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5 Quick Ways to Help the Environment

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We are all so busy right?  We want to do a lot of things but never seem to have the time.  Once of these things is helping out the environment.   How can we be more sustainable without spending all of our time.  Below, find 5 quick ideas to help the planet be a better place.

  1. Use biodegradable poop bags for your dog.  Yes, they exist.   Keep plastic out of the landfills.
  2. Reuse gift bags.  We have all got them for birthdays and holidays.  Too nice to throw away right?  Cut off the address tag and reuse them.  You can give gifts in them, use them to carry things, cut them up for a decoration.
  3. Buy Bamboo when possible. Bamboo is durable and fast growing. It’s renewable and sustainable. It can also be used for a variety of things from interior design and clothing, do bowls, and utensils.
  4. Volunteer for a river or park clean up.  Spend a few hours one weekend a year to help get trash out of our water supply. It will not only help keep our drinking water clean, but also keep animals from eating garbage or getting trapped in trash,
  5. Support an animal.  Volunteer or donate items to  a shelter.  Adopt through a wildlife organization or zoo your favorite animal.  I’ve sponsored endangered species  before. It’s also a great gift for others!  Christmas is coming!

What quick ways do you know that help the environment.  Share them with me.

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Color Psychology, Color Meanings. Pt. 2

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This is a continuation of a blog post on Monday about color and it’s meanings.  Let’s start with the next color.

Black:  Black is sophistication. It can be safe, intelligent,weighty, distinct, mysterious, conservative, classic, serious, authoritative, but also cool, dead, empty, cold, mournful, and empty.

Brown is comfortable, stable, natural, rich, distinctive, traditional, rich but also dull and dirty.

Pink means delicate, feminine, gentle, girly, romantic, soft, playful and sweet.

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White can convey cleanliness, innocence, peace, purity, sterile, cold, and empty.

Purple says fantasy, regalia, mystery, and spirituality.

Grey tells of authority, corporate climate, practical, respectful, stable, somber, conservative and dull.

Silver inspires feelings of modernity, classic style, high tech, cold and modern.

Gold is rich, valuable, warm, and traditional.

What are your favorite colors?  Do you agree with the adjectives used to describe them.?

 

 

 

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5 Ways to Save Money

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Saving money is difficult.  So many things cost money.  School loans are at an all time high.  Paying for a mortgage, car, insurance and any medical costs could eat your savings up.  So how do you save money?  Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet that will land you instant savings. You have to build your savings step by step.  Learn where your money goes. Here are some quick ideas on how to keep your wallet fuller.

  1. Check you tax with holdings.  Are there any deductions you can take next year?
  2. Give up cable/satellite.  I just saw a story on local TV about people giving up their cable or satellite and returning to antenna! What’s better than free TV?
  3. 30 day no spend challenge. try not to spend unnecessarily. Just make sure you keep up with your bills and obligations.
  4. Get rid of a vice. Is it time to give up alcohol?  How about soda, sweets or smoking?
  5. Buy store brands. We all know about cereal, but store brands come in everything from shampoo to pasta to clothing.  Check them out and see if you like them.

Happy Shopping!

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Every Color Has A Story. Color Psychology.

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Color.  I love color.  Nothing makes me happier than looking at a wall of paint swatches, or bin of colored pencils.  Color makes me smile.  Color is a very influential in many aspects of our lives. It not just for looks either.  Color can illicit an emotional response. Marketers, artists and designers all know how color influences us.  Color creates associations.  We use colors in psychology, art and religion to denote status and attention. When you look at some religious art, why are some deities in blue?  I’ve never seen Christianity’s Virgin Mary in scarlet red. She always in blue and white. Color,  at it’s purest form make us feel, maybe more than anything. Red can be angry, but it can also be loving.  Blue calming but also cold.

How does color tell us this? It depends on our age, culture, and climate. Children often change their favorite color.  However, once we hit adulthood we often have a fixed favorite. For years my favorite color was black.  Since my thirties my favorite color has been charcoal grey.  A hard color to find in clothes, but more prevalent in design.

A pioneer in the science of color psychology was Carl Jung.  Jung not only investigated the meanings of color, but how they could be used as a psychological tool.  The meaning of color is most prevalent in marketing.  Color has power.  It helps us recognize brands without using words.  Almost everyone in the world recognizes the “Golden Arches” of McDonalds. Color catches your eye. It helps you to decide if an item is appealing. Sometimes color name influences buying choices too.  If a rose color was blood red instead of romantic red would it be as popular of a choice?

We live in a world of color.  What are the common feelings that they evoke?

Take Blue for instance.  Blue is calming.  It instills trust, a sense of duty, coolness, reflection, tradition, sadness, and coldness. Blue is used for Tiffany boxes, in traditional gift wrap and power suits.  There is also the expression “to have the blues”, meaning to be depressed.  All colors have a dual personality.  The good and the bad.

Green is all around us.  It is refreshing, zesty, growth, restorative, restful and safe.  It can mean ordinary or stagnant as well.  It’s not coincidence that many environmental companies use green in their logos.  It is the color of our environment.

Yellow is both sunny and scared.  Yellow is warmth, happy, honorable and open.  It can also be fearful, cowardly, and irrational.  What does it say to you?

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Orange as a color evokes the ideas of energy, stimulation, food, fun, and health.  It also is frustration, cautious, immature, and warning.

Red has so many meanings its hard to list them all.  Red is courageous, strong, warm, vigorous, energy, love and passion.  It is also danger, anger, pain, and defiant.  Want to learn more about other colors?  Wait for part two to learn about the other colors including purple, pink and others.

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10 Things to Declutter

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One of my monthly features is about the concept of decluttering.  I usually give 10 things to look at.  You don’t have to do all of the 10, but they are things to think about.  Life for me gets overwhelming.  These give me a reminder that I should check certain things.  I am trying to live a more minimal lifestyle. However, I am not a minimalist.  Far from it.  It’s a daily struggle.  While I’m not a pack rat, I do keep things.  I constantly am refining what I keep and what I donate or trash.  Here is my list for this month:

  1. Back to school clothes.  Try them on, donate what is too small or used.
  2. Summer clothes.  Get rid or donate what is worn out.  Don’t store stuff that is not going to be used.
  3. Summer toys or items.  Those empty bottle of sunblock can go.  Is your plastic pail missing it’s handle?  Recycle it.
  4. DVR.  Clean out your DVR shows.  Too many Law and Order reruns?  Can you get rid of them? What are you going to watch?  Clean up your shows.
  5. School Supplies.  Most of us have gone shopping for supplies already.  Check to see if your home or school needs a little extra.  Nothing is worse than trying to find a certain type of marker in the middle of winter because yours dried out.
  6. Fall Decor.  Getting out your Autumn decor in preparation for the leaves changing?  What can you toss.  What do you need?  Get rid of those old, dirty gel clings. Have your kids outgrown the Snoopy Halloween decorations?
  7. Chips/Pantry Items.  School is starting or has started for some of us.  Now is a great time to toss all your expired food, or unused and stale food.  Many stores will have sales to get rid of their excess back to school food packs.  Look for those deals.
  8. Plastic Bags.  I keep my plastic bags.  I use them when I scoop out the litter box.  Do you have a stash of these bags?  Do you use them?  If not, you may have to do a little clearing of this stash.  Many big box retailers now allow you to bring in your unused plastic bags to get them recycled.  Call your local Target or Walmart to see if they have these recycle bins in their store.
  9. Paper Bags.  This could have gone in number 8.   I keep it separate because I think of my paper bag stash as separate from the plastic one.  I keep those paper bags to use for garbage.  I keep the ones with the good handles for carrying things.  Sometimes you just have too many.  Let them go, or at least cull the herd.
  10. Pet Supplies.  We recently got kittens.  Yup, they are cute and they know it. They can also be a bit destructive.  I get rid of those things that they destroyed.  Are there toys that your dog or cat doesn’t like? Maybe a carrier that you no longer use?  Many rescue organizations are willing to take gently used or like new donations.  Check with your vets office too.  Mine always needs towels.  If your pet doesn’t like the stuffed alligator you got them let it go.  It’s not personal, although it is a cute alligator.

Well that’s it.  The ten for this month.  What have you decluttered?  Let me know in the comments.

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10 Things To Clean

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Here is the monthly list of 10 things you need to clean.  These are things that you normally don’t clean on a day to day basis.  Things that maybe you have forgotten about cleaning or things you have let go.  Take these ten for the month and get some things accomplished.

  1. Wash the pet dishes.  When was the last time you put Fido’s or Fifi’s dishes through the dishwasher?  Get them in there for an extra sparkle.
  2. Pet Food Storage. Staying in the pet theme, clean you pet food storage.  We take our dry cat and dog food and put it in a Tupperware-esque container to keep it secure and fresh. Get all those crumbs out of the bottom and give it a good soap and water rinse.
  3. Garden Supplies.  Fall is here.  I’ve already put away my flower pots.  I tossed a few that were on their last legs. Get rid of that awful tomato cage that doesn’t work, or the old rusty garden trowel.
  4. Desk Drawers. Since we are in the back to school time you can replace much of your supplies with new that is also on sale.  Get rid of the nubby pencils, buy an electric pencil sharpener, get new markers etc.
  5. Bathroom drawers.  Kind of the same as the above.  College is starting.  There are a lot of sales on cosmetics and personal care items.  Get rid of the unusable and empty for new.
  6. Bathroom holders.  Since we are on the topic of bathrooms it’s time to clean out all those bathroom holders.  Everything from the soap holder in the shower to the items underneath the sink give a good clean.
  7. Purse.  We’ve all had to clean out our bags.  Now is the time to take a moment and give the bag a real cull.  Take the time to buy some bag organizers to make things easier to find.
  8. Cup holders. My car cup holders are always getting disgusting. How are yours holding up?
  9. Glove Compartment/Center Console. Get those old CD’s out of there.  Can’t remember what that cord is for?  If it’s not your phone or other device let it go.
  10. Hobbies.  Okay, this is sort of a big category isn’t it? Well, I’m not asking you to clear out a hobby itself.  Just to pick one hobby, let’s say scrapbooking.  Go through all your supplies and clean them out.  An ink pad that is dry.  Let it go.  That baby bottle stamper you bought when your child was born, who is now 12 years old.  Donate.  You get the point.  Pick just one hobby though.  Let me know what you chose in the comments below.
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5 Ways to Help the Environment

Helping the environment.  Doing what is right for the environment is such a political act these days.  Should it be? No one wants to drink tainted water, or breathe polluted air. So here are some ideas to do your part to help the environment survive just a little bit longer.

  1. Recycle those batteries!  Batteries contain heavy metals that can leach from the batteries and pollute the water supply.
  2. Shut off the water when you brush your teeth.  Some people let the water run.  Turn it off.  You can save gallons of water a day.
  3. Use natural personal care products when possible.  Many personal care products use ingredients that are harmful to the planet and the other life forms that live here.  Try to use natural ingredients if ever possible.
  4. Turn off the lights! Just leaving the lights on releases a large amount of greenhouse gases.  If you don’t need it, turn it off.
  5. Buy local. Buying local not only supports jobs, but it can also cut down on many pollutants.  Gas, electricity, and packing things to ship can not only cost money but add to environmental pollutants.  Learning to buy local saves on many fronts.

I hope these short ideas help you on your quest to be a better consumer and resident environmentalist.