April 29, 2016

Happy Arbor Day!

If you’re lucky enough to live in a neighborhood filled with trees, you probably already have an appreciation for Arbor Day whether you realize it or not. In the U.S., Arbor Day is celebrated on April 29th, and marks a day “in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees.”

The first U.S. Arbor Day took place in Nebraska City by J. Sterling Morton. On April 10th, 1872, approximately one million trees were planted in Nebraska. The day did not come to true national prominence until conservationists urged President Theodore Roosevelt to make a proclamation in 1907 that “the importance of trees and that forestry deserves to be taught in U.S. schools.”

April 22, 2016

Rightsizing for Your Next Move

“Where will we put all of our stuff?”

This is one of the foremost questions on homeowners’ minds when they’re making a move. Whether it’s a relocation from a suburban to a city environment, or downsizing for a more comfortable retirement, “stuff” can cast a big shadow. To lighten the burden before the big day, it can be helpful to “rightsize” for your move far in advance. Not only will rightsizing save you time, money, and energy as you transition to a new home, it can also help you learn how to evaluate what you really need versus what you’ve been hanging onto for no good reason.

If you’ve compared your current floor plan to your new one, you’ve probably already made the determination that some things must go. But how do you winnow the pile? Here’s a set of criteria you can use to rightsize your possessions:

  1. Is this right for the weather? If you’ve lived in places with severe winters and you’re heading for a zero-snow climate, recognize what doesn’t fit and let it go.

April 15, 2016

Getting Green & Organic in Your Own Garden

Do you have a home garden? Are you thinking of starting one? Are you concerned about pesticides and expenses associated with growing your own food? Check out these tips for making a home garden healthier, greener, and more economical:

  1. Start collecting rain water. You don’t need to run your sprinklers or hoses full-time to get the hydration fruits and vegetables need to flourish in your backyard. Purchasing and installing a simple rain barrel can help you store hundreds of gallons of free water throughout the year. Make the most of that rain water with drip hoses to supply your plants with the water they require.

April 8, 2016

What Goes in an Earthquake Kit, Anyway?

According to a recent U.S. Geological Survey, 143 million Americans live in earthquake-prone zones. While California still tops the list for earthquake possibilities, there’s growing evidence to suggest areas throughout the east and midwest are susceptible to a seismic shockwave disaster.

The key to surviving in the wake of a quake is disaster preparedness. Topping that list? Your family’s earthquake kit. Below is a checklist of the essentials you’ll need to survive until normal services are restored. Experts advise you need at least three days of supplies, though a better plan is to pack enough for one week. It’s also a good idea to refresh your kit each year. Here’s what you’ll need to have in waterproof containers, close at hand: