rustic thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and this year, you should aim to create a memorable experience for your friends and family, and while you’re at it – make some sustainable choices! What could be a better idea around the time of giving thanks, than appreciating the planet that we live on!

You can start by retiring all those plastic decorations that you got from your grandmother. Most of them are made from petroleum-based plastics, and you don’t want any of that near your food! If you are using candles as lighting, try and use some soy-based candles, they burn longer, and there are less chemicals used in their manufacture.

As far as a centerpiece goes, nothing is better suited for a Thanksgiving feast, than a cornucopia of autumn foliage and gourds. During the fall season, you can find gorgeous shapes and colors at your local farmers market, where pumpkins, squash, and other fall favorites are in ripe abundance. Arrange these around your table and in the center, and then add big orange, red and yellow leaves, pine cones and branches to the mix.

Another option is using a long tray down the center of your table and filling it with beautiful and edible fruits and flowers. You can’t get a more sustainable decoration than an edible one!

How To Remove Wax From Wood

Candle Wax on wood

One of the most common and unfortunate consequences of having candles is that you will often be faced with spilled wax. The only way to completely avoid that happening is by not ever using candles or by using fake candles that use bulbs instead of flame. If you are anything like me, however, you want the real thing. Nothing beats the ambient light, and wonderful smells associated with real, wax candles.

Let’s assume that you arrived here because you accidentally spilled some candle wax on a piece of wooden furniture, and you are hoping there’s a solution that will work. There are two possible solutions in fact! The cold method, and the hot method.

For the cold method, fill a well-sealed plastic bag with ice cubes and apply it to the wax until it is completely hardened, then use a plastic card or dull knife to scrape gently at the hardened wax until its gone. But be careful that you don’t damage the wood!

If the wood is more textured, with grooves or natural knots, you may need to try the hot method. For that, you’ll need to heat the wax with a hair dryer until it re-liquifies. Have a soft cloth ready and start gently wiping away at the melted wax until most of the wax has been cleaned off. You can then use a one part vinegar, one part water solution on the wood to clear up any remaining wax bits.

To avoid these issues altogether, you might consider getting some decorative candle trays to place under your candles when placing them on wooden furniture.

wallpaper-removal

At one time, removing wallpaper involved a lot of chemical removal agents that were not only harmful to your home, they were harmful to your lungs. Nowadays, wallpaper removal can be a safe and eco-friendly task. There are plenty of methods which use of water or steam, in which the steamer is used to soak the wallpaper, which effectively dissolves the glue that held the paper in place. You can also use a hand scraper, which may seem like a lot of extra work, but it’s worth it when you consider the health benefits of not using a chemical remover.

An easy, DIY recipe for homemade wallpaper remover is mixing equal parts of white vinegar and hot water, which you then apply with sponge over the old wallpaper to soften the glue.

More recently even, there have been major improvements made with the development of non-toxic, wall paper removers. Senpro makes a biodegradable wall paper remover called EZ Peel that softens the wallpaper glue rather than dissolving it, allowing easy removal of the paper.

Office Depot Recalls Desk Chairs

office depot chair recall

Office Depot has recalled about 34,000 desk chairs sold in the U.S. and Canada after a customer contacted the company when he injured himself after catching his finger in the chair’s tilting mechanism.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada disclosed the recall this week. A spokesman for Office Depot wasn’t immediately available for comment.

The Realspace PRO 3000 series desk chairs were made in China by Huichang Furniture Co. between March 2009 and May 2011, the safety commission said. Office Depot sold the chairs at stores and online from May 2009 through June 2011 for about $170 each.

Making a Small Room Look and Feel Bigger

bedroom small

If you live in an apartment with small rooms, or if you live in an older house (in which rooms were generally a lot smaller than in newer built homes) then you might be able to use some of these space-enhancing tips to create the feel of spaciousness in you space!

A big problem in small spaces is a lack of storage. Fortunately, there are lots of solutions for your storing needs. An increasingly popular option is under-the-bed sliding drawers and shelves. This can be a great place to keep your extra clothes, bedding or, in a child’s room – toys.

Illusion can be a huge help. Get yourself a good-sized mirror and place it on the wall, opposite a window if possible, this will increase the light, and the feeling of openness in the room.

Instead of a nightstand, install a wall mounted shelf beside your bed. It will open up the floor space, which naturally will give you more room. Wall mounted shelves are a great space-saving solution for any room, and are available in a ton of different styles and price ranges, so you’ll easily find something for your home.

When it comes to choosing a color palette for your walls, use warm, subtle, neutral colors when painting a small room, and always paint ceilings white. This will create the illusion of a higher ceiling, which does a great deal in making your space feel, and look, a lot bigger.

Preparing Your Home For a Hurricane

hurricane protection

As this summer’s bizarre weather has taught us, everyone needs to know what to do to be prepared for major storms. Follow these simple safety tips to make sure that you and your family are safe if a major storm front should come your way.

Firstly, make sure you have enough emergency supplies stocked in your home to last at least three days. This includes a medical kit, food that doesn’t need to be cooked, extra blankets, batteries and a radio-operated communication device.

Double-check that storm gutters and your window sills are cleaned out and can move a lot of water quickly. They will be a major line of defense during the heavy rainfall that accompanies these kind of storms.

Does your home use natural gas or propane? Contact your provider and get informed about how to turn off the gas in a storm situation.

Be vigilant with your yard work! Always trim tree branches away from your home and cut all dead or weak branches on any trees that are surrounding your home. You will save yourself from a lot of damage if this is maintained.