Category Archives: For Your Information

Six Ways To Achieve An Eco-Friendly Bathroom

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Six Ways To Achieve An Eco-Friendly Bathroom

Planning a home improvement project soon? Why not try making your bathroom an eco-friendly space? Your bathroom is the room in the house where water use is the highest. The longer you stay in the bathroom, the more water you use and the more energy for heating, lighting, and ventilating is used, too. This all translates to skyrocketing water and energy bills every month.

With the bleak forecast about global water and energy scarcity, there’s no better time than the present to gradually transform your home into an eco-friendly space; and the bathroom is the perfect place to start. Here are six ways to achieve an eco-friendly bathroom:

Install Low-Flow Faucet Aerators:

Faucet aerators are fixtures that are capped on the faucet opening to reduce water use, control its flow, prevent splashing, and increase perceived water pressure. How does it work? Faucet aerators save water (and therefore, save you money on water bills) by introducing air into the water flow, so there’s less water flowing but still enough to wash things.

With a low-flow faucet aerator, you can reduce rate of water flow from 2.5 gallons per minute (standard faucets) to as little as 0.5 gallons per minute. That’s saving about 80 percent of water every minute the tap is on.

Faucet aerators are affordable and easy to install. You can get one for $5 to $10 dollars, depending on the brand and features added to the aerator. When buying the a low-flow aerator, make sure you have the right size and one that is compatible with your faucet. Installing the new aerator only takes a few minutes. Just unscrew the old one using a wrench, turn on the tap to wash away debris, and cap on the new aerator. Make sure not to apply too much force to avoid damaging your faucet.

Change To A Low-Flow Showerhead:

Do you like taking long showers every day? If the answer is yes, then you’ve found the primary culprit for your skyrocketing water bills. Standard showerheads use from 2.5 to 4 gallons of water per minute. So every time you shower for 30 minutes, you’re using about 75 to 120 gallons of water. That’s 15 to 24 times more water used than the average person in a developing country. (The statistics is 20 liters of water or 5.3 gallons per person.)

When you change to a low-flow showerhead, you save one-half to two gallons of water every minute you shower. Of course, this only works well when you cut down on your shower time, too.

Go For A Water-Efficient Toilet:

Old toilets are one of the biggest water wasters in your house. They consume about 3.5 to 7 gallons of water per flush, which is a lot for one use. In contrast, new toilets only use an average of 1.6 gallons per flush. If you want an eco-friendly bathroom, then you may want to switch to a water-efficient macerating toilet.

Water-efficient or low-flow toilets save more than regular modern toilets. Some models can go as low as one gallon for every flush. Getting one with a macerating pump also helps with preventing toilet clogging, which saves you from expensive plumbing bills.

Use Energy-Efficient Light Fixtures:

The bathroom is the place where you do most of your grooming, like shaving and doing makeup. These are delicate activities that need good lighting to avoid injury or mess-ups. However, inefficient light bulbs are some of the chief reasons for high electricity bills.

For places like the bathroom, that require good lighting, use energy-efficient light bulbs. These include compact fluorescent lamps, light emitting diodes (LEDs), and halogen incandescents. Energy-efficient light fixtures can last 3 to 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs and save from 25 to 80 percent more energy, making them the eco-friendly choice.

Switch To An Energy-Efficient Exhaust Fan:

Ventilation is essential to keeping your bathroom clean, odor-free, and mold-free. A constantly damp bathroom is conducive for mold growth. However, when you ventilate your bathroom after use, you remove excess moisture and inhibit the buildup of mold spores.

There are two ways to ventilate your bathroom. You can either open the window and door or use an exhaust fan. An exhaust fan consumes energy and can result in mounting energy bills when used too often. It’s not always ideal to open windows and doors, too. Open bathroom windows may invite unscrupulous people (or bugs) in your home while open doors will just transfer the odor (and whatever else is in the air) into another part of the house.

Since you can’t do away with ventilating your bathroom, you can use an energy-efficient fan. To find one, search for an Energy Star-rated model and get 60 percent energy savings compared to standard vent fans.

Choose Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies:

Many cleaning products available in the market today contain harmful chemicals that are dangerous to your health and bad for the environment. Their ingredient includes phtalates present in air fresheners, dish soap, and some toilet papers. Phtalates are harmful to the endocrine system can and reduce a man’s sperm count.

Harmful chemicals, like perchloroethylene (Perc), triclosan, 2-butoxyethanol, and ammonia, attack your health and negatively impact the environment, and they’re common ingredients in many household cleaners.

Avoid these chemicals by opting for eco-friendly products or homemade products that are proven to have no harmful effects. You can consult the non-profit Environment Working Group for a list of cleaning products to avoid.

Take The First Step:

Wasting water and energy has far reaching impact to the environment and the earth’s resources. With global warming, climate change, and scarcity hitting the world in all corners, it’s high time for people to take action to reverse the damage that’s been done to the earth. Converting your bathroom into an eco-friendly space is the first step to building a more sustainable environment for you and your family. Why not start now?

Featured Image By: Pixabay

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Interior Disasters

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Interior Disasters

Home interiors should never be a disaster, but they often can be a disaster. More often than not things go wrong, when they do we panic, spend a lot of money, and maybe even shed a tear or two. It’s just one of the many things about owning a home that can quickly become expensive. Right from the get go you’re spending money on furnishing, decorating, improvements, etc. So, rather than letting all of this money go down the drain, we’ve got some common interior disasters and how you can try and fix them as quickly and as cheaply as possible:

Plumbing Disasters:

Plumbing disasters are the worst. From something so simple as the water not draining as fast as you would like to in the bathroom sink, to a full on blockage in one of the main drains that could cause havoc in your home. Sometimes it can even lead to a flood, and that really is the last thing that you want. If you’re struggling with a major blockage and you’re not sure of the exact location or cause, get in touch with professionals such as Drain Boss. They’re the people you need for the job.

If you attempt to try this yourself you could cause further damage, move the blockage deeper down the drain, or cause the full on flood disaster. If it’s something little, like the bathroom sink not draining quick enough, you might just need to use a bag of limescale cleaner. If that doesn’t work, cover the overflow hole, grab a plumber, run the tap, and push hard down on the plug hole. You should hear a few gurgling sounds and the blockage will come free.

Pest Disasters:

This can be one of the scariest problems for a lot of people. There are a few types of pests that we can get in our homes, the first being one of the biggest bugaboos for many. Spiders. Spiders are going to be in your home no matter what, but if you’ve got a nest in your home, you’re in big trouble. A nest is usually found in the loft, and it will look like a big cobweb with black dots in it. Whatever you do, don’t touch it. Whilst they won’t be poisonous, there will potentially be hundreds of them. Call in an exterminator ASAP to deal with your problem!

Decor Disasters:

This is probably the most frustrating for a lot of people due to how noticeable it is. Decor disasters, however, are a lot easier to fix. Maybe the last time you wallpapered you did a rubbish job and it has started to peel away, then all you need to do is give it another go! Steam the walls to get the paper off, and follow a detailed tutorial on how to do it perfectly. If you’re worried it’ll go wrong again, all you need to do is get in a professional for the day to do it for you.

All of the problems above can cause a lot of stress for homeowners. And, if there is any shadow of doubt, always call in a professional before you do anything!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

8,000 Followers Jamboree

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8,000 Followers Jamboree

Hi everyone and happy Hump Day! It has been an exciting week here on lifewithlilred, because I’ve finally crossed the 8,000 followers threshold. I have to say, I am so pleased with this progress, because I had a 1,000 follower gain in four short months. That’s huge! My blog is something that brings me so much joy, and to see the fruits of my labor paying off is just a sweet added bonus to the happiness that I get from writing daily.

Thank you so much to every single one of you that has clicked that follow button on my website – I wouldn’t have been able to reach this milestone without you! With such amazing readers and friends, the 2,000 follower gap to 10,000 doesn’t seem that far away at all. Here’s to all of you, with my most sincere thanks!! Much love. -Sarah

Learn To Live For Today And Plan For Tomorrow

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Learn To Live For Today And Plan For Tomorrow

We all walk a fine line with our finances. We don’t want to spend our time doing nothing, we want to enjoy ourselves and experience life’s little luxuries from trips away to fun purchases. If you constantly favor saving over spending, you’re going to have a pretty boring life. At the same time, though, we have to prepare for tomorrow. We need to think about making sure that we are going to be financially secure ten days, ten months, or even ten years from now.

It seems that we are under constant pressure to plan for tomorrow. Just look at the housing market. As soon as you hit your twenties, there will be people around you, telling you to buy a home. A home gives you some form of financial security sure, but it also ties down your finances. Now, for years, you’ll need to fit in mortgage repayments into your budget. These can be incredibly expensive and will make paying for those luxuries that you love just that little bit harder. As such, it might be wise to not buy a home until you have the income where you can easily cover this cost and still live a full life. Or, simply prepare to accept the fact that, at least for a short time, you won’t be able to afford those fancy trips or that new car. You can learn more about whether you can afford to buy property on www.cnbc.com.

The lesson here, is that it’s a balancing act. It’s about balancing what you need with what you want. It’s about balancing what you must spend with what you’d love to purchase. It’s about planning for the future while still enjoying the present so that one day you’ll be able to look back at the past with no regrets. So, let’s explore some of the ways you can do this, and we can start by thinking about budgeting:

How Should You Budget?

Budgeting is actually easier than a lot of people realize. You need to start by working out exactly what you make per month. This is the total amount you have to play with, and it should include all of your incomes. So, if you have a side hustle, make sure that this is counted. Unless you would rather see that as extra money.

Then, subtract all of the costs that you are aware of. This includes bills, rent, mortgage repayments as well as an average food cost. So, you might budget fifty a week or more for food. Now, the amount you have left should be halved. Half of this must go into savings. Set yourself a goal to save each month and put this as a direct debit on your account. Just like a tax, it will leave your account at the end of each month. This cuts out the choice of hanging onto it and spending it. Congratulations, you’ve just made a smart choice on how to prepare for your future.

The other money you can spend however you like. Put it towards your holiday, use it for presents or nights out. It’s your choice, but you have to remember that this is all you have to spend. Now immediately, you might notice a problem. There isn’t actually that much to spend is there?

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Budgeting is key!

Play With The Numbers:

This is where you need to start cutting costs on things that you need so you can afford things you want. An example of this would be something like energy bills. We all have to pay energy bills, but they should be more manageable if you can go a little more green. Make changes to your home to save energy, and you’ll have a little extra to spend each month. It won’t be much, but it will make a difference. Since you have already set a target, add that to your spending budget for now.

You can also think about boosting your income. What you’re looking for here is a passive income. There’s no point in taking on a second income to enjoy your spare time if you’re going to end up with no time to spare. There are various options for passive incomes from the stock market to property. Research a few and find out which one will benefit you and suit you the most. If you’re good with numbers, you might want to consider forex trading, which is basically investing in the value of different currencies. By predicting patterns, you can make a fortune in this market without even trying.

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Preparing For Disaster:

Of course, your budget is based on your income. Any hit to your income will kill both your spending budget and your savings. Worse still, it might mean that you have to use your savings to cover expenses that you can no longer afford. You can see how this would be an issue. Suddenly, you don’t have any money in your account for the future. This is where great budgeting advice that is found on www.lifehacker.com comes in handy. But how do you handle this situation?

You have to prepare for any disaster that can be foreseen. You’re probably thinking, wait a minute – unexpected costs can’t be foreseen. That’s why they’re unexpected. It’s not true. You might not expect to develop a disability, but you can forsee that it’s a possibility so you should plan for it. Anyone could develop a disability. You might be involved in a car accident, you could fall at work, or it may even develop due to biological causes. Since it could happen, you should plan for it. According to www.insurestat.com, doctors should definitely do this because anyone working in the medical field who develops a disability will probably be unable to work. As such, they should protect their income. You can protect your income with disability insurance and guarantee that you are always on roughly the same level of pay. Regardless of whether you can work or not.

This isn’t the only disaster you need to prepare for. You have to consider the worst-case scenarios that could impact your finances. Medical bills, for instance, are one of the greatest causes of debt in the USA today. You can plan for this by buying into the right health coverage plan that provides everything you might need.

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Insurance is a must.

Don’t Always Wait For Tomorrow:

Tomorrow doesn’t always come. Or rather, you can miss too many tomorrow’s and before you know it you’ve run out of time to do what you want. This may sound morbid, but you could die tomorrow. So, you might constantly be putting off that holiday to a point where you can easily afford it and when you’ll still have savings. But what if that day never comes? Most people do live their lives on an average, basic income. They never reach that 100K a year paycheck, and yes you can wait until retirement and use your 401K. But, after you’ve retired, you might not have the energy or the health to do everything you wanted. Don’t let life pass you by while you wait around for the right moment to do something.

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 #justdoit

Live For What You Love:

Finally, you need to make sure that you’re not spending your hard earned money on things that you don’t want and that you don’t need. This happens all of the time. We’ve already mentioned one example, and that’s property. Buying a home can be right for some people. But, if you are still moving around and haven’t settled, it’s just a waste of money and adds plenty of stress to your life that you don’t need. Instead, you should continue to rent. While it might be dead money, it can be far cheaper than purchasing a home that you may never pay off.

Ultimately, you have to live your life in a way that makes sense for you and financial purchases should be part of that decision. Some people spend their whole life traveling around the world, work by freelancing, and never once think about settling down into a comfortable routine. This site, www.justonewayticket.com, has some great advice on spending your life traveling. Could this be the lifestyle of your dreams? Perhaps! And as long as you have a plan for tomorrow, you can live however you want to today.

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#goals

Featured Image By: Maxpixel

Why Is Building A Strong Brand Important?

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Why Is Building A Strong Brand Important?

When it comes to branding, there are quite a few reasons why it makes sense to devote resources toward a strong portrayal of operations. Good branding will make your business more profitable, collaterally remunerating you for the cost of implementation. The following are five considerable points that can help put this reality into perspective:

  • Reputation Expansion
  • Investment
  • Conversion
  • Employee Satisfaction
  • Advertisement Stimulation

Reputation Expansion Is Facilitated Via Brand:

When you’ve got a strong brand, that’s going to give you a strong reputation. Think of common brands that you’re familiar with presently. Starbucks. McDonald’s. Nike. Apple. Windows. Google. Amazon. Each of these companies has a solid brand with recognizable logos, slogans, marketing, and products. They have solid reputations.

Your brand can be a “name-brand”, or a “household name” in terms of reputation with the right marketing, PR, and service delivery over time. Design a solid brand that is recognizable, likable, and dependable. This is one of the best ways to build reliable reputation.

A Good Brand Is More Likely To Be Invested In:

Investors are trying to grow their money. If your brand is fledgling and unknown, that doesn’t inspire confidence. You’re a lot less likely to acquire the investment you desire. One solid investor can totally overcome the cost of appropriate branding, so allocate resources toward the deliberate establishment of your brand.

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Strong Brands Convert More New Customers:

When you’re a highly visible, reputed, strong brand with investors, you’re likely to convert more new customers. They will have heard about your brand beforehand, and sometimes will simply be visiting you to see if what they’ve heard is true. A strong brand acts in a marketing capacity.

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Employees Are More Satisfied With A Trusted Brand:

When you’ve got a solid brand, those working for your company are more likely to have a respectful attitude, and consider themselves lucky to be a part of your enterprise. A solid brand actually inspires employees to deliver better work, and to themselves be more dependable. A weak brand is much less likely to inspire that kind of confidence.

Branding Stimulates Advertising:

The right kind of brand will act like an advertisement lightning rod, if you will. This is because successful branding has a definite PR/marketing element to it. You’ve got to attend social events, you’ve got to design materials with your logo and slogan prominently portrayed thereon, and you’ve got to push yourself across the worldwide web.

There are a great deal of diverse techniques characterizing today’s marketing world, and though the web, and particularly social media, is one of the best ways to advertise. However, there’s still a lot to be said for things like merchandise, baubles, trinkets; you get the idea.

If you’ve got your logo and slogan printed on a variety of free merchandise, this can organically help to spread your brand. Certainly you want to build your brand’s online reputation as securely as you build its non-digital persona; but there are things worth doing which affect the real world, and can also be quite lucrative for your business.

There are more options than you might expect out there in the mainstream, and you can even acquire branded marketing goods from non-traditional providers — the Teehive prints your logo on tablecloths, for example; as the site says: “Whether you have a design ready, an idea in mind, or have absolutely no clue what you are envisioning for your custom merchandise[,] our expert designers are here to help you every step of the way.”

A Strong Brand:

The stronger your brand, the more visible it will be. Provided your operation runs with the requisite integrity, professionalism, and output, you’re likely to see your brand attain the strength it needs to survive in a complex, transitioning, unpredictable business environment.

House Buying Considerations: Is Bigger Always Better?

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House Buying Considerations: Is Bigger Always Better?

When it comes to choosing a home, most of us want one thing arguably above all other considerations: space. There’s an inherent association between a property being nice and a property being large; an association so strong that many of us struggle to see smaller homes as particularly attractive at all. However, it’s worth considering whether large homes are actually all that we imagine them to be. So let’s try and settle this once and for all: when it comes to homes, is size always important?

YES: Large houses are more aesthetically pleasing

As discussed above, for some people, size is everything when it comes to aesthetics. If you want a good looking home, then bigger most definitely is better in most people’s eyes. If you are of the same opinion, then it’s worth remembering that you will have to live with, and make the most of, the property you choose. You have to love it, so if you don’t think you could truly love a smaller house, then this alone may be a significant enough factor to justify choosing a larger property.

NO: The larger a house is, the more there is to clean and maintain

As attractive as a large home may be, there’s no denying that the larger the space, the more time you’re going to have to spend caring for it. More rooms means more cleaning; large yards means more gardening chores – if you’re not a fan of these and other maintenance tasks as listed on https://www.nytimes.com/, then bigger might be rather unpleasant for you.

YES: Big houses can be downsized if required, so they’re more flexible

Some would argue that big houses have a huge amount of flexibility. If you find that you don’t need a large house, then you can always follow the guide to downsizing on https://wrenrealtyinc.com and sell your property. You can then use the proceeds of the sale to buy a smaller house; potentially even outright.

In contrast, if you opt to buy a smaller home and then realize you need more space, you’re not going to have the same level of flexibility. While you could use your smaller house as equity towards a larger purchase in the future, you’re still going to need to obtain a much larger mortgage to meet the cost difference.

Few of us think far in the future when buying a home; we think about satisfying our needs and requirements for the immediate future. However, thinking a few decades down the line is an important aspect of securing your financial future, so the downsize/upsize issue is one that you will want to consider.

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 Wikimedia Image

NO: Large houses are more expensive in every regard

If you want to keep your finances under control, then a larger house is not going to help you towards the goal. Larger houses have higher purchase prices, expenses, tax requirements, maintenance costs… the list goes on and on. If you’re budget-conscious to the point where the costs are your only consideration when purchasing a home, it’s safe to say that bigger is most definitely not better.

YES: Large houses are more valuable

This point almost goes without saying, but it is worth noting if you’re intending to purchase your next home as part of an investment in your future. The more square footage a house has, the more potential value it is able to offer. This may be enough of a factor for it to make it worth living with higher maintenance costs, as the potential investment return is more substantial in the future.

NO: Large houses are often targeted by burglars

It’s obvious why this would be the case; it’s a simple assumption that the level of affluence that allows someone to buy a large house should also mean that they have more possessions worth stealing. Of course, there are ways of protecting your home, and modern home security innovations make this easier than ever. However, it is nevertheless worth considering the potential for enhanced risk of burglary before buying a large house.

Final Thoughts:

As you can see from the above, there are arguments both for and against large houses – so how can you know which is the right decision for you?

  • Which of the facts about is the most compelling to you personally? If you are especially concerned with aesthetics, then a larger house might be the best choice. If you’re more focused on saving money, then a smaller house is more suitable. Focusing on the aspect that is most important to you should help you make the correct decision.
  • Apply subjectivity to your personal situation. For example, if you plan to have children soon, buying a house with more bedrooms than you need right now is justifiable.
  • Ensure that you consider your needs for the current period in your life, but try to keep one eye on the future, as well. Property is an important purchase, so you have to try and think many years into the future. While it’s impossible to predict how things will pan out for you entirely, having some inclination of how you would like your life to progress can be extremely beneficial when making the size decision.

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Which size of house is right for you?

By combining your personal experience with the inherent truths listed above, you should be able to come to a house size conclusion that is well-informed and tailored specifically to your needs. Good luck!

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A Quick Home Maintenance Guide For Homeowners

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A Quick Home Maintenance Guide For Homeowners

Homeowners need to get to grips with home maintenance if they’re going to keep their home running well and comfortable enough to live in. This quick home maintenance guide can give you a few useful tips that will help you to keep on top of things now and in the future:

Keep Your Furnace And HVAC Filters In Working Order:

If you don’t stay on top of your furnace and HVAC filters, dust and grime will accumulate and this will mean they run less efficiently, costing you more money. Allergens and pollutants can also get trapped, and you don’t want those being spread around your home. All you have to do is turn off the system and look at the filters to see if they are grimy. Check these over every year.

Recaulk Your Windows:

Heat loss in the winter happens due to cracks in the windows 80% of the time. Sealing the space around them will help you to solve this issue quickly, so you can keep your home warm and save money. Make sure that you choose the right caulk by speaking to a professional so that you can get it right the first time. If you book in a professional home inspection, they’ll look for this and give you tips on maintaining your home to help protect your investment.

Check Wooden Decks For Moisture:

Wooden decks must be sealed and stained to stop rot and permanent water damage. A splash test will give you a good idea if the sealant is still doing its job. You’ll see droplets on the deck if it’s working. If not, then you need to take the time to reseal your deck, doing this every 2-3 years in total.

Check For Water In The Crawl Space:

You want to avoid mold and water damage to your house as much as possible, so just grab a flashlight and take a look. Have a look for changes in color, the corners, and the edges. You can also use your fingers to see if you feel any dampness. You need to make sure this is fixed before rainy weather comes, as you don’t want to let any more moisture in.

Touching Up Your Exterior Paint:

Your paint greatly contributes to your curb appeal, and staining will help to protect your home from rusting and rotting. Take your time and look for chipping, peeling, blistering, or cracking on every part, every summer. You may, then, need to take your time sanding, scraping, patching, priming, and re-painting small areas.

Maintain Your Fireplace:

If your fire isn’t running the way it should, it could go as far as killing you with toxic gases. At the very least, it’ll take up a lot of energy. It’s always better to build a relationship with a professional that you trust to help you with this. If you have a wood burning fireplace, then it’s especially important to stay on top of maintenance. Creosote is a by-product of burning wood and this can build up in your chimney and create a fire hazard.

Keeping up with simple maintenance will keep your home running smoothly and will save you money in the long run.

Featured Image By: Pixabay