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5 Things to Do to Help the Environment

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There are always so many ways to help the environment. Where do you start?  Some things seem to take a long time to do, cost so much money, or require a major life shift.  There are some things that are little things that can make a big difference.  In fact, many of these smaller things are a great way to get young children into caring for the environment.  Indirectly, many of these tips can help you save money or be more minimalistic.  It’s a win win for everyone.  Here are 5 tips you can use to up your environmental quotient.

  1. Add plants to your living space.  Plants are nature’s detoxifer.  They can help purify the air and bring the outside in.  Just adding a couple of plants to each room will help purify the air.  Then relax and enjoy.
  2. Turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth.  If you brush your teeth after every meal you can use up to as much as 45 gallons of water.  Way to much waste.  Speaking of faucets, also get a leaky faucet or running toilet fixed.  It will use less water and not annoy you as much.
  3. Support politicians, musicians, companies and websites that are devoted to helping the environment.  Your support matters.
  4. Join an organization that supports environmental causes near to your heart.  It could be an international, local, state or national organization.  There are so many out there from conservative groups to radical ones.  Some are long established others address newer concerns.  Just make sure they work within the law.
  5. Share.  One of the things that I have done to help the environment and share is giving toys to other kids in the neighborhood when my son outgrows them.  They enjoy them and they continue to get use out of them.  See if you can set up a sharing circle with some of your neighbors?  It’s a great way to get new items and not have to pay new prices.  Then they don’t end up in the landfill either.

What ideas do you do to help take care of the environment?

 

 

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Vintage vs Antique vs Retro

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Vintage, antique, retro, words we hear constantly.  We see them in store windows, on online postings and when grandma tells us about her candy dish from the world’s fair.  What does it all mean?  Many use the definitions as interchangeable words.  But are they?  Can misuse represent fraud?  It may not rise to that level hopefully, but it can create confusion.  So after looking at multiple sources and speaking with several people I hope the following can help you to know what you are looking at and what you should look for when shopping.

Vintage is the most common word that gets used for a variety of meanings.  Vintage is actually supposed to be used for wine only.  Yup, vintage refers to the year a wine is made.  It is not supposed to apply to anything else.  However, like everything in society, somethings don’t always follow what they are supposed to.  When the word vintage is used in conjunction with anything other than wine it is meaningless.  You will hear many people say that vintage means from 50 to 100 year old but not less than 20 years.  Having read in many chat rooms that this is the “common” usage.

What is antique?  An antique item is anything over 100 years old.  This is an industry standard.  Easy, and straightforward.

Then, that leaves retro.  What does retro mean?  Retro is imitative of a style, fashion, or design from the recent past.  Something that is outdated but becomes fashionable again. Remember bell bottoms?  They became popular again for a brief time in the 1990’s.  Retro can also apply to furniture, art and other forms of design and art.

I hope this brief tutorial helps you when shopping at your local flea market or on ebay.

 

 

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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.