Condo Blues: green




Showing posts with label green. Show all posts
Showing posts with label green. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Creative Sustainable Living Solutions for Landlords and Renters

Mediaplanet interviewed me for their America at Work  campaign and  asked me for sustainable property ideas for home owners, rental properties, and landlords facing the unique challenges COVID-19 has created in 2020. 

Which is pretty darn exciting and flattering because USA Today is using my name with the words "expert" and "leader" to promote the series. 

I can't tell you how many people have been trying to convenience me to dye my hair green to match the image in my article.

You can read can read my interview in print in USA Today or read my interview on line here


Did you enjoy this post? Get more like it by subscribing to the Condo Blues RSS Feed or to Condo Blues by Email.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

6 Ways to Use Less Plastic without Going Crazy

Many folks in the United Kingdom are looking for ways to live plastic free or with less single use plastic for the 40 days of Lent. This is as part of a national Plastic Free (Less) Lent Challenge influenced by the BBC TV program Blue Planet 2: Seas of Life (this show has such gorgeous nature photography and information that I have no problem recommending it to you and using my affiliate links to do it!)

So far, the folks I’m working with are excited when they find a plastic free bamboo toothbrush (read more about it here) or their grocery store allows them to use reusable cloth produce bags and that's fantastic! 

But as they have been living awhile with the low plastic challenge, there are many people who are becoming overwhelmed, or are too time poor to DIY plastic free everything, or worse, being shamed when they admit that they can’t afford the perfect plastic free option. That’s not cool.


6 Ways to Go Plastic Free without Going Broke or Crazy
Pin this list of ideas for later and share it with your friends!


I feel for ya, because I think I am the only person in the world who lives in an area where my farmer’s market, bulk food bins, and fresh vegetable summer CSA subscriptions are typically more expensive than a conventional grocery store. I want to do my bit but I don’t always have the time to regularly grocery shop at three or more markets every other week when one conventional grocery store has everything I need.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

10 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Heating Bills

In 2008, my family went on a year long experience to try lowering our heating bills by %20 thinking it was a lofty goal we may not meet. a slew of Greenzillas swore up and down that the only solution was to trash everything that came new with our house (and was working great) and replace it by buying new top of the time super energy efficient everything. Replacing working and still fairly new things didn't seem very eco friendly. Instead we focused on changing old habits and a few inexpensive home improvements.

And we beat our goal by reducing our use and bill by 32%.

10 years later and we’re still using less energy to heat our condo than comparable energy efficient rated homes in our area – and we’re toasty warm doing it too!

10 Super Simple Hacks That Keep Your House Warm and Your Heat Bill Low

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

16 of the BEST DIY Green Cleaning Products and Solutions You Need to Try Right Now!

Often people ask me how I have time to do all of the DIY I do on Condo Blues. My not so secret secrete is most of my crazy experiments happen when I'm trying to find something, anything, to keep myself occupied during my yearly Cabin Fever. 

Otherwise this is what I'm like from mid January until June.

I don't know who made or owns this gif (please let me know so I can credit them)
 but it often the image in my head when I see one.more.gray.day. outside my window

Sunday, February 4, 2018

How to Clean an Essential Oil Nebulizing Aromatherapy Diffuser

 I’ve been poking around at upgrading my candle essential oil diffuser. I didn’t realize how many types and choices are available since I bought my ceramic diffuser ages ago:
1. Candle Essential Oil Diffuser – Good for a start but it’s too easy for the candle to boil the essential oil and water dry. Not to mention the whole never leave a burning candle unattended thing.

2. Reed diffuser – Swing and a miss. Slow acting and only good for small rooms like a bathroom. You need new reeds every time you want to use a different essential oil in it.

3. Ultrasonic essential oil diffuser – Uses water and heat to produce a mist of essential oil in the air. They are often made out of a ugly hunks of plastic. The last thing I need (per my allergist) is to add humidity to the air in my home due to my (rather annoying) seasonal allergies which makes it a no go.

4. Nebulizing essential oil diffuser -  Uses an air pump to release the essential oil from the diffuser as waterless mist. Many people feel a nebulizer is a better option because it doesn’t change the makeup of the essential oil with heat or weaken the aroma with water – which makes it the perfect type for me!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

12 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Hot Water Heating Bill

Tens years ago, in 2008 my family started a year long product to reduce how much energy we use and our bill in our new home because a ton of Greenzillas said I couldn’t until I trashed all of my conventional and came new with the house major appliances and systems and replaced them with new super duper high efficiency (and expensive) everything.

I blogged about our new habits and inexpensive energy efficient DIY projects right here on Condo Blues in the very first year of this blog. Long story short, we reduced our use by 32% and kept it that way while staying toasty warm, clean, and well fed.

And using less energy than comparable families and homes in our area – including the Energy Star rated homes of which we are not.

Until recently when natural gas bill started to creep higher. Not break the bank,  we’rel going to starve high, but high enough to knock our house from constantly rating Very Good to smack dab in the middle of  Good. 

I wanted to figure out what’s going on because I had bragging rights on the line!

Turns out we were wasting too much energy heating water and after addressing  Tips One through Three we lowered our energy and hot water heating bill. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The 15 Best DIY and Green Living Ideas You Need to Try Right Now!

We’re celebrating the New Year by taking a look back at some of our favorite Condo Blues DIY projects for 2017.

From the looks of it, there are a bunch of you who like to garden but hating watering plant and  like to decorate and make things with recycled materials and add green home improvements to our homes, myself included!


Pin this post for later and to share with your friends!



Monday, September 11, 2017

20 New Ways to Use and Repurpose Old Towels

I swear the amount of towels in my linen closet magically doubles or triples on its own. I bet it is some relic from a science fiction universe (or that I live in a small house with a small linen closet but I’m still blaming aliens because it is more fun.)

If I don’t clean it out my linen regularly the towel population grows to the point it is so large I can’t close the closet door. Which given the size of the linen closet, it doesn’t take a huge towel population to achieve this.

But it also means that I regularly have old towels with a worn spot or edge but overall fairly usable and as such, something I don’t want to send to landfill hell if I can get another reuse out of it.

Luckily, old and worn towels are one of the easiest things to reuse and upcycle to save a little money, the environment, or better yet – time.

Pin these creative reuse ideas for later!

20 Genius Ideas to Reuse Old Towels You Have to Try!



Sunday, May 21, 2017

How to Make a Self Watering Flower Pot

Last summer Husband and I planted green and Apache peppers in my DIY self watering planter box the Mark 2. Self watering planters are fantastic for nightshades like tomatoes and peppers because they looooooooove being watered from their roots.

There are other benefits to growing vegetables in self watering containers: you conserve water by only watering the plant and not the surrounding sidewalk or patio with the sprinkler (or is that just me?) and may be less likely to kill the plant if you forget to water it every day (also me.)

I built the Mark 2 in the Earthbox style (learn more about it herewith a plastic aeration screen making a false bottom to fill with water. Unfortunately the aeration screen collapsed during the winter under the weight of snow and heavy wet soil. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

There is another style of self wicking planter that creates the water chamber with gravel and allows the water to wick to the plant roots using a layer of  landscaping fabric as a wick. Both water conserving planter ideas work well but I want to to reduce potential spring maintenance of replacing aeration screens that collapse under weight of wet soil or decomposing cloth wicks on a yearly basis.

I combined the two styles to make self wicking and watering tomato planters from pretty flower pots for my container garden.


How to Make a Pretty Self Watering Container Garden

Monday, May 8, 2017

How to make an Embroidered Dog Poop Bag Dispenser

When you have a dog, poop happens.

Being responsible pet parents means we need to carry potty bags to clean up after Lacey when she does her her business outside and on walks.

Being the green minded people that we are, I keep and fill two grocery bag holder for the stray plastic bags that cross my path.  I keep the empty grocery bag holder hanging in the kitchen to fill with random bread, frozen vegetable, and the occasional plastic grocery bag when I forget my canvas grocery bags when running a quick errand. When it is full I swap it out with the grocery bag holder I have hanging in the closet by the front door so we can reuse the bags for doggie duty. It isn’t perfect green solution but it works for us.

The big grocery bag dispenser in the closet is too big to take with us on walks. I sewed a small plastic grocery bag holder that attaches to Lacey’s leash to fill with repurposed bags from hall closet holder.


How to Sew a Clip on Dog Waste Bag Holder

Sunday, April 30, 2017

How to Make a Self Watering Planter Box

Husband and I were cruising the nursery when an apache pepper plant caught his eye and we decided then and there to  grow peppers in our patio garden. Yummy!

Unfortunately the self watering planter I made from a plastic storage tub had different ideas and cracked when visiting the Land of Ice and Snow (although most people call it Winter.) I wasn’t surprised because I used a light duty storage container to make the first planter.

There wasn't any love lost because while the self watering planter worked great, having a plastic storage tub taking up space on my patio wasn't' very pretty. I promised Husband a new and more rugged planter box we won’t be embarrassed to have in our back yard.


Pin this How To and share it with your friends!

 

Self Watering Planter Box Tutorial

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

9 Ways to Replace Plastic Wrap in the Kitchen


I have a like – hate relationship with plastic cling wrap. I like on those rare occasions that it actually and fully sticks to a container to keep food fresh. I also hate it most of the time because, no matter what type or brand, it never sticks, food dries out or gets freezer burn, and I end up tossing the spoiled food and the plastic wrap in the trash.

So it was no great stretch for me to find a way to keep food fresh without plastic wrap. Once I started using my Swiss Army knife of easy alternatives,  I noticed we also reduced the amount of weekly household trash by quite a bit. Yay!


Pin me for later!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

What’s in Your Trash and How Do You Reduce it (or Not?)

I’ve been thinking a lot about trash lately. The stuff in the bin outside your house, not about tawdry things. Lacey is a genteel lady who not tolerate dirty things in her home (unless it is something muddy or smelly to roll in.)

 I love mud!

I’ve been mulling over ideas to share how to reduce your household trash since the New Year.  I’m coming up short because every draft I write sounds like some big green guru sitting on a mountain top looking down  her nose at the world thinking that my Swiss Army knife of low waste options are the Pinnacle of One Size Fits All Solution to reducing household waste.

Or at least it feels that way and that is not my intent at all.

I want to offer options not absolutes because, honestly, there aren’t any one size fits all eco friendly low waste living solutions. It all depends on where you live, how you like to live, family size, etc.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What is This Green and White Corrosion on My Faucet and How Do I Fix It?

The kitchen sink started leaking from the back side of the faucet handle.  Most of the time the kitchen faucet leaks because the washer in the faucet handle wears out.

Faucet handles get a lot of use all day every day so the wearing of moving parts is inevitable. Replacing the washer with a new one is usually the quick and simple fix.

I removed the screw cover and screw from my single single handle faucet to lift the  handle up to remove it and replace the rubber washer.

It wouldn’t budge.


Pin this post for reference later!


You can see a lot of rust inside of the faucet handle. White and green corrosion fused the faucet handle parts together and snapped off in my had. What is this stuff?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DIY Flannel Pajama Pants

My 2016 World of the Year was Hygge – the Danish concept of what loosely translates as a feeling of happy coziness which I had no idea Hygge became A Thing but it has.

Well, well, well lookit me being all bleeding edge hipster because I wanted to share the concept of Hygge with my family in the form of handmade pajama pants as Christmas gifts last year.

Pin this project for later!
I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

DIY Flannel Handkerchiefs and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 353

My poor wee little nose just can't take it any more. I blew through a 100 +count box of tissues (literally) in three days and my Plague is now just barely showing signs of stopping. If it weren't for my neti pot (affiliate link for your convenience) I  wouldn't be able to breathe since I'm all stuffed up with a cold AND a sinus infection. Never do anything half way I always say! 

Fortunately, as I felt this ick coming on early, I made a stack of quick and easy flannel handkerchiefs to use in addition to disposable tissues to keep my nose from getting chapped and feeling raw. By bouncing back and forth between the two types of tissues I don't have a chapped nose for the first time in forever! Not to mention, the flannel hankies don't disintegrate after using a neti pot like the paper tissues do. (Ew.)

Flannel tissues are super simple to make!

 Pin this tutorial for cold and flu season!


1. Cut a piece of flannel cloth in the size of your choosing.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The 10 Best DIY Projects of 2016

We’re celebrating the New Year by taking a look back at some of our favorite Condo Blues DIY projects for 2016.
From the looks of it, we all like to decorate and make things with recycled materials and add green home improvements to our homes, myself included!
 

Our Top 10 DIY Projects and Posts on Condo Blues in 2016


How to Cut Wine Corks for Crafts the Easy Way!

 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Friday Favorites Linky Party - Week 350

Do you have your holiday decorations up? I decorated outside of our house last week. But  the inside? Not so much. As in not yet. I've been working on adding new designs to my store LNWCreativeGifts for the Christmas and Hanukah shopping season.

Do you want to see what I made? Of course you do!


Personalized Bass Treble Clef Heart Luggage Tag - This sturdy personalized luggage tag with leather strap will identify your black suitcase from all of the other black suitcases on the airport baggage carousel. I have one on my instrument case to identify it from all of the other black instrument cases from the people in my section during band practice.

Personalized Bass Treble Clef Heart Luggage Tag


Personalized Bass and Treble Clef Heart Keychain - is in a slightly different color scheme than the luggage tag and is availbel in several key chain styles if you want something different than the button style shown here. A thoughtful gift idea for the musician, singer, or music lover on your gift list!

Personalized Bass and Treble Clef Heart Keychain

I Spill Things Metal Thermal Coffee Tumbler - Who says green living can't be fun living too? This stainless steel double walled insulated tumbler will keep cold drink cold (hi breakfast smoothie!) and hot drinks hot (coffee! coffee! coffee!) longer than your average cheapola travel mug.

I Spill Things Metal Thermal Coffee Tumbler
Millennial You Showed Up Gold Metal Trophy Medal - if you need a white elephant or gag gift or you are disappointed you did not grow up in the era of Everyone Gets a Trophy,  this gold medal is for you!

Millennial You Showed Up Gold Metal Trophy Medal


I showed you my project, now it's time to share yours!



Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Introducing My Friday Favorites Linky Party - Week 333!

I see so many fantastic DIY, home decor and green living projects on the Internet I want to share with you. I do that mostly with the Condo Blues Pinterest, Facebook page, and Twitter accounts (give me a follow, pretty please?) but oh my goodness friends, you have so much awesome going on I could be sharing your projects 24/7 on those channels and barely make a dent in all of the wonderfulness I admire and want to feature.

Not to mention, there are just as many fantastic and creative projects and recipes out there that I haven't found that I would share if I knew about them.So let's have some fun adn fix that, shall we?

We shall!

I'm joining Jerri at Simply Sweet Home   in co-hosting her Friday Favorites Linky Party! Every week you will have the chance to share your favorite DIY, craft, recipe, and creative projects using the Linky Tools at the bottom of this post. The best part of the party is not only are you sharing your creative genius with the Condo Blues blog community but also on the nine other blogs of party co-hosts!


 
 photo Friday Favorites Banner 2.jpg

Sunday, July 17, 2016

21 Unique Bottle Cap Crafts to Inspire You!

I remake and makeover a lot of things using bottle caps but as our collection grows I need new recycled DIY ideas.

If you look at my Pinterest Crafts board you will see I have bottle cap projects on the brain. It seems like after I complete one bottle cap decorating project I see and pin a bunch more. (Follow me @condoblues on Pinterest pretty please?)

I can’t be the only one that doesn't this, can I?


Pint this post for later!

I thought I’d share the bottle cap craft love and show you some of my favorite recycled bottle cap projects from around the web to inspire you.

You can just drool over them like the bottle cap house. I doubt my Home Owner’s Association will let me do that or Husband for that matter.