According to the Nielsen Company, parents and students will spend just under $1.6 billion on back-to-school supplies this year. Spending even a portion of that on “green” products would have a meaningful impact on the environment.
When buying paper, check the labels and choose the product with the highest post-consumer waste (PCW) content. (That’s the waste paper from our homes and offices.) Treecycle.com and Green Paper Company are two of the online retailers that make it easier to buy tree-friendly back-to-school supplies.
You’re going to need pens and pencils to go with that paper. Forest Choice #2 cedar pencils are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council “to have originated from environmentally well-managed forests.” Biodegradable cornstarch pens and other green writing tools are available from Green Earth Office Supply. Read more
One of the most critical aspects of fire safety is creating a “defensible space” around your home: a 100-foot radius of property that’s specifically maintained to minimize fire risks. However, defensible space is often misunderstood—a lot of people think it merely consists of clearcutting all trees, shrubs and bushes within 100 feet of their homes, but this oversimplifies the matter. In reality, creating a defensible space involves a specific strategy. Read more
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, close to 25 percent of all employed Americans work from home at least some of the time. This is hardly surprising given increasingly longer commutes and the growth of the gig economy. If you’re part of this trend of telecommuters, you probably already know that working from home has its upsides and downsides. The key to staying on task while surrounded by the distractions of home is to create a home office where you can be your most productive. Let’s go through the steps.
If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated room for a home office, Read more
The Bay Area’s moderate climate and abundant green space make pest control a year-round problem. At any given time, residents may find their homes overrun with insects such as termites and fleas or confronting trespassing animals like mice and rats. While many are eager to eliminate potentially harmful pests, there are also concerns about the effects of pesticides on people and pets. In this article, we’ll demystify the pest control industry by defining key terms used by professionals, providing tips for a pest-free home and answering frequently asked questions about eliminating pests.
Broad spectrum: Something that affects a wide range or large number of organisms. In pest control, Read more
Like many Bay Area homeowners, you’ve probably taken measures to reduce your home’s water and energy usage, such as installing water-saving plumbing fixtures and switching to LED lighting. However, you may have overlooked another part of your property: your yard. From your garden to your pool, there are several areas where you can save water and energy by improving your exterior efficiency. Consider the following measures:
If you’re using an outdated sprinkler system to water your lawn and garden, you may be wasting water every day. Traditional sprinkler heads are known for their inefficiency, losing a substantial amount of the water they distribute to wind and sun evaporation. Fortunately, you can easily upgrade your system for a surprisingly low cost. Read more
The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) is a nonprofit trade organization that has been advocating for roofing professionals since 1886. This big-tent organization represents not only roofing contractors but all professionals that play a part in the roofing industry, including engineers, consultants, material distributors and architects. Its members come from 53 countries and all 50 states. The NRCA’s primary goal is to advocate for those working in the roofing industry and help its members better serve their customers.
The NRCA has created and organized a wealth of technical information on best roofing practices, all of which are available to roofing professionals and consumers. The NRCA has published numerous roofing manuals and provides information on building codes worldwide. Read more
Starting a remodeling project? Keep these nine tips at hand! Read more
Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips on DIY home maintenance. One of the tips was a step-by-step procedure for repairing a damaged area of drywall. To see this procedure demonstrated firsthand, watch this video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Charles Irwin of Irwin Construction.
Those of us who live in the Bay Area understand that a major earthquake could happen at any time. If we want to live here—with the mountains, beaches and great weather—we have to make an uneasy truce with the massive fault lines running beneath our homes. Luckily, while we don’t have to like our rowdy underground neighbors, we can preemptively call the cops on the party. Do these 14 things now and be prepared for a major quake.