Top 10 Tips for home living
Stop mosquitoes at their source: Any standing water in your garden can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes to lay eggs. Drill drainage holes on the bottom of trash cans and recycling bins. Check bird baths, pet bowls and overturn unused flower pots. Mosquitoes need very little water to lay eggs, so be vigilant.
Mosquitoes bugging you?
De-Clutter your car:
Take a look in the trunk of your car and de-clutter. Excess weight in the car — boxes of old books, sporting equipment — not only takes away storage space, but also makes your car less fuel efficient. On average, if you remove about 20 kg of excess weight, you’ll gain about 1 percent in fuel efficiency. And with fluctuating fuel prices, every little bit helps.
Freshen your car:
Keep your car smelling fresh and clean with a homemade air freshener. Fill a large tea strainer with either charcoal (the kind for the grill) or dried lavender. Charcoal is a natural deodorizer, so it will absorb foul fragrances. When it’s left in a warm car, lavender will perfume the air with a soothing and pleasing scent. This is a healthy alternative to chemical, artificial car fresheners.
Water outdoor plants at sundown:
If you need to water the lawn or outdoor plants, do it at sundown. Watering the plants at night is the most ecological method, since there is no sun to evaporate the water immediately. If you have automatic sprinklers, set the timer to water the lawn at night. Not only does this save water, but the plants and lawn will get a proper soaking, too, and will thrive.
Small repairs - Big results:
The simplest repairs sometimes create the biggest results. If your tap is dripping water, visit Builders Warehouse and replace the washer. When your tap is dripping at a rate of one drop per second, you’re wasting 12 000 litres per year! For less than a Rand, you can stop the waste and end up saving lots of dough on your monthly bill.
Did you know aluminium foil is recyclable? After you’re done baking a casserole in the oven, just peel off the aluminum and crumble it up into a ball. If it’s coated with last night’s dinner, a quick rinse under the sink should remove any leftovers. Toss it in the recycling bin.
Check your fridge seal:
This morning, when you’re sipping your coffee, do the money test with your fridge: Close the fridge door onto a one Rand note and see how much effort it takes for you to pull it out. If it comes out easily, the seal isn’t tight enough; it’s leaking cold air and needs to be fixed. Another test: Open the fridge door and let go. If it doesn’t shut by itself, it needs to be re-stabilized. Shift the whole fridge until it’s level and try it again.
Deordorise carpet with baking soda:
If you have pets or wear your shoes in the house, you may need to deodorise your carpets. Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and leave it overnight. The baking soda will absorb odors as you slumber away. The next day, plug in the vacuum and suck it all up. How easy was that?
Freeze your pillow:
If microscopic dust mites and other allergens have you saying “achoo,” try using your freezer instead of a vacuum. Bed pillows, throw pillows and even your kid’s plush toys can be detoxed in just 24 hours by placing them in the freezer. The cold air will freeze the nasty dust mites to death, and you’ll have an instantly healthier and cleaner pillow to rest your head at night
Clean sweaters before storing:
When storing sweaters away for the winter, make sure they are completely clean so they repel moths. Any organic materials — food residue, grease (yuk!) — is nourishment for moths. Place the clean sweaters in a storage box and fill sachets full of dried lavender to naturally drive away the hungry insects.