Category Archives: Brita

3 Natural Bleach Alternatives and How to Use Them

I’ve always been a huge fan of clean, white linens ? towels, sheets, you name it!?But keeping them bright white?is an entirely different story.

When I first became a wife and started managing some of the household duties like washing our linens, I usually turned to chlorine bleach to whiten?and sanitize. However, even when I diluted the substance properly and took precautions to protect myself against the fumes, I still felt a bit woozy after using it.

Truth is, bleach is actually pretty toxic stuff, and the health risks associated with using it are no joke. So, I turned to natural solutions. Looking for a natural way to whiten your laundry? Look no further. I’ve rounded up the best natural?natural bleach alternatives out there, so you can phase out bleach for good!

3 Natural Bleach Alternatives and How to Use Them

1. Hydrogen Peroxide & Lemon Juice Recipe

Hydrogen peroxide is a fantastic sanitizer and disinfectant that you can find at most drugstores. It’s non-toxic and whitens without any harsh chemicals (there’s a reason it’s safe to use on your body), so you don’t have to worry about the same dangers you might find with bleach.

The other part of this recipe, lemon juice, is naturally acidic and has whitening properties as well; plus, it smells absolutely delightful!

Here’s what you’ll need for this DIY natural bleach alternative:

3 cups of water
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide (3% solution)
2 Tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice

Simply mix together in a quart-sized jar or container. Toss 1 cup of the solution in with your laundry to brighten it, and wash with cold water.?You can also?add another 1/2 cup or so of hydrogen peroxide to the mix to use as a cleaner for?your bathroom or kitchen surfaces.

2. White Distilled Vinegar

Vinegar?works an absolute charm in the home! Just overlook the smell and you’ll find that you have a cure-all liquid on your hands.

The acetic properties of white distilled vinegar will help brighten your clothes and remove any mold residue that may be stuck in your towels. Simply add 1 cup of vinegar to a pot of boiling water and let it?cool for a few minutes. Soak your whites overnight, then wash like normal. Easy!

3. Baking Soda & Vinegar

Baking soda is about as cheap and effective as it gets. And it’s not just great for laundry! Baking soda does a great job of disinfecting and removing stains from the toilet, shining stainless steel, and even remedying acne.

To clean the toilet:

Pour 1/2 cup?of white vinegar into the toilet bowl, and let sit?for 30 minutes. Once your thirty minutes is up, sprinkle baking soda onto your toilet brush and scrub, then flush. That’s it!

To whiten laundry:

Toss 1/2 cup of baking soda with powdered laundry detergent and use normally. The baking soda will cut down greasy stains and residue, ensuring your clothes come out cleaner than ever!


How do you avoid toxic bleach in your home? Any alternatives to share?

Related at Care2

23 Ingenious Uses for White Vinegar
51 Fantastic Uses for Baking Soda
16 Dangerous Sources of Indoor AIr Pollution

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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3 Natural Bleach Alternatives and How to Use Them

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5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

Biking to work is a wonderful way to commute. It’s healthy, eco-friendly and saves you tons of money on gas! However, biking to work becomes instantly a lot more complicated in inclement weather. How do you stay safe when visibility is down and it’s cold and wet outside?

Whether you’re dealing with a thunderstorm or a spring shower, these tips for biking to work in the rain will help you get to work safe, on time and completely dry. Before you know it, you might actually learn to love riding in the rain!

5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

1.?Bundle up

First things first, you need to learn how to layer. Layers trap your body heat, ensuring you stay warm during cooler weather.

If you’ll be riding in the rain, you’re going to want to choose a waterproof jacket, rather than a water-resistant one, to keep you warm and dry. Look for a garment that is seam-sealed (turn the garment inside out to check), but also has vents to help release body moisture without letting rain?in.

Your jacket of choice should also fit snuggly over a wool or synthetic polypropylene-polyester base layer, which will help keep sweat off your body (so you don’t get chilled when you stop moving). Just make sure it doesn’t restrict your movement in any way.

Here are a few bonus features?you’ll want to check for as well:

Comfortable cuffs that fit tight around your wrists
Pockets where you can stash your phone and other essentials

2.?Be as visible as possible

Reflective clothing is your friend! If you’re going riding in the rain, make sure you’re wearing a variety of items that will ensure you stay visible on the road. Some great options include: a high-visibility vest, a flashing?light for both the front and the back of your ride and reflective spray (yes, spray!) that helps you show up in the dark and washes off when you’re done.

3.?Learn?the rules of the road

Biking in the city is hard enough as it is; keep yourself safe by following the rules for bikers on the road. Here are some of the basics:

Behave predictably ? stay visible, leave distance and yield as much as possible
Ride on the right side of the road and not on the sidewalk
Yield before entering major?roadways ? stay behind crosswalks and away from the curb
Look before moving laterally or turning ??check your blindspot and?use hand signals
Use correct lanes ? choose right, left or thru lanes like you would if you were driving
Stay visible to motorists who may cross your path and make it clear you need your space

Following these rules and signaling properly will ensure you stay safe and visible to other drivers on the road.

4. Know your bike

Find?a safe, rarely-trafficked area to test your bike’s behavior. How does it respond to wet conditions when you brake? Do you find it more difficult to control? In what specific scenarios should you be wary when you’re riding for real?

Riding in the rain is more challenging for obvious reasons: everything gets slipperier when?wet. So keep an eye out for painted surfaces, metal manhole covers and?rainbow oil residue.?You’ll also want to be careful when you turn; sudden movements or leaning could cause you to spin out.

5. Embrace it

Unless you live where the sun always shines,?rainy days can really mess with your biking schedule. So brave?the rain, power through with confidence and bike like the hero rider you know you are.

Are you a cyclist? What tips do you have for our other riders? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

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The Many Benefits of Swale Landscaping

Does your property have excessive runoff from rainwater or melting snow? All that liquid can not only make your yard a soupy mess, it may even threaten the structural stability of your home. Digging a swale in your yard will reduce or eliminate this serious problem. A swale will also help conserve water and create a lovely, low maintenance landscape for your home.

What is a swale and why build one on your property?

The landscaping term ?swale? refers to a shallow trench, which may be dug on a property for 3 important related purposes:

  1. to catch storm water
  2. to direct the water away from your home
  3. to slow the water?s movement so it can be gradually absorbed into the ground

A swale usually is designed to follow the natural contours of the surrounding landscape, often with a berm (a human-made ridge of earth, which may be sown with plantings for stability) along the lower edge.

A driveway swale flanks your drive on one or both sides, in order to keep runoff from flowing into your garage or your home.

A swale may be combined with underground piping to handle your roof runoff.

The standard swale dimensions generally range from 6-18 inches deep and 8-24 inches wide, depending on the volume of water you are dealing with.

The many benefits of swale landscaping

Digging a swale will benefit your landscape in a number of ways. You will:

Avoid storm water pooling around your house and prevent damage to the foundation.
Help hold off flooding of your house, garage, and yard ? and perhaps your neighbor?s property.
Reduce soil erosion and loss of high quality top soil.
Collect rainwater much more easily than with a barrel or tank system.
?Recycle? rainwater to irrigate your garden, for a flourishing low maintenance landscape.

Before you start to dig a swale

Contact a one-call center for clearance before you begin swale construction, or any other home improvement that involves digging. Otherwise, you run the risk of hitting underground utility pipes or cables … and the hefty fine that can result.

In addition, check with the building authority in your area to see whether you?ll need a permit for the job. Many local governments have enacted strict laws concerning landscaping work that could possibly affect the groundwater system.

Consult a professional landscape contractor to plan and implement your project in the best and greenest way.

A swale as part of your landscape design

Plan your landscape design to include your swale. Make sure that any new feature you install, such as a fence, will not block the flow of runoff through the swale.

The swale does not need to be an unappealing stretch of bare earth. You can seed it with grass, but be sure that your swale?s sloping sides won?t make it too difficult to mow your new patch of lawn. An alternative is to plant it with low care wetland species such as cattails or lovely marsh hibiscus.

You might prefer to line the swale with nice-looking pea gravel or river rocks. Besides permitting storm water to infiltrate the soil more efficiently, small stones will give your swale the attractive appearance of a dry creek bed.

Finally, permeable pavers are perfect for stabilizing the bottom of a swale which will double as a garden walkway during the dry season.

By Laura Firszt, Networx.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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The Many Benefits of Swale Landscaping

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The Journey of Man – Spencer Wells

READ GREEN WITH E-BOOKS

The Journey of Man
A Genetic Odyssey
Spencer Wells

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: October 31, 2012

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


Around 60,000 years ago, a man—genetically identical to us—lived in Africa. Every person alive today is descended from him. How did this real-life Adam wind up as the father of us all? What happened to the descendants of other men who lived at the same time? And why, if modern humans share a single prehistoric ancestor, do we come in so many sizes, shapes, and races? Examining the hidden secrets of human evolution in our genetic code, Spencer Wells reveals how developments in the revolutionary science of population genetics have made it possible to create a family tree for the whole of humanity. Replete with marvelous anecdotes and remarkable information, from the truth about the real Adam and Eve to the way differing racial types emerged, The Journey of Man is an enthralling, epic tour through the history and development of early humankind.

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The Journey of Man – Spencer Wells

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Chicago drinking fountains have been running nonstop for months.

Trump’s ire fell on Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, who on Tuesday voted “no” to moving a health care repeal bill to the Senate floor for debate. After the vote, Trump tweeted (of course) that Murkowski had let the country and her party down. Then, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke reportedly called Murkowski and the state’s other Republican senator, Dan Sullivan, to inform them Murkowski’s move would not be forgotten.

According to the Alaska Dispatch News, Sullivan said the call sent a “troubling message.” Murkowski didn’t comment, but Sullivan appeared unnerved by the conversation. “I fear that the strong economic growth, pro-energy, pro-mining, pro-jobs and personnel from Alaska who are part of those policies are going to stop,” Sullivan said.

At a rally on Tuesday night, Trump implied there would be repercussions: “Any senator who votes against repeal and replace is telling America that they are fine with the Obamacare nightmare, and I predict they’ll have a lot of problems.”

The Interior Department has input over several issues important to Sullivan and Murkowski, like energy exploration and drilling in parts of Alaska. Murkowski, as chair of two committees related to the Interior, has say in several issues important to the department, like its budget.

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Chicago drinking fountains have been running nonstop for months.

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Tensions rise between the Trump administration and Alaska.

Trump’s ire fell on Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, who on Tuesday voted “no” to moving a health care repeal bill to the Senate floor for debate. After the vote, Trump tweeted (of course) that Murkowski had let the country and her party down. Then, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke reportedly called Murkowski and the state’s other Republican senator, Dan Sullivan, to inform them Murkowski’s move would not be forgotten.

According to the Alaska Dispatch News, Sullivan said the call sent a “troubling message.” Murkowski didn’t comment, but Sullivan appeared unnerved by the conversation. “I fear that the strong economic growth, pro-energy, pro-mining, pro-jobs and personnel from Alaska who are part of those policies are going to stop,” Sullivan said.

At a rally on Tuesday night, Trump implied there would be repercussions: “Any senator who votes against repeal and replace is telling America that they are fine with the Obamacare nightmare, and I predict they’ll have a lot of problems.”

The Interior Department has input over several issues important to Sullivan and Murkowski, like energy exploration and drilling in parts of Alaska. Murkowski, as chair of two committees related to the Interior, has say in several issues important to the department, like its budget.

Original article: 

Tensions rise between the Trump administration and Alaska.

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A major glacier in Greenland might be breaking apart.

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A major glacier in Greenland might be breaking apart.

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The U.K. is banning sales of diesel and gas cars by 2040.

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The U.K. is banning sales of diesel and gas cars by 2040.

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More peas or less Pepsi? Researchers compare how food policies could save lives.

There’s been much high-profile gushing over the spaceship-in-Eden–themed campus that Apple spent six years and $5 billion building in Silicon Valley, but it turns out techno-utopias don’t make great neighbors.

“Apple’s new HQ is a retrograde, literally inward-looking building with contempt for the city where it lives and cities in general,” writes Adam Rogers at Wired, in an indictment of the company’s approach to transportation, housing, and economics in the Bay Area.

The Ring — well, they can’t call it The Circle — is a solar-powered, passively cooled marvel of engineering, sure. But when it opens, it will house 12,000 Apple employees, 90 percent of whom will be making lengthy commutes to Cupertino and back every day. (San Francisco is 45 miles away.)

To accommodate that, Apple Park features a whopping 9,000 parking spots (presumably the other 3,000 employees will use the private shuttle bus instead). Those 9,000 cars will be an added burden on the region’s traffic problems, as Wired reports, not to mention that whole global carbon pollution thing.

You can read Roger’s full piece here, but the takeaway is simple: With so much money, Apple could have made meaningful improvements to the community — building state-of-the-art mass transit, for example — but chose to make a sparkly, exclusionary statement instead.

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More peas or less Pepsi? Researchers compare how food policies could save lives.

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Flint residents are still fighting for their lives.

There’s been much high-profile gushing over the spaceship-in-Eden–themed campus that Apple spent six years and $5 billion building in Silicon Valley, but it turns out techno-utopias don’t make great neighbors.

“Apple’s new HQ is a retrograde, literally inward-looking building with contempt for the city where it lives and cities in general,” writes Adam Rogers at Wired, in an indictment of the company’s approach to transportation, housing, and economics in the Bay Area.

The Ring — well, they can’t call it The Circle — is a solar-powered, passively cooled marvel of engineering, sure. But when it opens, it will house 12,000 Apple employees, 90 percent of whom will be making lengthy commutes to Cupertino and back every day. (San Francisco is 45 miles away.)

To accommodate that, Apple Park features a whopping 9,000 parking spots (presumably the other 3,000 employees will use the private shuttle bus instead). Those 9,000 cars will be an added burden on the region’s traffic problems, as Wired reports, not to mention that whole global carbon pollution thing.

You can read Roger’s full piece here, but the takeaway is simple: With so much money, Apple could have made meaningful improvements to the community — building state-of-the-art mass transit, for example — but chose to make a sparkly, exclusionary statement instead.

Continue reading:  

Flint residents are still fighting for their lives.

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