While conserving energy should always be a concern, during the extremely warm temperatures this is an especially difficult task. During the very hot days of summer the time you spend outdoors is limited. As a result, we spend more time indoors, which causes us to use more energy. There are many ways to conserve energy and replace it with the natural resources we have in abundance.
During the summer months, we have more hours of daylight. This is helpful in reducing the amount of energy we use in lighting. Remember to turn off lights during the day, when there is natural sunlight.
During summer cooking daily meals in the kitchen can make the house very hot, even with air conditioning. You can cut down on the amount of heat you generate by preparing daytime meals that require very little to no energy at all to prepare, such as meals that consist of salads, sandwiches, and fresh fruit. Cooking dinner on an outside grill will conserve energy and can also save on a few calories as well.
When buying new appliances, including air conditioners, look for those that are ENERGY STAR rated, which means they are more energy efficient than traditional appliances. To add to the conservation of energy, close the blinds and curtains on hot days. Installing white window shades or blinds will reflect heat away from your house. Use fans to circulate the air throughout the room. The use of whole-house fans help cool your home by pulling cool air into the house and exhausting warm air through the attic.
These are just a few easy steps that we can take during the summer months. You will save money on your energy bill, and you will also ensure a brighter future with abundant resources. With a little thought and planning, we can take measures, in all seasons, to conserve money and energy. For more tips on conserving energy visit Energy Star.
Create a master list with the basics that can work with any vacation. Save the list so that it is ready the next time you need it.
Your vacation packing list should include the following categories:
For make-up, hair products, toiletries and prescriptions use Ziploc bags, just in case items open during traveling. If you are flying, check with your airline for the regulations regarding traveling with liquids.
Check for the anticipated weather during your stay at your vacation location. Select items that you can mix-and-match for outfit flexibility to reduce the number of items you will need to pack.
Pack shoes that are comfortable and versatile so they can be worn with multiple outfits. Pack each pair in a recycled grocery bag so as not to soil other clothes.
When selecting jewelry, belts, purses, etc. pack items that are interchangeable. Stick with the basics and don't pack expensive items that may disappear from your luggage.
Travel Documents include reservation confirmations, passports, itinerary, etc. Also included with your travel documents should be charge card phone numbers and account numbers (in case of loss or theft), emergency phone numbers and addresses, and any other pertinent vacation information. You may want to put these items in a binder, which should go in your carry-on or overnight bag.
Pack your camera, iPod, phone, GPS, etc. Also pack the necessary accessories such as chargers, batteries, cables and power cords for each item. For foreign travel you may also need to pack a power converter.
Special Diet Foods
Only pack food items that cannot be purchased at your vacation destination.
If you are traveling by plane there is a possibility that your luggage may get lost. Your carry-on bag should include all basic items needed for one to two days, including a change of clothes, medications, travel documents, maps and guidebooks. With new rules about liquids in your carry-on luggage, you may have to use travel size containers for toiletries in your carry-on bag.
When traveling by car, your road trip might include overnight stops. Make an overnight bag easily accessible. This will avoid having to load and unload the luggage in the car.
Be sure to pack your favorite magazines and books from your summer reading list.
Now that you have avoided what could have been a stressful start to your vacation, relax and enjoy!
Many people are cutting back on their summer vacation plans because of the current economic situation. Some may be taking shorter vacations, and others are staying closer to home. Whether you are driving or flying, traveling alone or with family, packing your bags for a summer vacation can be difficult, but it's a lot easier and less stressful if you're organized.
Don't leave packing to the last minute. The last minute rush could get your vacation off to a stressful start. Making a list will help make the packing and the trip more enjoyable for everyone.
While you're packing, it is also a great time to purge your closet of all the old clothes you can no longer fit or want from last summer's wardrobe. When selecting the reading material for your time to relax and read by the pool or hammock, it is also a good time to clear your shelves of outdated magazines and old books. Call a professional junk and rubbish removal company to assist you in getting rid of those unwanted items.
Bedbugs are all over the news… and apparently, they're all over a lot of cities too. Bedbugs are a growing problem nationwide and have recently been found in office buildings, hospitals, hotels, theaters and even retail stores.
How much do you know about bedbugs and how to reduce your chances of a bedbug bite?
Where Do Bedbugs Come From and How Do I Get Rid Of Them?
Bedbugs known scientifically as Cimex lectularius (Cimicade) are small insects that feed on the blood of warm blooded animals, including humans. When fully developed a bedbug is reddish-brown color, has an oval shape and does not have wings. Bedbug bites are not known to spread disease, but their bites leave itchy red welts. Over the counter remedies can relieve the discomfort of the itch.
The bedbugs got their name from its favorite hiding place, but despite their name, bedbugs are not only confined to the bed. Bedbugs love dark, secluded spaces with a lot of nooks and crannies they can hide in. Finding bedbugs in your home does not mean you have poor hygiene! It takes only one bedbug to hitch a ride into your home or apartment on a suitcase, backpack, clothing, bedding or furniture, which is the most common way they enter your space. Once the bedbug enters your home an infestation could begin. Bedbugs can also move from one apartment to another without any assistance from you.
An infestation of bedbugs can be hard to get rid of. Start by discarding of all clutter: cardboard boxes, newspapers, stacks of magazines, shopping bags, plastic bags, and stacks of old clothes. Reducing clutter in your living space reduces the number of places for bedbugs to hide. Hiring a professional trash and rubbish removal company to assist with this task would be a good idea. Strip beds and wash all sheets, pillow cases, mattress pads, blankets, comforters and bed skirts. Remove everything from the bedroom closets and dresser drawers and place in plastic bags. Remove headboard and bed frame; remove all curtains and wash. Vacuum all floors in infected rooms. Also vacuum couches, chairs, closets, closet shelves, shoes and dresser drawers. After vacuuming throw away the vacuum bag sealed in a plastic bag.
To get rid of bedbugs effectively, you've got to hit them where they're hiding–in cracks and crevices. Most cases of bedbug infestation will require treatment by a pest-control expert. The pest-control company can help you determine if the mattress, furniture, etc. can be disinfected or mus be discarded. Since beds cannot readily be treated with insecticides, it's often necessary to discard infested mattresses and beds. If you discard of infested furniture, seal it in plastic and clearly label it as bedbug-infested before taking it out of your apartment or home. You should also take steps to make infested furniture unusable by ripping the fabric so that people are less likely to bring it into their homes. Just hauling an unwrapped mattress out to the curb can scatter the bedbugs, which means they'll soon be back in your home. Items infested with bedbugs should also be kept out of common storage areas. It may be in your best interest to use a professional trash and rubbish removal company that specializes in removing bedbug infested furniture with care not to cause cross contamination.
Caring of Your Mattress
Replacing you mattress should not really depend on a specific timetable. You are the best judge of exactly when to replace your mattress. Your decision should be based primarily on the condition of the mattress and your comfort. If your mattress looks old, it probably is old and should be replaced. When you replace your mattress, it is also a good idea to get a new box spring as well.
In answer to the question, "Should I remove the tag on my mattress?" The answer is… it is not illegal to remove the law tag, but the information on the label will be useful should you have a warranty claim.
When you change the sheets, take the time to look at the mattress and evaluate its condition. This is a good time to check the seams of the mattress and bedding for any evidence of bedbugs. If your mattress is bedbug free and in good condition, turning it frequently will prolong the life of the mattress. A reversible mattress will last longer and provide more comfort and support if you turn and rotate it occasionally. A single-sided mattress will also last longer and provide more comfort and support if you rotate it occasionally.
Regularly vacuuming the mattress is important. While the sheets and mattress cover may help to protect the mattress from the accumulation of shed skins cells, dust, and dander, these particles will find their way to the surface of your mattress. Therefore, a periodic vacuuming will keep the mattress fresh and clean.
The Department of Sanitation begins Christmas tree recycling on January 3rd.
Residents should move all tree stands, tinsel, lights, and ornaments from holiday trees before they are put out at curbside for removal. Do not place trees into plastic bags. Clean, non-bagged Christmas trees that are left at the curb between Monday, January 3rd and Friday, January 14th will be collected and chipped into mulch. The mulch will be distributed to parks, playing fields, and community gardens throughout the city.
New Yorkers can also participate in NYC Parks and Recreation MulchFest by bringing their holiday trees to designated sites throughout the five boroughs. This year, the MulchFest will take place on January 8 and 9, 2011. Parks will host 35 chipping sites and 35 additional frop-off locations.
Winter Storm Safety Reminders
- Remain indoors if possible. If you must go out, dress to fit the weather, with layered wind-resistant clothing, a hat, snd glovesor mittens to protect yourself against frostbite.
- If you must perform work outside,take frequent breaks to warm up and avoid overexertion.
- Have emergency heating equipment approved for indoor use and appropriate fuel for it. Emergency heating equipment includes kerosene or propane heaters and wood stoves.
- Have emergency lighting incase the power goes out:flashlights or lanterns with a supply of batteries or fuel.
- Keep a supply of ready-to-eat non-perishable food and an emergency supply of water on hand.
- Listen to your radio ot tv to obtain weather and emergency information. Have a battery-powered radio with spare batteries in case your electricity goes off.
- Travel only if absolutely necessary. If you must travel, do so in daylight. Have emergency supplies in your vehicle.
Winter and Holiday Safety
While Winter may be known as the "Joyous Season" there are many safety issues to keep in mind to ensure a happy and healthy season.
Designate a Driver- Because of an increased consumption of alcohol and an increase in the number of special events and parties, drinking and driving is more prevalent during the holiday season. Include the plan for a safe way home when making your celebration plans.
Driving Safely- Prepare your vehicle for winter driving.
Fire Safety- Fire hazards are greatly increased in the winter because of the use of alternate heating sources, holiday decorations, and increased cooking for holiday feasts.
Physical Safety-When working or playing outdoors during the winter you can develop frostbite and not even know it. Watch for the danger signs of frostbite.
Keep the season safe and festive. Don't allow a poor choice to ruin the season for you or anyone else.