How to Monitor and Control Indoor Air Quality in Your Home | care2.com

Indoor Air Quality

The air that we breathe is, quite literally, our life source. But it could also, quite possibly, be killing us. Air quality is becoming a modern crisis, with the World Health Organization (WHO) classifying air pollution as the world’s largest health risk, linking one in eight total global deaths to air pollution exposure, both indoor and out.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside our homes is commonly five times more polluted than that of the outdoors, and in some cases, up to 10 times. So, what can you do to protect your health, and that of your family, from this silent killer lurking in your home? Detect and correct. Find out what is causing air pollution in your home and then take whatever steps you can to help correct or mitigate those causes. Here we’ll look at how you can achieve this.

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HOW AMERICANS ARE EMBRACING THE POWER OF THEIR HOMES | Earth911.com

Smart Home

Just a few years ago, living off the grid conjured up images of tiny cabins in the middle of nowhere. Today, the dream of average American homeowners powering their homes with alternative energies is coming true. Solar panels on your neighbor’s roof are no longer an oddity, and electric cars are less of a curiosity and more of an everyday sight. It’s not hard to imagine a time when wind turbines in the backyard will be commonplace and geothermal heating an expected utility in all new homes.

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Smart Home DIY: 5 Reasons Your Family Is Going To Love Smart Door Locks | FunTimesGuide.com

Smart Home

The phrase “latchkey kid” was a popular one among my generation — the first where many families boasted two working parents. Coming home from school to an empty house was a pretty common occurrence for many of my school friends. However, thanks to smart door locks, today’s latchkey kids can dispense with the key entirely and parents can dispense with the worry over whether their children made it home safely!

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Saying Goodbye to Stanley: How to Keep the Memory of a Pet Alive | ElephantJournal.com

Smart Home

On the day my future husband and I moved into our first home together, we made one important stop before collecting the keys: we picked up an eight-week-old puppy from a farm in Driggs, Idaho. Twelve years later, in another new home 3,000 miles across the country, I lay with that puppy under a huge South Carolina oak tree as he took his last breath.

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Before and after: Tips for the ultimate bathroom makeover | TwinCities.com

Updating a bathroom can be a major undertaking, but the benefits are vast. From creating a calm sanctuary for your morning routine that sets you up for a successful day to adding substantial resale value to your home, a bathroom makeover is well worth the investment. Read my post on renovating our 1960s era master bath here.

7 Ingenious Ways To Use LED Lighting | Homes.com

Lighting has come a long way from its origins as a way to extend the working day. Today, thanks to the versatility of technology, lighting has become a key component of interior design. It helps us accentuate and reveal the beauty of our homes, while also providing functionality.

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are tiny light sources that require less energy and are more durable than traditional incandescent light bulbs. They can also be fashioned into different shapes and emit far less heat than traditional bulbs, making them suitable to put in places you would never have thought to put a light bulb, such as under a couch, to create a stunning modern look in your living room. The versatility of LEDs has brought indirect lighting to the forefront of modern interior lighting design, creating a realm of fabulous possibilities.

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How smart home devices help monitor and mitigate indoor air quality | MultiBriefs.com

There are a significant number of connected, Internet of Things-powered devices that incorporate some sort of indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring that can help mitigate indoor air pollution. From standalone IAQ monitors and devices that do double duty as security systems to smart HVAC systems that filter the air when dangerous levels occur, consumers can now easily monitor the health of their homes and businesses. For more read the full post here.

DIY Kid Art Table from an Old Cabinet | CraftingAGreenerWorld.com

art table

We recently remodeled our upstairs bathroom and decided to reuse an old cabinet we had in there as a DIY kid art table for our two children. This is quite a labor-intensive project and cost about $60 in supplies, but considering this style of art table runs upwards of $200 brand new, it seemed like time and money well spent—especially as we were able to feel good about putting parts of the old cabinet to good use.

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The Secret to Saving a Fortune on Rugs for Your Home - Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Rugs

There’s been a quiet revolution going on in rugs that you’re going to love. Gone are the days when you had to spend half your savings on a rug for your living room. Today, you can outfit your entire home for just a few hundred dollars. The secret? Outdoor rugs. (Yes, really)

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You can freeze that? 10 surprising freezable foods to save you time and money - Momaha.com | omaha.com

froxen herbs

The kids are back to school, and while your days may be a little less busy, those lazy summer evenings are a distant memory. Instead, your nights are now a whirlwind of sports, dance class, homework, family time and fun, which leaves precious little time for making dinner.

When it comes to the revolving door that is the kitchen, a mother’s best friend is undoubtedly her freezer. Whether you’re a pro at stocking up your freezer with homemade meals or only use your freezer for ice cream, this list of 10 surprising foods you can freeze will help you in your quest for quicker, healthier meals and smaller grocery bills.

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How To Build A Pull-Out Trash, Recycling And Compost System - Care2.com

recycling system

The dilemma of how to deal with three separate avenues for trash—recyclables, compost and everything else—has vexed me for nearly two years now, ever since we moved in to our new home, which had no built-in system. Then last month we found the perfect solution—one that wouldn’t cost us several hundred dollars. We built our own pull-out trash, compost and recycling system under our sink.

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6 WAYS TO STREAMLINE YOUR BEDROOM HOME OFFICE

organized desk

For people who work from home, a home office often means sharing space with another essential room, whether it be the living room, the kitchen, or, as is often the case, the bedroom. This can present multiple problems, especially if you share your bedroom with a partner. From unsightly clutter to an overflowing office area that creeps into the rest of the room, a messy desk in the bedroom can lead to an unhappy spouse and an untidy house. Keep your work under control and your “roommate” happy by using some of these organizational tips to streamline your bedroom-based office.


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5 Ways to Help Your Smart Home Heat and Cool More Efficiently - MOTHER EARTH NEWS

smart fans

I recently wrote about how smart home technology can help your home save energy. Chief among these energy-saving tips was installing a smart thermostat. A Wi-Fi-connected programmable thermostat can save you as much as 30 percent on your HVAC’s energy use. However, the potential to save money on your heating and cooling doesn’t end there. One of the biggest benefits of smart devices and the Internet of Things is the potential for integration. When these devices work together, you can create a smart home that actively and intelligently works to help you save energy.

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Seven Benefits of Smart/Motorized Blinds -- Environmental Protection

Smart Blinds Lighting

For anyone building or remodeling a home, energy efficiency is a key factor. From insulation to location, how you build a home can have a direct impact on how much energy it uses. While a Passive House, one that can remain comfortable through all seasons without employing an active heating or cooling system, may be a lofty goal for many people, there is something relatively simple you can add to your home to help passively control its temperature: smart shades.

Smart, motorized shades can help control the solar gain and heat loss your home experiences naturally throughout the day simply by opening and closing at pre-programmed times. With the addition of smart home technology, the blinds can actually learn when they need to open and close based on temperature and sun light, maximizing the energy efficiency of your HVAC system.

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How Smart-Home Technology Can Help During a Natural Disaster | The Wirecutter

Smart Home

When I talk to nontechie friends about my smart home, the reaction is usually a polite, bewildered smile. Occasionally, however, something catches their attention, because it relates to a personal need. Whether that’s getting a Wi-Fi camera for checking in on elderly parents, or painlessly dismissing an annoying false smoke alarm with a swipe of a finger, the appeal of the smart home for most people lies in individual situations. While smart things make life more convenient every day, I recently learned the hard way that coping with a natural disaster can be one of the most effective uses of smart-home technology.

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The Best Smart Smoke Alarm | The Wirecutter

smart smoke alarms

It’s hard to overstate the importance of having functioning, reliable smoke detectors in your home. From 2007 through 2011, almost a quarter of all home fire-related deaths in the US occurred in homes with nonworking smoke alarms. While any functioning smoke alarm will alert you to problems if you’re at home, a smart alarm can alert you anywhere your smartphone has an Internet connection. For our tests, a former firefighter installed every currently available smart smoke alarm in her own home, both hardwired versions and battery-powered models, to find the best one for keeping you informed about your house’s status, whether you’re home or away. After mounting them to ceilings and walls, blowing smoke at them, fiddling with their batteries and accompanying apps, and generally pushing their buttons, we found that the second-generation Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is the best smart smoke alarm.

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Round-Up: 9 Best Educational Apps for Your Kids - Modern Parents Messy Kids

Smart Phone Smart Kid

Image Credit: © Stephanie | Smart Kid and the Smart Phone | CC by 2.0

Screen time is a hot-button issue for today’s parents, but one thing we can all agree on is that however long our kids are glued to a screen for, we’d rather that time be spent learning something.

My son is eight, just a year younger than the iPhone, and my daughter is five, a year younger than the iPad. As a tech journalist, I’m an early adopter, so both my children have been exposed to these shiny, addictive devices from a young age.

Over the last few years I’ve spent a lot of time and effort investigating and playing with dozens of “educational” apps to find the ones that best strike that precarious balance between educational and fun. Here is a round-up of my favorite kid-tested and kid approved apps/websites for children under 10.

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How to Build a Squirrel-Proof Enclosure for Your Vegetable Garden for NaturallySavvy.com

Squirrel Proof

Is there anything more heartbreaking than watching a squirrel run off with one of your green cherry tomatoes, take a bite out of it, then throw it to the ground before going back to get another one? That was the scene in our backyard last summer.

We’d labored as a family to build a wonderful raised vegetable garden. We lovingly planted half a dozen tomato plants and carefully cared for a handful of cucumber, melon, squash and pepper plants, eagerly anticipating a summer filled with fresh, homegrown fruit and veggies on the dinner table.

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