Tags: green living


smoke filters in windows

Spring will eventually be upon us, and that means opening windows to let in the fresh air! Except my next-door neighbors smoke on their porch quite often. This results in cigarette or cigar smoke wafting into the closest windows, which happen to be in my living room. The duplexes in this neighborhood are a driveway apart from each other, so we're talking less than 15 feet away. Heck, sometimes the wind will be just right so that the smoke flies down the driveway and into my bedroom window.

My first course of action is to buy furnace air filters and put them in the windows, but I'm not sure there would be adequate air flow through to the living room -- which can become incredibly hot in the summer -- since furnaces force air through those filters. I don't know if that would work.

My second idea is to buy two or three two-directional little window fans to fill each window, put them on the same power strip, and run them whenever the smokers are on their porch, or whenever the room gets too hot.

My third option is to measure the openings of my strangely-sized living room windows and hope I can find a box fan that isn't a half-inch too tall to fit under the moving part of the window, as are the two box fans I already own. If I find such fans, I can put those in the windows facing out and have a fan blowing in at the other end of the house and hope for the best.

Over all, I'd really like to keep costs down for this, both in materials and in electric bills. Has anyone here used furnace filters for this purpose, or found a similar yet better solution to keep cigarette smoke from coming into his or her house through the windows?

Thanks for your help!

love birds, hate bugs

I've noticed over several years that mosquitoes love to hang out by my front door and the side of the house adjacent to the driveway. I also know that birds -- sparrows, robins, & crows mostly -- will spend time in or near the tree in front of my house and occasionally visit the upstairs porch. Does anyone know of a great way to kill droves of mosquitoes without harming the birds who might decide to eat them or eat things near the area? Thanks!
Actres- Keira bored

Looking for a specific eco-friendly App.

Y'all are brilliant so I'm coming to you with this annoying problem in which I can't find an app I saw on a clip of the Martha Stewart show. I saw it a while ago while browsing through the site, I THINK it was an Earth Day episode, or else the theme was just environmentally friendly. I've searched as much as I can on there and Google but I'm not finding it. The App itself works so as to help you avoid issues with green-washing when grocery shopping. I think essentially you could scan the item like eggs that say "cage-free" or "organic" and it tells you all this info on it and how credible it is and what the labeling means as far as how the chickens were treated and all that.

I just can't remember the name or the group promoting it, all I remember is a frog as the logo. If you have no idea which app this is, could you recommend me a similar one? Thanks in advance!

stinky drain?

so i think this is my first post here.. i must say that i love this community.

but thats not my issue. my issue is that my shower drain had been clogged and a week or so ago it was cleared out by a plumber. there had been a horrible mineral build up.. but also the pipes are smaller than usual down there.. anyways.. the clog/build up has been taken care of.. but now my bathroom stinks. its a small bathroom, and the smell is definitely coming from the pipes. i have no clue how to deal with this anymore.

i should also mention i wont use chemical cleaners. i bought an all natural cleaner and scrubbed the hell out of my bathroom top to bottom, ive also piled baking soda in, on and around the drain.. then poured vinegar down. still stinks.

help? suggestions? anything to get this stink out??
***EDIT: almost boiling water rinse followed by baking soda/vinegar = worked. problem solved.
thank you for all the responses :)
  • zaxwrit

Baking Soda and Vinegar Uses

I thought it might be fun to share what we use baking soda + vinegar for (or just baking soda, or just vinegar). I love this stuff, use it to clean the drains in the sinks and tubs about once a week. I dump in about 1/4 cup of baking soda and a cup or so of vinegar, let it sit and work thru the drain for about 20 minutes and then run a light stream of cold water to rinse it all down. I also sometimes soak dishes in it.

What about you?

Washable furnace filters

It's that time of year again...time to turn the furnace back on.  Drat.

I'm tired of buying the disposable filters at Home Depot for $20 a pop. Has anyone tried the washable permanent air filters like this one from Amazon?

If so: Do they seem to work well? Is washing them relatively simple? Anything else I should know about these as an alternative to the disposable ones? If it matters, we have an oil furnace.

I like the idea of keeping disposables out of the landfill and saving $$$, but I can't find too many reviews out there so I thought I'd ask the hippest of the domestics. I looked in the tags and couldn't find anything (though LJ is being slooooowww so I didn't go back too far), so hopefully this hasn't already been covered. Thanks in advance!
Kitty with a butterfly

Household Tricks

Hubby and I recently bought our first house and we are for the most part pretty novice as homeowners. I am looking for safe and perhaps more environmentally friendly ways to clean and take care of typical household repairs. Today's issue is a slow draining tub. We bought Drano but if there's a safer method (for the pipes) I'd love to hear one since our house is fairly older. Suggestions for all types of things would be greatly appreciated. We're hoping to start a garden in the back yard as soon as the ground thaws but we don't know much about gardening either. Hubby is a chef and he's looking forward to cooking with fresh herbs and veggies. We also have a smelly washer that smells like eggs on the first wash (if I do more than one in a day). I tried vinegar and Washer Magic and still no luck. It's an old washer (my guess would be early 90's, it's a Kelvinator) but it does work good.

Any and all suggestions to typical household things are all welcome!

SO Not Eco-Friendly Request...Catalogs?

So I know this isn't very GREEN of me..but I really love catalogs. Like actual tangible-hold in your hands-catalogs. Fashion catalogs, gift catalogs, house decor catalogs...*dreamy
Anyone a paper-phile like me?
Which catalogs do you recieve?

maybe tmi? But I love to get a pile of catalogs in the mailbox. I love to cut them up and make dreamy roomscapes with them in my "house journal"...I love to craft with them... well I guess since I am making something with them maybe it isn't so shamefully not-green lol lol

anyhoooo~ any catalog rec's would be very much appreciated...Thank You!!!

Your favorite products

I'm sure this goes around every so often but I'm in the mood now to hear others wax enthusiastic about cleaning products from toilet to tub, carpet to laundry. What do you use? Why do you like it? Natural, conventional, or homemade, let me have it!

I've used homemade cleaners a lot in the past but I'm on a storebought kick mostly. I prefer non-petroleum-based products in general. I have hard water.

Dishsoap: Ecover
Dishwasher detergent: Finish Powerball
All-purpose cleaner: in flux
All-purpose heavy-duty/degreaser: Charlie's Soap All-Purpose
Toilet cleaner: Ecover or Seventh Generation
Abrasive cleanser: Baking soda & Dr. Bronner, Biokleen Soy Scrub, Bon Ami, Barkeeper's friend (least to most difficult dirt)
Glass cleaner: Method Best in Glass
Laundry detergent: Seventh Generation powder (HE) [Planet powder for cloth diapers, but *knock wood* the baby seems to have potty trained]
Hardwood floors: Bona
Wood furniture: Murphy's oil soap, Wood Beams conditioner
Quick convenient clean-up: Clorox Greenworks wipes

...That's all I can think of. So how about you? What do you love and why do you love it? Got a nice-smelling, fairly-mild all-purpose cleaner (counters and surfaces type stuff) to recommend? Or a positive or negative review of a specific product?

Thank you h_d!