Take a squeegee to shower doors after you’ve turned off the water. Removing that moisture right away will discourage the growth of mildew and keep the glass free of spots.
November 28, 2016
Squeegee the Shower
Get Rid of Grout
If a bathroom remodel is in your future, think about going groutless. Choose seamless materials, such as galvanized tin or sealed plaster, for your shower surround. This simple switch will start paying off right away by cutting down on cleaning time. The best part? You’ll never have to face grubby grout again.
Tabs in the Toilet
Keep your commode sparkling without getting your hands dirty by dropping a cleaning tablet into the tank a few times a week. Because the bowl stays cleaner for longer, you won’t have to break out the toilet brush as often.
Spray Your Shower
The Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner hangs from the shower head and spritzes a 360-degree dose of cleaner at the touch of a button. Give it a tap at the end of every shower, and you may be able to avoid any real cleaning for a month.
Shelve Your Soap
A wall-mounted soap pump or dish doesn’t just free up sink and shower space, it keeps the gooey mess that collects around bottles and bar soap to a minimum, leaving you with one less thing that needs your attention on cleaning day.
Rinse the Tub
Always take 10 seconds to rinse the tub after a bath to wash any residue down the drain. You’ll prevent that soap from drying, hardening, and turning into soap scum, which can be a big hassle to scour away later on.
Get a Robot
The Braava Jet Floor Mopping Robot is designed to fit into small spaces and will deep clean a 150- to 200-square-foot floor daily. Sure, $169 sounds steep, but a lifetime without scrubbing is priceless.
Dry Out the Sink
Water is a powerful enemy when it comes to keeping a bathroom spick-and-span. Take a moment to wipe the sink dry after you brush your teeth or wash your hands. This simple step will help keep moisture-loving mildew and mold at bay.
Ban Bar Soap
November 21, 2016
Fresh, drinkable water is a limited resource that is necessary to our survival. More than 97% of the water on Earth is salt water and must be treated before we can use it in everyday life to cook, clean, and consume. The remaining percentage of water that is fresh and useable to humans is mostly frozen or stored underground as ground water. For these reasons and many more, it is important to do your part in conserving water at home. Discover how you can use water more efficiently and preserve the limited stock of water that we have on Earth with these simple ideas and tips!
To conserve means to protect or preserve something from harm or destruction. When we think about conserving water, we need to consider the ways in which we are using it, and how our other day-to-day actions have a direct effect on water. For example, say you are standing by a lake enjoying a can of soda. When you are done with the soda, you toss the can into the lake. While you are not using the water directly, you are still damaging the water by polluting it, and therefore not doing your part to conserve the water! Conserving water is easy to do. Start by thinking about the ways you use water every day. You drink water. You use water to clean dishes, brush your teeth, and wash your body. By evaluating all of the ways in which you use water, you can then start to think about ways you can conserve that water.
Think about when you brush your teeth in the morning. You may leave the water running to periodically rinse your toothbrush. By turning the water off while you brush and only turning it back on when you are going to use it, you will help to conserve water! Another way you can conserve water is by taking notice of how long your showers are. By shortening your shower by one or two minutes every day, you can conserve hundreds of gallons a year! In a similar way, you use water to clean other things around your house besides yourself, like your dishes. Instead of getting a fresh glass every time you want a drink, use the same glass throughout the day. If you wash your dishes in the sink, when it comes time to wash, fill a small bucket in the sink with soapy water and use that to wash dishes instead of running a constant stream of water. If you are using a dishwasher to clean your dishes, make sure it is full to capacity before you run it. Another way to conserve water is to find ways to recycle water that is already in use. For example, if you have a pet, use their old water to freshen pots of plants before you re-fill the bowl with new water for your pet to drink. Yet another way that you can help to conserve water is to keep your parents aware of any leaks you come across in your house. You may be the first one to notice the problem, and telling an adult as soon as you recognize an issue can help to have it resolved more quickly.
- Learn to Use Water Wisely (PDF)
- Water: Who Needs It?
- Ways Kids Can Help Save Water
- Water Conservation Around Your Home
- Fun and Simple Ways to Save Water (PDF)
- 10 Things Kids Can Do to Protect Water (PDF)
- How Can I Save Water?
- Water Conservation Games for Kids
- Water Conservation Improvement Activities
- Fun Water Facts and Conservation Activities
It’s important to remember that we have a limited supply of water that we can use, and that millions of people need to use this water every single day. As long as you are aware of how important water is and how vital it is to conserve it, you are already one step ahead of the game. With these tips, you can do your part to conserve the limited amounts of water that we have available to us. Share these ideas with your family and friends to inspire them to conserve water with you. If everyone does their part, we will never have to worry about running out of water!
November 16, 2016
There are so many ways to go green with your home, but few present more opportunity than your plumbing. Not only will green plumbing lower utility costs in the long run, but it will certainly make your home and the environment healthier.
Needless to say, a home’s plumbing covers a wide range of categories, from the drainage and pipes to the water heater, toilets and sewer main. As such, there are plenty of ways to go green with plumbing.
Green Plumbing Costs
Prices range based on the project in need. As a general price, know that the average price to hire a plumber is $259.
Fortunately, if you choose to go the green route, know that green plumbing will not be much more than regular plumbing. The initial costs may seem higher, but like many home repair jobs, when you think about the long-term benefits, such as lower energy costs or water usage, the price is well worth the investment,
Bear in mind, all plumbing costs will rise in case of emergencies or during non-business hours. Whether you have a green system or not, in these situations, you will have to pay a premium.
Green Plumbing Tactics
Our good friends at HomeAdvisor recently chatted with green remodeling expert David Johnston and noted a few green plumbing ideas homeowners can adopt (with the help of a plumber). Johnston is the founder of the green consulting firm What’s Working, Inc. and the author of multiple books on green remodeling.
All tactics discussed fall into three green categories:
- Green plumbing to reduce home energy use
- Green plumbing for a healthier home
- Green plumbing for a better environment
Green Plumbing Tactics to Reduce Energy Use
Insulated Pipes: Heat likes to escape the home and this couldn’t be more evident than in your pipes. Insulated pipes prevent heat from leaving your home as water travels from your hot water heater to your faucet. Likewise, if you can, avoid running your home’s plumbing through outside walls.
Install a New Hot Water Heater: Hot water heaters lose their steam after a while and a new hot water heater will certainly be more efficient.
Install an On-Demand Hot Water Circulation Pump: These pumps send hot water to your fixtures in a matter of seconds, saving you money on two fronts. For starters, you won’t lose heat as hot water unnecessarily sits unused in the pipes, and since you won’t have to run water while you wait for hot water to arrive, you’ll reduce your water usage as well.
Green Plumbing Tactics for A Healthier Home
Investigate Your Water Supply: For starters, get your water tested by a pro. Different water filtration and purification systems target different water quality issues. So before you spend hundreds on going green, make sure you’re putting it in the right place.
Install a Whole House Water Filtration System: Whole house filtration systems can eliminate the presence of chemicals, particulates and microorganisms in your water. That means healthier water for you and helps extend the life of your hot water heaters.
Install Activated Carbon Filters or Reverse Osmosis Systems: If you’re particularly concerned with poor water quality and drinking water, consider installing carbon filters on faucets and shower heads to absorb pollutants or reverse osmosis filtration systems on sinks to provide purified water for drinking and cooking.
Green Plumbing for A Better Environment
Install Low-Flow Showers and Faucets: Low-flow showers and faucets can reduce home water usage by as much as 60%. Less hot water is good for the environment and your water bills!
Install Low-Flush Toilets: Flushing your toilet accounts for the single biggest water draw in your home, to the tune of about 28 gallons of water per person, per day. A typical low-flush toilet uses anywhere from two to five times less water per flush.
Install Faucet Flow Reducers: These easy-to-install flow reducers fit on the end of your faucets (where the aerator screws on), and can reduce faucet flow by as much as 40%.
Install Energy-Efficient Appliances: Energy-efficient dishwashers and clothes washers can reduce water consumption at these appliances by as much as 50%.
As you can see, we covered a lot of ground. Going green does not mean completing every single one of these projects. Try a few and see their effects. No mater which tactic you go with, know that green plumbing will always make for a both a healthier home and future for generations to come.