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July 22, 2018

DIY deck re-do: Resurface in a weekend
(BPT) - Outdoor living season means backyard BBQs, yard games and relaxing with a good book or good friends. If you own a wood deck, however, it also means considerable time and money spent on seasonal maintenance and deck repairs.While wood decks are aesthetically pleasing, properly maintaining th... More >>

Got company? 5 quick and easy refreshments for summer guests
(BPT) - Summer is a great time to create memories with friends and family, and some of the best times happen when you gather your favorite people together on your deck, balcony, poolside or screen porch. As singer John Mayer puts it, “A little bit of summer's what the whole year's all about."... More >>

Everyday habits to help America's infrastructure
(BPT) - Crumbling bridges, failing subway lines, gridlocked roads, water and sewage systems that haven’t been updated for over 100 years and a vulnerable electric grid. This might sound like the scene of a futuristic world in ruins, but in fact, these images describe the state of America&rsqu... More >>

Don't suffer high energy bills any longer
(BPT) - Do you cringe each month when your utility bills arrive?The annual energy cost for a typical single family home in the U.S. is more than $2,000, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If you can think of a thousand things you’d rather spend your hard-earned money on than electric... More >>

6 sure-fire tips that save time and labor on yard work and gardening
(BPT) - It’s summertime, and you’ll want to spend many sun-drenched hours in the great outdoors. But while Mother Nature is flourishing, it feels like you’re wasting too many precious summer afternoons and evenings doing chores in the yard and garden.Give some of these labor-savin... More >>

Bee responsible! How to attract pollinators to your garden and help them thrive
(BPT) - It's been in the news for years now: the decline of pollinators such as honeybees and butterflies, and how it’s upsetting our world's healthy ecosystem. We need pollinators for the growth of many of the foods we eat each day – according to the Natural Resources Conservation Serv... More >>

Classic cardigan? 5 tips for caring for your vintage wardrobe
(BPT) - As environmentally aware Americans join the movement to reduce, reuse and recycle, many are turning to the past to find unique, well-made vintage pieces to complement their wardrobes.The hunt for great vintage wear has become so popular that we're spending some $4 billion annually on such f... More >>

4 DIY ideas for upcycling common household items
(BPT) - Crafting is a wonderful way to relieve stress and express your creative side — and fortunately, you don’t have to be a master craftsman — or spend a fortune on materials — to have fun and enjoy the benefits.“A great way to get into crafting is by ‘upcycli... More >>

Simple, local nutrition: 5 reasons to feel good about the dairy in your diet
(BPT) - When you sip a wholesome smoothie or savor a slice of cheesy pizza, do you ever wonder who’s behind your favorite dairy foods?More than 97 percent of dairy farms in the United States are family-owned and operated – and these families are as passionate about crafting simple, nutr... More >>

Lower temps at a lower price: How to improve the energy-efficiency of your home today
(BPT) - When the seasons change, the energy needs in your home change right along with them. And yet, whether you need to heat or cool your home, there’s one thing that never shifts: You want to do so as efficiently as possible.An energy-efficient home is more than just good for the environme... More >>

Easy and breezy: 6 tips for controlling summer cooling costs
(BPT) - As Americans gear up for sun, surf, barbecues and all the other fun activities that represent summer, they’re also concerned with how to keep themselves and their homes comfortably cool this season.Of course, they're also concerned with controlling costs. The average homeowner spends ... More >>

Easy ways to create your personalized garden
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5 ways gardening and plants can reduce stress
(BPT) - In today’s busy world, we’re continually searching for new ways to slow down and unwind. This has led more people to discover the calming benefits of gardening and how incorporating plants into decor provides a way to reduce everyday stress.Studies have shown that indoor plants ... More >>

Do's and don'ts of attracting hummingbirds and getting one to land on your hand
(BPT) - Watching a hummingbird is enchanting. Their tiny size and incredible speed make them a natural wonder. Flapping their wings an estimated 70 times per second, they can move in every direction, or simply float majestically in midair.You may have observed hummingbirds in the wild, but you can ... More >>

Simple summer home maintenance tips for comfort and energy savings
(BPT) - Things will soon be heating up all over the country. In fact, the average U.S. household will spend 3 percent more on electricity bills this summer than in 2017, due to rising retail electricity prices and higher usage, according to the U.S. Energy Administration’s estimation.Jennifer... More >>

How your lawn equipment is harming the environment
(BPT) - Spring is upon us and our yards are beginning to bloom. The grass needs to be cut, the hedges trimmed and the debris blown away. This is an exciting time of year as we all look forward to getting outdoors after a longer than desired winter season.As we begin our list of warm-weather chores,... More >>

A home expert shares top tips for a worry-free vacation
(BPT) - When it’s time to embark on your well-deserved getaway, the last thing you want is to worry about the things that could go wrong at your unattended house.It’s pretty common to wonder if everything is OK while you're on vacation, says Chip Wade, an HGTV expert. Especially since t... More >>

6 ways to revive your home with essential oils
(BPT) - Essential oils, highly concentrated essences of plants, have the power to improve our lives, revive our spaces and boost our mood, whether it's through diffusing them to add a fresh scent to the kitchen, creating a spa-like oasis in your bathroom or whipping up DIY cleaning products to use ... More >>

5 tips to create a personalized shed
(BPT) - The backyard. It’s your oasis. Your happy place. Your second living room. It’s the place to go not only for “me” time — but quality time with friends and family.This National Barbecue Month, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association wants to help you make yo... More >>

5 ways smart cities provide a healthier, safer, richer life for residents
(BPT) - It’s exciting to live in a time when technology is making everything smarter. Smartphones, smart homes, smart cars and now the talk is all about smart cities.Advances in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are not only mind-boggling innovations, but contribute to greener urban... More >>

3 ways to make your home more eco-friendly with smart home technology
(BPT) - More and more Americans are shifting to a greener lifestyle, and if you’re one of them, you're always looking for ways to reduce your impact on the environment. Cutting your energy usage is a big part of that, and the benefits of doing so are twofold: First, of course, is being more e... More >>

5 ways everyone can fight climate change
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90 percent of homes have hard water: What are the effects?
(BPT) - Hard water, which contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, can be found in nearly 90 percent of American homes. These minerals cause scaling, a buildup that clogs waterlines and plumbing forcing appliances to work harder and operate less efficiently. The scale may also harbor bacteria... More >>

Taking Green to the Grave
(BPT) - As Americans become increasingly dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint, people are exploring ways to be green in life, as well as after death. Last year, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) reported in its Consumer Preferences and Awareness Study that more than 50 perce... More >>

4 tips for festive flourishing flowers, vibrant plants and hardy herbs
(BPT) - Spring is in full bloom, but are your plants keeping pace? If the answer is anything but a resounding yes, don’t worry. There’s still plenty of time to get into the spirit of the season and grow your most beautiful bed of flowers.“There’s nothing like the start of th... More >>

Call 811 before digging for home improvement projects and landscaping this spring
(BPT) - With spring having officially begun, many eager homeowners and landscape professionals across the country will roll up their sleeves and reach for their shovels to start projects that require digging this season.During the transition into “digging season,” Common Ground Alliance... More >>

Farm-to-table: The hot food trend you can enjoy without leaving home
(BPT) - Farm-fresh eggs. Locally grown tomatoes. Herbs sourced onsite.If you've eaten out recently, you've probably noticed the menus feature locally sourced ingredients. The farm-to-table movement continues to flourish at restaurants throughout the country.In fact, rather than the exception, it's ... More >>

Spring lawn care is easier than ever
(BPT) - The snow has melted, flowers are beginning to bloom, and you wake to the sound of birds chirping: all signs that spring is here. Spring means time to give your lawn the TLC it needs, but most of us dread the thought of weekends spent occupied by yard work. Luckily, in 2018, getting that per... More >>

Mushrooms: Gentle on the Planet, Healthy on the Plate
(BPT) - Want to start making more earth-friendly food choices in the kitchen? Start with mushrooms, a healthy food that requires minimal natural resources to produce.According to a 2017 study titled "The Mushroom Sustainability Story," mushroom production requires relatively low water, energy and l... More >>


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