Posted: 29 Jun 2011 02:30 AM PDT
Entry #572, June 29, 2011
The 4th of July is fast approaching, and what a perfect time to help your kids enjoy the holiday with simple crafts! Last year we featured these great ideas to bring in the Red, White and Blue.
One from the archives….
Original Entry #124, June 27, 2010
I remember when we were decorating for Memorial Day, and in a week it will be the Fourth of July! I love the holidays with kids. They give you an excuse to be creative and spontaneous. Each holiday you can count on Stagetecture to find some easy crafts that you can do with the kids.
Let the kids make an American Flag fan! They can cool themselves off, and be patriotic.
The kid’s will enjoying making a craft that they can display on the house. Look at this 4th of July tie dye bunting.
For more 4th of July crafts for kids visit Disney Family Fun.
For patriotic holiday decor visit the 4th of July decoration post.
Posted: 29 Jun 2011 02:00 AM PDT
Guest Blog #109, Entry #571, June 29, 2011
In every portion of your home life there are eco-friendly ways to improve your way of life. One of the biggest water consumption activities is washing your car. Today, our Guest Blogger gives tips for saving water, and practicing eco-friendly practices on your next weekend car wash.
Washing the car at home on a Sunday afternoon may be a nice way to spend part of your day, but from an environmental point of view it’s not a best practice. Washing a car by hand at home tends to be the most water-intensive way to wash your car. There’s also the fact that any oil or grease removed from your car – and the cleaners you use – wash away in a less than environmentally friendly way. In contrast to household waste water that goes into the sewers and gets treated before being released into the environment, the run-off from a car in the driveway goes into storm drains and often ends up in rivers, streams and wetlands where it can poison aquatic life and cause other types of harm.
So, if you’re concerned about being green, a better alternative to washing the car in the driveway is to get it cleaned commercially. A typical home car wash uses 80 to 140 gallons of water, while commercial washes average less than 45 gallons. What’s more, commercial car washes must often follow very specific rules about what kinds of chemicals they use, what they can and can’t let drain into the sewer system, etc. Some commercial car washes even offer a special “green” car wash that uses bio-degradable cleaners and follows standards set by national organizations.
Still another option is to wash your car using a steam cleaner – such as the one from Optima. Optima’s steam cleaning system does not waste water like a garden hose or high pressure washer; instead, it employs what is known as “temperature-safe steam.” Making use of the twofold gun system, two people can wash a single vehicle in fifteen minutes while only using one single gallon of water to wash the outside of an averaged sized sedan.
The Optima Steamer – and other temperature safe steam cleaners like it – use a boiler that takes water from a typical hose attachment, heats that water with a small diesel engine, and produces steam between 150 and 167 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature. While that might sound very hot, the steam is safe enough to spray directly onto a uncovered hand (provided the hand is at least 6 inches away from the nozzle). These steam cleaning systems – which are combined with a handful of microfiber towels – are still gaining traction across the United States, but there may be a service in your community that uses this revolutionary new car cleaning method.
If you do decide to wash your vehicle at home, there are a few things you can do to minimize your impact on the environment.
- First, it’s best to use biodegradable soaps that are specially designed for vehicles. If you don’t have biodegradebale car cleaning soap, it’s possible to make your own by mixing one cup liquid dishwashing detergent and ¾ cup laundry detergent with three gallons of water. This concentrate can then be employed sparingly for several washes.
- Next, to be even more eco friendly, wash your car on your lawn or so that the water you use can also help your grass. Washing your car on the lawn also helps make sure that any grime is neutralized on your soil before washing down the sewer.
- Don’t wash your car in direct sunlight. It’s more likely to dry during your wash, so you’ll have to re-wet your car and use more water.
- Use a high-efficiency spray nozzle rather than the open end of a garden hose.
- Finally, be sure to disperse any puddles that remain so that thirsty animals are not tempted to drink from them and potentially get sick.
For more green living ideas on Stagetecture, click here.