April 1, 2013

Edmonton Interior Decorator | Upscale Magazine | Greenhouse Effect part 1

From international clients to international publications: I recently had the honour to be interviewed by Shydel James for the April 2013 issue of Upscale Magazine. He approached me for some green living advice, and how it can save you some "green" around the home.

Click the image for the pre-published article!

Yes, I took some liberties with this cover image. That addition in the lower right is mine. *smile*

Naturally, I have so much more to say on the subject, so I'm putting together a three-part series on the topic. Here's part one:

What are some unique ways to go green and save energy (and money) around the kitchen?

Pressure cooker: You can cut down up to 70% of your cooking time. This means that no matter what source of energy you are using, you are using less of it.

Cast iron cookware: Designed to last several life times. You can pass them down to your grandchildren. When Teflon pans becomescratched, they have to be replaced. Cast iron is nearly indestructible. Also, as an added health benefit, cast iron emits small amounts of iron into your food, giving you added nutrients to help you produce red blood cells and prevent anemia.

Separate your fruits & vegetables: As fruits and vegetables ripen, they emit a gas called ethylene. This can lead to premature spoilage. Carrots and apples are ethylene sensitive, whereas pears and plums are ethylene producers. It's may be hard to know which ones to separate, so you can use an ethylene gas reducer (like the BluApple) to save food and money. http://www.thebluapple.com/

Unplug unused appliances: Any appliances that are used less than one time per day, should be unplugged. Even though they are not in use, they are sucking small amounts of power. Watch out for these sneaky energy-vampires.

Bee's Wrap: A great alternative to plastic wrap for food storage. The antibacterial properties of the beeswax and jojoba oil help to keep food fresh and allow you to use the Bee's Wrap again and again. http://www.beeswrap.com/

What are some unique ways to go green and save energy (and money) in the bathroom?

Beeswax candle to freshen the air naturally: Unlike soy and paraffin candles, 100% pure beeswax candles create negative ions when burning, creating a similar effect as houseplants. Negative ions neutralize allergens, dust and air borne toxins.

Baking soda and vinegar for cleaning: These are the only two cleaning products you should need. Vinegar works as a disinfectant and a deoderizer. Baking soda provides the scrubbing power to polish away grime. It's also a great neutralizer for odours.

Solatube: A cost-effective way to bring natural light to virtually any room. http://www.solatube.com

Switch shaving creams: The shaving cream you use could be dulling your blades -- lengthen their life with natural shaving products. My favourite pick is Alba Botanica. It's also fantastic for sensitive skin. (My husband rates the comfort of shaving with this cream an 11/10! He also says his blades last up to four times longer.)

Coconut oil: You can replace a plethora of beauty products with this wonderful oil. Use it as a makeup remover (yes, it even works on waterproof mascara), face & body moisturizer and instead of shaving creams or gels. (My husband rates the comfort of shaving with coconut oil as 9.5/10. As a bonus, skin is instantly moisturized.)

What are some unique ways to go green and save energy (and money) around the laundry room?

Ecosave laundry discs: The discs contain electrically charged ceramic beads which create an abundance of OH-ions in the wash water. This lowers the surface tension of the water, and cuts down on the amount of soap needed.

Soap nuts: These grow in the wild! No additives, no perfumes, no fillers and nothing to irritate even the most sensitive skin. The best part is that they can be used a bunch of times and then they can just be composted. Absolutely zero waste.

Wool dryer balls: Use these as an alternative to fabric softener sheets. They also reduce drying time!  (Did you know: The chemicals in fabric softeners are pungent and strong smelling -- so strong that they require the use of these heavy fragrances just to cover up the smells.)

Bonus tip: Always use cold water when you can, and hang to dry if possible.

Click here for part 2.


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