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Revamp Your Furniture – DIY Decorating

Giving your furniture a makeover is an easy and affordable way to personalize your space and give outdated pieces an upgrade. Check out the Better Homes and Gardens DIY ideas below for inspiration:

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Credit: BHG

-       Reupholster: Give your favorite chair a new look with fun, fresh fabric. Make sure you have needle-nose pliers, a staple gun, welt cord, sewing machine and tack strips and follow the step-by-step instructions here.

-       Paint: A fresh coat of paint can give an old-fashioned piece a chic and modern appearance. Consider using a bright color such as turquoise for a bold look and use a paint pen to add a pattern for even more interest. To complete it, you’ll need painter’s tape, sandpaper, paintbrushes, latex or oil-based paint and primer. See here for more detailed instructions.

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Credit: BHG

-       Embellishments: Personalize your furniture with fun embellishments by adding new drawer knobs, cabinet handles and mirrors or painting designs. If your not comfortable with your artistic abilities, use a stencil to paint on a pattern that suits your style.

-       Ottoman Slipcover: Revamp a worn out ottoman and add some color to your space with a bright slipcover. To make one like the slipcover above, cut a circle of fabric for the top and a strip for the drop, stick covered piping along the top seam of the drop and a gathered ruffle along the bottom. Add pockets made from contrasting fabric, inserting elastic into the top hem. Screw painted legs to the bottom of your ottoman and slip your new cover over. See here for more detailed instructions.

How to Use TheFind for Eco-Friendly Back-to-School Shopping

Want school supplies that are a bit friendlier to Mother Nature? Check out the eco-friendly school supplies below and utilize our search tips to find all your green back-to-school essentials on TheFind:

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 1.42.00 PM Credit: Creative Document SystemsAmazon, The Container Store

What You’ll Need

The Basics: Every year over 60 million binders are made of PVC, one of the most environmentally destructive materials. Make sure you purchase an eco-friendly binder to avoid damaging the earth. Also make sure to get eco-friendly pens, highlighters, pencils and notebooks.

Bobble Water Bottle: In addition to being good for the environment by using tap water instead of bottled water, Bobble Water Bottle encourage kids to drink water instead of soda or other sugary drinks. The bottles have a built in, replaceable carbon filter that removes chlorine and other organic contaminants for at least 40 gallons worth of water.

Solar Backpack: With all those eco-friendly supplies, you’ll need an eco-friendly way to carry them. The Voltaic Array Solar Backpack provides just that. The large, waterproof bag has enough space to carry all your books and supplies, while the solar panel on the back offers a green way to charge your gadgets.

How to Utilize TheFind When Shopping

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Narrow by Brand or Store: Know of a brand or store that has your favorite eco-friendly materials? Narrow your search results to show only items from your preferred brands or stores.

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In-App Coupons: Make sure you are getting the best deal by checking for coupons. TheFind brings coupon codes directly into the app for you—simply click on an item and if a coupon is available, a coupon icon will appear in the upper right corner of your screen. Click on the coupon to apply it to your purchase.

In-Store Price Comparison: If you’re out shopping and find the perfect eco-friendly item but want to make sure you are getting the best price, scan the item’s barcode by touching the ‘barcode’ icon to see all of the item’s available published prices.

Products for an Eco-Friendly Home

Trying to go green? Check out some of the green products below to help make your home more environmentally friendly:

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Credit: CottonBabies, Nigel’sEcoStore, TheUpperDeck,

Bummis: If your little ones are still in diapers, consider going with reusable cloth offerings. While they may seem like a lot of trouble, Bummis are convenient because they don’t use pins and they have flushable, bio-degradable liners so cleaning is a breeze. Plus, you’ll save loads when you stop buying all those disposable diapers.

Laptop & Cell Phone Charger: Not only is the SolarGorilla Portable Laptop Charger good for the environment, it’s also convenient. Bring the device along with you while you’re working outside, watching your kids at the park or relaxing under the sun, and charge your gadgets in green fashion.

Pooper-Scooper: While there’s no elegant way to clean up after your pup, there is an eco-friendly one. Flush Puppies are pooper-scoopers that dissolve in water in less than a minute, so you can flush it down the toilet instead of throwing it in trash.

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Credit: Wunc.org, Amazon, SimplyGoodStuff

Cree LED Light Bulbs: LED light bulbs are an energy-efficient alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs, saving energy by shining in one direction as apposed to all directions like traditional lightbulbs. We recommend Cree LEDs. The Cree bulbs are available in a variety of colors from a warm glow a bright daylight color bulb. They are affordable and last for over 20 years, plus they come with a 10 year warranty.

Dryer Balls: Dryer balls help your clothes dry faster, therefore using less energy and saving you time and money. They are large rubber balls with spikes covering the surface that help separate clothes, allowing them to dry more quickly and keep them soft.

PackIt: Insulated Lunch Bag Cooler Goes From Summer To School Year

Credit: PackIt

Get a jump on your school supply shopping this year and break in your new PackIt reusable lunch tote with picnic lunches this summer.  PackIt lunch bags have a freezable gel built into their lining to help keep food and drinks cold for up to 10 hours.  The bags are foldable for compact storage in the freezer overnight.  Just pull it out in the morning and get to packing! PackIt bags will come in handy during the summer then transition well right into the school year.  Say goodbye to messy ice packs and hello to sleek PackIt lunch bags.  Available in solid colors and a selection of trendy prints, each bag retails for around $20.

Summer Solstice-Inspired Solar Gadgets

The Summer Solstice was yesterday. In honor of the longest, sunniest day of the year, check out the solar-powered gadgets below we spotted on ZDNet:

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Credit: ZDNet

-       Solar Powered Keyboard: The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 is a solar-powered keyboard suitbale for Mac, iPad or iPhone. The thin keyboard features 2.4GHz wireless and gets power from indoor or outdoor lighting. Once it’s fully charged, it is able to work for three months.

-       Solar Powered BoomBox: Who doen’t love listening to music outside on long summer days? The solar powered Eton Rukus Portabel Bluetooth Wireless Speaker System is perfect for doing just that.  You can connect the speakers to your mobile devices via Bluetooth or charge them through a USB connection.

-       Solar Backpack: Ideal for long hikes or camping trips, the Birksun Atlas Blue backpack is a 20-liter container with a built in solar panel for charging your gadgets. The six-watt solar panal powers a 2,400Ah battery and one hour of sunlight is able to generate a roughly 25% charge for smartphones, which connect via a USB.

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Credit: ZDNet

-       Juice Bar Charger: This solar-powered Juicebar is a portable charger perfect for juicing-up gadgets on the go. The charger can be powered up via a USB or through sunlight and its Li-ion battery is compatibel with a number of USB-based devices.

-       Generator: The Goal Zero’s Yeti 150 Solar Generator is an emergency generator in case you ever need to charge a gadget outdoors or away from an outlet. The device charges lights, laptops and mobile devices through the portable system that can be recharged through batteries, an electrical socket, car or solar charger—though the car amd solar charger are sold separately.

-       Window Mounted Solar Power Bank: This high-power emergency charger has a window-mounted design for quicker recharging. The power bank has a built-in 2600Ah lithium polymer rechargeable battery which, once the 0.6W solar panel is exposed to sunlight, can charge devices including smartphones and tablets.

Tips & Tools for an Earth-Friendly Pool

Pools require a lot of care – especially during summer. Check out the tips below to keep your pool eco-friendly and energy-efficient:

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Credit: Tropical Dream Pools

Ultraviolet Pool Cleaners: Reduce the amount of chlorine and pool cleaners normally needed with an ultraviolet pool cleaner. The cleaners, which are installed by your pool’s filter, rely on the power of UV rays to alter the chemistry of viruses, bacteria and algae, keeping your pool sanitized.

Ozone Pool Systems: Ozone pool systems generate and dissolve ozone gas into the pool. A circulation system mixes the ozone with pool water, where it breaks down and eliminates unwanted contaminants in the water, greatly lowering the amount of chlorine required.

Green Pumps & Filters: Eco-friendly pumps reduce energy use with variable speed technology, while eco-friendly filters make use of low speed pumps to reduce energy costs.

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Credit: Catalogs.com

Solar Blankets: Take full advantage of the warm weather and heat your pool with the sun’s heat. Solar Blankets harness the power of the sun, trapping its heat with raised air pockets. The blankets warm the water temperature by absorbing sunlight and retaining the heat at night.

Energy-Efficient Heat Pumps: Energy-Efficient pumps make your pool water warmer by pulling in and heating air from your pool’s surroundings. Bonus: these pumps are much more affordable to operate and last longer than gas or oil heaters.

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Credit: Hayward

Robotic Pool Cleaner: A robotic cleaner ensures automatic pool cleaning and prevents debris from building up in the pool filter. Look for green cleaners such as the Hayward eVac, Aquabot Turbo T or Hayward AquaVac, which clean your pool while allowing you to run your pump less.

Best Bikes

Happy National Bike Month! To help you celebrate, we’ve listed some of the best bike options we spotted on bicycling.com. Whether you want to go on a casual ride downtown or an adventurous mountain trail, the below options can help you find the right one for you. Time to get cycling!

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Credit: physiodetective

-       Mountain Bikes:

  • Yeti SB756: The SB75 has 27.5-inch wheels and 5 inches of travel, with great maneuverability and rollover ability. The bike has a unique Switch suspension with a pivot that switches the direction it rotates as the bike moves through its travel, providing efficient pedaling and masterful bump absorption.
  • Santa Cruz Bantam: The Santa Cruz Bantam features 27.5-inch wheels, 125mm of travel and geometry that is nearly identical to Santa Cruz’s VPP-equipped trail bike. The Bantam is a single-pivot workhorse that is simple but effective.

-       Beach Cruisers:

  • Electra Blank Et Noic 3i (Women’s): This women’s cruiser is all about fun and comfort. Electra’s flat foot technology and their trademark, laid-back geometry allows the rider to sit upright and easily put a foot down at stoplights. The bell and tassels create a fun feel to the bike.
  • Felt MP: The Felt’s MP military-style cruiser has a more edgy feel to it than traditional beach cruisers. The battery-powered headlight keeps you safe on dusky rides and a vinyl saddlebag allows you to easily carry whatever you need with you. The 50mm aluminum rims and heavy-duty 12g stainless spokes give you a comfortable ride over bumps and potholes.

-       Hybrid:

  • Trek 7.2 FX: This versatile bike will work for anything from road rides to a short triathlon. The bike features steel front forks ideal for absorbing road bumps and vibration with comfortable dimensions for a satisfying riding experience. The Trek has flat-resistant tires and metal pedals that make it stand out from other hybrids. Overall the Trek 7.2 FX is a very versatile bike that looks and feels good to ride.

Nurture Mother Nature – Eco-friendly Camping

  • posted May 3rd, 2014
  • Green

Summer is approaching and that means plenty of fun trips with family and friends. Camping is a popular activity over the warm weekends and we’ve pulled the following tips and products to make sure that you are ready to enjoy Mother Nature in an environmentally friendly way.

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Credit geograph

 

-       Buy Reusable Products: Switching from biodegradable plates to reusable offerings such as melamine or enamelware will drastically cut your amount of waste. Be sure to wash your dining gear with biodegradable rather than more harsh and toxic options.  Don’t forget, wastewater should be emptied onto dry ground or vegetation and not a stream, river or lake.

 

-       Strong Storage: Storing your camping gear in Rubbermaid plastic storage bins is a great way to keep it clean, organized and safe from the elements and animals. This approach also makes packing / unpacking less tedious. We recommend a bin for your kitchenware, water toys and sleeping accessories (tent, pillows, air mattresses).

 

-       Get Quality Gear: Buying high quality gear that will last through longer periods of wear and tear is a great way reduce your consumption and spend less in the big picture. Some top rated items include:

 

  • Tent: We’ve seen great reviews for the Big Agnes Lynx tent. Made from durable nylon with a polyester rip stop to guarantee a warm, dry and insect free space, this freestanding backpacking tent features a large oval door, door zipper storm flaps, a reflective guyline and more.

 

  • Sleeping Bag: The Sierra Designs Lazer 30 is a solid sleeping bag. This ultra lightweight offering  (2 lbs) features an overlapping material design to keep you warm, a foot box vent to keep you cool and a design that allows for twisting, turning and general sleep movement.

 

  • Recyclable Water Bottle: The Hydro Flask recyclable water bottle line is a great addition to any camping gear.  These double wall vacuum insulated stainless steel water bottles keep liquids cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. They also feature a high quality powder-coated matte finish exterior that never sweats. If you aren’t sold yet, Hydro Flask donates 5% of the cost back to a charity of your choice.

 

-       Use Solar / Hand-Crank Lights : Take advantage of the natural sunlight for charging your lighting equipment. Put solar path lights out during the day and keep them staked in the ground for lighted pathways or pull them up and carry with you for a more mobile lighting tool. Another green lighting option is buying a manual crank-style light that you can wind up whenever you need to give it some extra power.

 

-       Pack Your Trash: Packing your waste and disposing of it properly is vital. Make sure you leave your campsite in the same (or better) condition than you found it. No one likes a litterbug.

 

 

 

Celebrate Earth Day With Paula’s Choice Earth Sourced Vegan Skin Care Collection

Credit: PaulasChoice

What better way to spend Earth Day than with a natural new skincare line from Paula’s Choice?  The Earth Sourced Collection is a natural and vegan line of skin-care products that are formulated without the use of irritating, drying ingredients.  Instead, they contain gentle yet effective natural ingredients that have been proven to restore and protect the skin.  These beneficial products were created based on special technology that  captures the best of nature fused with science. This line of environmentally friendly products feels luxurious and offers visible, healthy results without harmful fragrances or plant-based irritants. The Earth Sourced Collection for all skin types includes:

These products are perfect for those with sensitive skin, including baby!  They can be purchased individually or as a set.

 

Eco-Friendly Gardening

Mother Nature doesn’t rely on pesticides, weed killers and chemical fertilizers for her gardening and neither should you. Check out the tips below to keep your garden thriving while remaining eco-friendly:

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Credit: HGTV

Welcome Pest-Eating Bugs & Birds: Ladybugs and lacewings eat aphids that destroy crops and butterflies and bees are great pollinators, so be sure they feel welcome in your garden by planting plenty of bright flowers that they are drawn to such as candytuft, sunflowers and goldenrods. Rid your garden of even more plant-harming insects like slugs, snails, grubs and caterpillars by welcoming birds into your garden, too. Put up birdfeeders and nesting boxes to encourage them to visit.

Compost: Aside from stimulating healthy root development, the addition of rich and earthy compost also improves soil texture, aeration, and water retention. We recommend a mix of vegetable peeling, garden waste and fibrous woody brown material like paper or cardboard that provide the right conditions for encouraging compost-making bugs and in 6-9 months it will be ready to use.

Water with Care: Adding a rain barrel is an easy and inexpensive way to capture mineral and chlorine free water. Not only will you cut your water costs, but you will also reduce the storm water runoff that causes erosion and flooding. Also consider investing in a soaker hose or drip irrigation that use up to 50% less water than sprinklers.

Buy Eco-Friendly: Check out the abundance of environmentally friendly planters and garden kits now available – and admire your eco-genius handiwork while lounging on recycled lawn furniture.