10%-50% less energy and water than standard models. Take Your Temperature Use a programmable thermostat to keep your home's temperature on a schedule. Program the thermostat in cold weather and keep it higher in warm weather. Set the timer to only change the temperature when you are home. During the colder months, each degree below 68°F saves 3%-5%. You may also want to consider replacing older furnaces. Today's furnaces are about 25% more efficient than they were in the 1980s. Use Water Wisely Save every time you flush by installing low-flow toilets. They use only 1.6 gallons per flush, compared to 3.5 gallons per flush for pre-1994 models. Save water at your faucets by installing aerators. This could cut your annual water consumption by 50%. Let there be Light Using Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) will consume 66% less energy. CFLs may cost a little more but they last 10 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb. In dollars and cents, replacing a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 32-watt CFL can save $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. Practice Plastic Placement Did you know Americans throw away some 100 billion polyethylene plastic bags? — Plastics (grocery, trash and sandwich bags to name a few) are made from petroleum. Plastics are considered one of the main contributors to global warming. Always make sure to reduce, re-use and recycle your plastics. There are many more ways to live green. If you are looking for more ideas check out National Geographic's Green Guide. Please share your tips for saving money, energy and living green.





Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 9/23/2016

Have you ever taken your jewelry to be cleaned? Having your jewelry professionally cleaned will set you back quite a bit of money. Making your own homemade jewelry cleaner can give you the same results for a fraction of the cost. Here is recipe for homemade jewelry cleaner: Ingredients: 1/4 cup ammonia 1/4 cup dishwashing liquid 3/4 cup water 1. Mix all the ingredients well, then soak your jewelry in the solution for a few minutes. 2.Clean around the stones and designs with a soft-bristle toothbrush. 3. Buff dry. Caution: Don't use this with gold-plated jewelry; with soft stones such as pearls, opals, or jade; or with costume jewelry, because it could ruin the plastics or loosen the glue.





Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 7/1/2016

Polishing a hardware floor can be a daunting task and most of the hardwood polish you may have been using is toxic, and not to mention expensive.  You can go natural and make your own polish at home. Here are a few homemade wood floor polish recipes:

Recipe I Ingredients: 1/2 cup vinegar 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1. Mix the ingredients well. 2. Rub on the floor, and buff with a clean, dry cloth.
Recipe II Ingredients: 1/4 cup of grated beeswax boiling water 1/4 cup of turpentine fruit extract (if desired) 1. Put the beeswax into a bowl. 2. Put the bowl with the beeswax into a pan of boiling water until the beeswax has melted. 3. Add the turpentine into the beeswax and stir continuously until it all starts to cool. 4. If desired add fruit extract to give it a pleasant smell. 5. Apply the polish to a clean floor using a sponge, wipe off extra polish and leave the floor to dry itself for 12-24 hours.
 





Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 5/20/2016

Baking soda is not just for baking. It has many uses in your home from removing stains to treating burns and bites. Here are some great tips for home uses of baking soda: Just one-teaspoon baking soda to one quart of warm water will clean your refrigerator. Unclog your drain with a cup of baking soda. Pour it into the opening of your drain and then add a cup of hot vinegar. Wait a few minutes, flush the drain with a quart of boiling water. Keep the pests out of your home by laying down barrier of baking soda under sink-pipe openings and along basement windows. Relieve sunburned or itchy skin by adding baking soda to your bath water. A paste of baking soda and water applied to a burn or an insect bite will provide relief. Clean your toothbrush by soaking it in baking soda and warm water overnight. A paste of baking soda and water will remove stains from your coffee and tea cups, and red sauce stains from plastic containers. Post your own baking soda tips below.