HomeUncategorized April 22, 2021

Incorporate Low Waste in Your Home

Have you heard the rumor that Whidbey is filled with hippies? We’ll let you in on a little secret – it’s kind of true! 

But honestly, how could it not be? How could you live in a beautiful place like Whidbey and NOT want to save the planet? Who doesn’t want to preserve this incredible island that we call home? Sometimes; however, it can be a little difficult. As much as we all want to learn how to be better citizens of the planet, it’s hard to know where to start. I mean, how do you incorporate low waste in your home? You’ve heard about shorter showers and not running water while brushing your teeth, but what about cutting back on physical waste? How do you do that?

We’re here to help! Below is a list of ways you can start to incorporate low waste in your home!

 

Reusable Grocery Bags

It is little shock to anyone that a HUGE issue when it comes to cutting down on waste in America is the amount of single-use packaging found in almost every single retail store you enter. If general packaging wasn’t enough, those packages are then placed into single-use grocery bags that are inevitably found littering the sides of our highways and parks – yuck! 

So, why not skip the pesky plastics and try reusable grocery bags instead? Reusable bags aren’t just great for their ability to help the planet, they also are far stronger than your single-use shopping bags. This means there will be no more tears when you’re halfway out to your car and the bags rip, sending your food everywhere. Plus with reusable bags you no longer have to wonder how many trips it’ll take to get them inside. Nothing but positives here!

Also, did you know this practice will soon be state law? Washington State currently has a pending plastic bag ban which is being delayed by the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Once the state of emergency is lifted, retailers will no longer be able to provide customers with single-use plastic bags. 

So why not get ahead of the curb? We can help! Reach out to your Windermere Agent to claim your FREE reusable shopping bag!

Reusable Grocery Bags

 

Ditch the Paper Towels

We know what you are thinking, “What am I supposed to do without paper towels??” But hear us out! A lot of the things you use paper towels for can easily be taken care of using a reusable rag that can just be thrown in the laundry when you’re done. 

That milk spill? Reusable towel. Did water spray a little out of the sink? Reusable towel.

You may also think that getting that many towels are expensive, but you can get a pack of 2 washcloths from Dollar Tree! Or even better; you know that old shirt your partner keeps saying they’ll throw away? Cut it up! Suddenly you have a dozen washcloths for FREE!

We aren’t saying you have to COMPLETELY get rid of your paper towels. Being more mindful about what messes could handle a simple washcloth will make an incredible difference in incorporate low waste in your home. 

Ditch the Paper Towels
 

Try DIY Cleaning Products

Ever wonder what people did before the time of store-bought soaps and detergents? They made their own! It might seem like a lot of work, but making your own cleaning products is sometimes as simple as putting vinegar in a bottle. Not to mention the money you’d save!

Laundry Detergent – Ready to save some serious cash on laundry detergent? In a large container mix together 2 cups of washing soda, 2 cups borax, and one bar of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. The result is detergent that will leave your clothes clean and your wallet happy!

General Purpose Cleaner – Did you know that white vinegar’s higher acidic levels make it a natural anti-bacterial? This makes it a wonderful multi-purpose cleaner! Simply put 3 parts white vinegar and 4 part water into a spray bottle and you’ve got an all-natural cleaner. Don’t like the smell? Try adding essential oils, or even better – lemon peels! 

Dishwasher Detergent – Imagine having dishwasher pods that wouldn’t kill you if you ate them. Don’t get us wrong, you still shouldn’t eat them; but at least you won’t die if you did! This Dishwasher Pod Recipe is amazing and ALL NATURAL. It’s a little too long to write out here, but we highly suggest you take a look!

Want to give low waste cleaning a try, but REALLY don’t have time for any DIYs? Try looking into Blueland! They are a low waste cleaning company focused on minimizing waste by drastically reducing the amount of packaging they use and providing reusable containers to clients. 

DIY Cleaning Products Pictures

Buy in Bulk

How does buying in bulk help cut down on waste? Again, it’s the packaging! 

Think about it – if you are buying 16oz shampoo bottles every month you are wasting gas going to the store more often and almost doubling the number of plastic containers you’re placing in the trash. However; if you switch to purchasing a gallon of shampoo your trips to the store would be reduced along with the amount of plastic you toss. 

Did you know you could buy dry foods in bulk at Saar’s Super Saver Foods? Check it out! 

Buy in Bulk pictures

 

 

Start a Compost Bin

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the food you put in the trash? Well… nothing. The food’s amazing decomposing nutrients sit alongside non-degradable materials that in no way benefit from them. 

But you can change that! 

Although composting may sound complicated – it isn’t! All you need in order to start your own composting bin is a backyard, some pallet boards, zip ties, and some elbow grease. The video below will show you how!

Not interested in all the work? That’s alright! Home Depot has a number of compost bins that can be delivered directly to your door. 

Now that chicken fajita you made last week can have a second life in your garden!

 

 

In what ways do you incorporate low waste in your home? Let us know!

 

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Real Estate March 31, 2021

5 Things Every Septic Owner Needs

A Drain SnakeDrain Snake

Don’t kill your system with Drano! Hair clogs happen. Instead of pouring caustic Drano into your plumbing (which can actually cause damage to pipes and will kill your septic system) try this super cheap (less than $2 each) and easy drain snake that works in seconds. This tool coupled with prevention (see #2 below) will keep you from having to resort to expensive and dangerous remedies.

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A Drain Cover

Drain Cover

 

There are hundreds of different types of drain covers. We have tried several to reduce the guess work for you and discovered that we like this flat and wide version best. You can order it here. Honestly, regardless of which kind you purchase your septic will thank you as long as it keeps hair and other large particles from swirling down your drains to prevent it from clogging and will save your septic.

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The Right Toilet Paper

Toilet Paper

Most people are too dignified to talk about things related to the potty but as a septic system owner you need to know that there is a right and a wrong kind of toilet paper if you want to keep your system in excellent condition and prevent clogging. If you put a piece of your TP in a glass of water, stir it up a bit and let it sit for a few minutes it should dissolve pretty quickly into tiny pieces no larger than a nickel. This is called the TP test. If it stays intact in larger pieces your septic system is going to have a real problem breaking it down and the chances of you clogging your toilet are MUCH higher. Check out the results from a test The Art of Doing Stuff did here.

A Pumice Stone

stone, stains, water, septic

With hard water being the rule and not the exception on Whidbey Island there is a constant battle to keep our toilet bowls and sinks free from the dreaded hard water rings. Using harsh chemicals to try and remove them can work but at the cost of damaging the function and life of your septic system. The solution? A simple and cheap pumice stone! A wet pumice stone won’t scratch porcelain but it will easily and effectively remove hard water build up just by rubbing it back and forth across the stain. Try it and let us know what you think!

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A Good Septic Inspector

Septic Inspector

Because you now own your very own mini sewage treatment machine you will need to maintain it. Finding a great septic inspector and getting on a regular inspection rotation is as easy as picking up the phone and calling or texting your Windermere Broker. At Windermere we pride ourselves on always having the inside knowledge about and great relationships with vendors our clients will need. Septic inspectors are #1 on that list! Many of them have a program you can join that puts you on a regular inspection rotation so you don’t have to think about it every year (or 3 years depending on your system). If you don’t have your very own Windermere Broker you are missing out! Visit our website to find your match today

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