Thursday, October 30, 2014

Get Rid of Chemicals in Your Yard - 5 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds

If you're a homeowner with any amount of yard space, you know how difficult it can be to control weeds. It's easy to become so fed up with these lawn invaders that you think you must resort to chemicals. However, while most of these products are effective, they're also dangerous to the people and pets in your household. They're capable of causing health problems ranging from cancer to neurological disorders to asthma. Fortunately, there are harmless alternatives available that are just as effective. Here are five natural ways to kill weeds and keep chemicals out of your yard and home:


Vinegar

You've likely heard that vinegar can de-lime faucets and whiten laundry, but did you know it can also kill stubborn weeds? Vinegar contains acetic acid, a natural substance that burns plants' foliage, making it dry up and die. Best of all, it's inexpensive and easy to use. Simply pour undiluted white vinegar or pickling vinegar into a spray bottle and apply it to weeds. Be careful to avoid desired plants as vinegar doesn't discriminate.

Boiling Water

Boiling water is great for sanitizing things, and it can also sanitize your yard of weeds. It kills the weeds by essentially cooking them while they're still in the ground. Just bring some water to a boil, carry it outside and dump it over the offending weeds. Use care to avoid spilling any on yourself or non-weed plants.

Soap Them Up

Weeds and soap don't mix. To deal with pesky invasive plants, add four tablespoons of liquid dish detergent to a quart of water and spray it over the weeds' leaves. Because it's a surfactant, the soap dissolved the natural waxy barrier on the leaves that holds in moisture. On a hot, sunny day, this will make the weed fatally dehydrate.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, makes an excellent weed killer. Mix about three tablespoons into one quart of water in a spray bottle and douse weeds with it. The alcohol will dry out the leaves, depriving the roots of light and killing the plant. For weeds with thick, waxy leaves, like thistle, you may need to use several applications.

Salt

If you live in an area that sees icy winters, you may be familiar with the havoc road salt can wreak on your grass. You can use this same principle to your advantage, because salt will also kill the plants you don't want. In a spray bottle, create a mixture of three parts water to one part table salt and spray it on the weeds. To give it a little more kick, you can also add vinegar and a drop of dish detergent to the mix.


If your lawn and garden are being taken over by weeds, you aren't stuck with using hazardous and expensive chemicals to get rid of them. The next time you want to reclaim your yard from their grasp, try one of these natural methods instead. The information for this article was provided by the professionals at Western Turf Farms Ltd., who provide sod in Vancouver. 

Go Green with Your Property Remodeling

Today, it is vital to consider green or eco-friendly products, materials and procedures to improve your home. This is not only because we can’t afford to waste our money on inefficient homes but also because we want to keep the environment clean and healthy. Moreover, many eco-friendly products and materials can help you save thousands of dollars each month in terms of low water bills, affordable electricity bills and low heating and cooling bills. Fortunately, there are various options for those who want to go green with property remodeling.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Four-Fold Strategy for Green Land Maintenance

Many landowners are conscience that the land they own has a finite amount of resources available to them and so they go the extra mile to make sure they keep it in working order. The key to eco minded land maintenance is planning and foresight. Work with your current conditions without reinventing the wheel by investing time for planning and by taking advantage of the support developed by experts with your concerns in mind.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How Homes Today Are Becoming More Energy Efficient

In President Obama’s State of the Union Address, he made known his goal of homes becoming twice as energy efficient by the year 2030. Boosting energy efficiency is a major concern if we are to tackle the global warming dilemma that faces us. What are some ways that homes today are becoming more energy efficient?

Energy Efficient Appliances

Newer models tend to keep energy conservation as a top priority. Energy Star certified appliances go a long way towards making your home greener. Low flow showers, toilets, and washing machines can help save water. A high efficiency water heater that heats on demand will also help cut energy consumption.

Eco-friendly roofing

Energy efficient roofing materials can drastically reduce the amount of energy used. Cooling roofs are typically metal that is painted light colors to help reflect the heat. Metal roofs are known to be durable, fire retardant, and energy efficient. Some companies, such as Great Canadian that provides roofing in Calgary, specialize in energy efficient metal roofing as well as asphalt, concrete tile, and cedar roofing.

Environmentally Friendly Light Bulbs

A great way to start being more energy efficient is to switch from old incandescent light bulbs or fluorescent light bulbs to a more energy efficient LED light bulb. LED lighting also contains no mercury, and they tend to last eight to twelve times longer.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

5 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient this Fall



When summer ends, many homeowners breathe a sigh of relief because they no longer have to spend on air conditioning. But fall is also the time to prepare for cold weather, and here are five things that need to get done before it gets really cold.

1. Fix those air leaks.

Look for cracks and gaps around your baseboards, doors, windows, chimneys, dormers, and the area where the foundation and the wall of your house meet. Once you find those energy consuming leaks, patch them up by applying cement, caulk or weather stripping. Your neighborhood hardware will be glad to show you how which products to use.

2. Check your heating system.

Clean all vents and make sure that none of them are blocked. Find out if it is time to buy a new heater. Even if your heater is still serviceable, you should change its filter once a month once you start using it in earnest.

3. Get a setback thermostat.

A setback thermostat allows you to program your heating system so that it will heat your home at the temperature and time you desire. This means the temperature can be set to go down when you are away and get warm and cozy when you are home. Because most, if not all, setback thermostats allow a manual override, you can then adjust the temperature as needed.

4. Adjust fan blades so that they run in reverse.

If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, it can actually help keep you warm in fall and winter. The reverse switch will make the blades run clockwise; this will help heat your house by bringing warm air (which naturally rises to the ceiling) back to the room.

5. Pay attention to the plumbing.

According to
Always Plumbing & Heating, your water heater is going to be an extremely hardworking fixture in your home now that the cold is starting to set in. You can save a lot of energy by wrapping your heater with an insulating blanket and by insulating exposed pipes – particularly those that are in your garage, attic, or in a crawl space. First wrap the pipes with electrical heating tape then with foam pipe insulation. While you’re at it, check for drips and leaks, drain and shut off all sprinklers and outside taps and hoses. This will help prevent pipes from freezing over and bursting.

There are many other things you can do this fall to make your home more energy efficient. If you haven’t switched from incandescent to fluorescent or LED bulbs, this is a good time to do it. You can take your sweaters out of storage and wear them at home so you don’t have to crank up your heater. These simple ways not only help save the environment, they will also help you save money while living comfortably during the season.

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