5 easy ways to transition your family to a sustainable lifestyle

Archive |

Transition Your Family to a Sustainable Lifestyle

2 minute read

We’ve seen it a lot in the news lately: cities, states, and even restaurant chains are banning or limiting the use of plastic straws. It’s becoming more  apparent that we need to make more ec0-friendly decisions to help transition our family to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Why is this important? Because the use of plastic around the world has polluted our oceans, endangered sea life, and raised concerns about the long-term effects of creating non-biodegradable substances.

Banning straws is a small step (straws make up just 0.025% of all plastic in the oceans), but it’s an achievable one that has the potential to lead to larger, more impactful changes.

That’s a good reminder for all of us, and this is a great time to reevaluate the way your family views and interacts with the world around them.

It can be tough at first, but by consistently choosing to incorporate eco-friendly principles and practices, you can start down a lifelong path of greener living and creating a better environment for generations to come.

5 Ways to Transition Your Family to a Sustainable Lifestyle

Recycle:

Make a conscious effort to recycle as much as possible

○ Use Recycle Nation to find out where to locally recycle almost anything from paper and plastic to electronics and tires
○ Commit to buying products that are packaged in recyclable materials
○ Start a compost pile in your backyard
Make sure to wash and separate recyclables – this is crucial to the recycling process

Use Alternative Transportation:

Air pollution levels are greatly increased by the pollutants released by vehicles

○ Carpool when you can
○ Use public transportation if it’s a realistic option in your area
○ Walk and bike whenever possible, it’s good for you and the environment!

Buy Reusable:

Stop using and or buying disposable products whenever possible

○ Shop with reusable bags
○ Stop drinking water from a plastic bottle!
○ Your dollars make an impact. When you purchase sustainable goods, that sends a signal to manufacturers that they should make more things like it
○ Take a cue from Hawaii and stop using plastic straws and one-time use plastic altogether

Make Sustainable Food Choices

The fossil fuels and chemical fertilizers used in the production, processing, packaging, and transportation of food can greatly harm our health and the health of our environment

○ Be aware of the impact of your choices as a consumer
○ Look for local and environmentally responsible food that supports rural communities and farmers
○ Choose foods that are healthy, nutritious, and that come in eco-friendly packaging

Conserve Water

Water is one of the most valuable resources we have

○ Purchase water-efficient dishwashers and washing machines
○ Take shorter showers (make it a family competition for fun)
○ Turn the faucet off while you brush your teeth

Try incorporating just one of these five practices into your family’s daily life. Once that becomes habit or second nature, add another. Any change makes a huge difference towards creating a better environment and living a more thoughtful life.

For even more sustainable living inspiration, check out Eco-Cycle, Global Stewards, or The Story of Stuff.

Sources:

http://www.globalstewards.org/sustainable-lifestyle.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/sustainability/lifestyle/index.htm

https://www.tomsofmaine.com/good-matters/thinking-sustainably/living-a-sustainable-lifestyle-a-starter-guide

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/07/news-plastic-drinking-straw-history-ban/

 

Environment |

Summer’s Most Common Bugs

2 minute read

When it comes to a love of humidity, humans and pests are on opposite ends of the spectrum. While we tend to despise air that is thick with heat and water vapor, most bugs actually thrive in it and need it to live.

Unfortunately, this means that the impending summer humidity in certain parts of the country is about to bring these summer pests out in a big way.

Summer’s Most Common Pests

Cockroaches

The German cockroach is the most common roach species infesting our homes in North America. They are attracted to warm and humid places, making your kitchen and the water heater in the basement their most frequented hideaways.

Silverfish

These small, wingless insects are nocturnal and need to keep their bodies moist at all times in order to survive. You are likely to find them beneath boxes or furniture in your basement, the shower, or hiding in your kitchen.

Centipedes

Carnivorous and nocturnal, with their 100 feet, these pests can move quickly and spend most of the day hiding in humid, secluded places. They are highly attracted to the moist, humid parts of the home because they need to rehydrate constantly in order to live.

Earwigs

Known to burrow into topsoil outside, these nocturnal bugs can also infiltrate dark and humid areas of your home. You are most likely to find them around floor drains, bathrooms, or under rugs or furniture.

Roly-Poly Bugs

Also known as pill bugs, sow bugs, potato bugs, or armadillo bugs, these bugs often infest damp basements.

Tips to Prevent/Eliminate Summer Pests:

Healthy Home |

Professionals Needed: Here Are The Home Projects You Should Never DIY

2 minute read

So you bought your first house and can’t wait to rip up that crummy carpet. Go for it! But if you hit dirt, you might need to call in backup. As more millennials take the plunge into home ownership, it’s becoming more and more common to see DIY projects big and small. Things like carpet removal are doable. But no matter how many tips and tricks you’ve picked up from HGTV, Pinterest, or YouTube, there are some projects that simply aren’t worth the money, time, or risk to do yourself.

Setting Limits on DIY Home Projects

Skill Level for DIY Home Projects:

For some people, DIY is a way of life. For the rest of us, we need to be honest about our skills and level of experience. Sometimes a “simple” job can actually be a lot more complex than it appears. Hire a professional for these projects before you try it yourself and make a mistake that costs way more to fix.

  • Paving your driveway
  • Custom kitchen and bathroom jobs – backsplashes, flooring, countertops
  • Pest removal
  • Window Installation

Time Commitment for DIY Home Projects:

Some home improvement jobs can take weeks to complete when you try to do them yourself. For big projects, hiring a professional will mean a quicker and more efficient job done well so you can get back to enjoying your home without interruptions.

  • Large landscaping projects
  • Flooring
  • Demolition

Permission for DIY Home Projects:

Some home improvement projects require permits due to building codes. Save yourself the headache, and possible code violation, by hiring a professional who’s familiar with the process when it comes to these types of jobs.

  • Additions and remodels
  • Deck or patio addition
  • Major electrical/plumbing work
  • Pool installation and repairs

Safety Risk for DIY Home Projects:

If there’s any question of your ability to do something without injury or structural damage to your home, it’s most definitely a job for a professional.

  • Mold, asbestos, lead removal
  • Tree removal
  • Roof and foundation repairs
  • HVAC system installation and repair

When you’ve decided you need a pro, try to keep the process simple to save you time and headaches. Start by reaching out to a few trusted contractors in your area to get estimates on the work, (recommendations from friends are a great place to start) and then consider price and professionalism before making your decision.

When it comes to HVAC work, we make it easy to find a pro. Along with plumbing and electrical work, HVAC is an area where it’s crucial to get the job done right the first time.

Sources:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/millennials-take-on-diy-projects-with-more-confidence-and-budgeting-discipline-than-previous-generations-300813538.html

https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/10-home-projects-you-should-always-hire-a-pro-for/

https://www.ahs.com/home-matters/quick-tips/8-household-projects-to-leave-to-professionals/

https://www.rd.com/home/improvement/diy-home-improvement-projects/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/projects-you-should-not-diy_n_3923456

https://www.hallerent.com/blog/when-to-call-professional-for-home-improvement-repairs/

Raise a Happy, Healthy Home
Breathe easy with the blueprints to a Healthy Home.

Learn More
office

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Air |

Back To Work? 5 Ways to Promote A Healthy Office Environment

3 minute read

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists in the United States, every area of the country is grappling with the decision to “reopen” parts of society. One area of consideration is office life. While some companies have announced prolonged work-from-home policies, (July 2021 for Google employees), others are already back to normal or are planning to resume in-office activity in the fall.

What does that mean for employees who are concerned about returning to that environment in the midst of a pandemic?

It is largely the responsibility of your employer to create and maintain a safe work environment. And if you feel uncomfortable being in the office, it’s worth talking with your boss or co-workers about continuing to work from home.

If you are set to return to the office soon, here are some ways you can find safety and peace of mind by focusing on your health and the health of your environment.

5 Tips For A Healthy Office

1. Stay Home When You Need To

The mentality of toughing it out when you aren’t feeling well needs to be rewired. If you are at all concerned that you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, the safest thing you can do is not go to work.

This is the compassionate and responsible thing to do for yourself, your co-workers, and your family.

2. Keep Your Distance

Avoid congregating in common areas, break rooms, cafeterias, etc. While it may be a hard habit to break, it’s necessary to maintain as much distance between you and your coworkers as possible to keep everyone healthy.

3. Wear A Mask

Social distancing doesn’t negate the need for masks in the same way masks don’t negate the need for social distancing. Unless you work in a private office with your own entrance, you should be wearing a mask while working in any kind of shared air space.

4. Sanitize

Keep hand sanitizer on your desk and use it often. Any time you have to touch something that someone else has used, you should be washing or sanitizing your hands.

5. Don’t Touch

Find ways to open doors, push buttons, flip switches, etc. that don’t involve using your hands. If your workplace doesn’t have automatic faucets for example, consider using a paper towel to turn the faucet on and off, limiting your direct exposure to the germs living there.

Office Air Purifier

For another safety measure, consider a portable room air purifier for your office. The included filter in this Aprilaire Air Purifier removes dust, pollen, mold spores, germs and other pollutants that are 0.3 microns and larger.

Of course, you’ll have to leave your office from time to time, so be aware of the condition of the hallways, meeting rooms, and lounge spaces. Consider bringing up the topic of air filtration at your office if there aren’t currently any measures in place to address air quality. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have put together a safety checklist for employers who are welcoming employees back to the office.

As part of  Aprilaire’s Healthy Air System™, a whole-home air filtration unit can help you breathe a little easier when you come home from work, too.

This is an important piece of the multi-pronged approach that includes increased fresh air ventilation, humidity control, and air filtration to help reduce the proliferation of airborne viruses and other contaminants.

Let’s Clear the Air
Clean air is Healthy Air, pure and simple.

Learn More

Please note:
Aprilaire products are not intended to cure or treat any known airborne viruses but can help in the reduction of airborne viruses in your home and office.