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Generacís 20kW standby generator Generacís 20kW standby generator keeps the power on in the home during outages.

Emergency Home Generators

Power outages can affect any home at any time. With the right emergency backup power solution, life can continue without interruption. Hereís a look at how the latest emergency generators are keeping up with todayís high-tech and power-hungry homes.

Plants and Indoor Air Quality

I stumbled across this interesting video on YouTube in which researcher Kamal Meattle shows how three common houseplants can result in measurably cleaner indoor air. For more information about improving your indoor air quality, see our article, "10 Impacts on Residential Indoor Air Quality."

Shipping container homes are just one of the unique homes that made The Daily Green's list.

11 Homes Made Out of the Darndest Things

The Daily Green has a great article entitled "11 Homes Made Out of the Darndest Things" that shows some innovative designs and great uses of green building techniques. The list includes:
1. Treehouses
2. Houses Made from Barns
3. Converted Churches
4. A Temple Made from Beer Bottles
5. Houses Made from Airplanes
6. Missile Silo Homes
7. Earthships
8. Boat Houses
9. Shipping Container Houses
10. Funky Spheres
11. Trash Cans

Check out some fabulous photos and the entire article here.

How to Plant a Tree

In celebration of the recent Arbor Day, my town gave out free trees to residents. We selected two apple trees, one that will yield yellow fruit and one with red. If you are also planting trees this spring, check out our how-to video with step-by-step instructions on just how to do it. Happy planting!

Composting: Good for Garden, Good for the Planet

Home composting is good for you and your family, your garden and the planet. It's a simple task. All you need is common household and garden waste, air, a bit of heat, moisture and time for the organic materials to break down into a rich, loamy soil-like material that your plants and soil will love. If youíve been considering composting at home, read here for inspiration and information.

How To Make a Compost Heap

Spring is finally here, and your home projects are probably turning outside. If you've been considering making a compost heap to help with all those kitchen scraps and yard debris, not to mention the benefits to the planet, check out our how-to video with accompanying simple step-by-step instructions.

Fur-Tastic Furniture Cover

Do you have a fur issue? I do. With two Siberian cats and a golden retriever at home, we have a LOT of LONG fur flying around the house. Although our dog is really good about keeping off the furniture, the cats...as they would say on "Seinfeld"...not so much.

Recently I tried a new product called PetzOFF designed to keep pets off furniture. Because pets don't like sitting on aluminum foil, PetzOFF created a throw that has a polyester film that looks and acts like foil on one side and a regular-looking blanket on the other.

Here's how it works. The cats love my favorite chair in the living room, but once they have spent some time on it, it becomes covered in fur. Then I either have to clean the chair before I sit down or, more likely, sit down and get covered in fur. When I'm not using the chair, I put the throw on it, foil-side up. When I'm ready to sit in the chair, I remove the throw and toss it on the back of the couch with the fabric side out. My throw has a chocolate brown fabric side, which is quite nice.

The PetzOFF certainly deters the cats from sitting ON the throw; however, I have found my sneaky boy, Milo, crawled underneath it several times. So, if you do use the product be sure to tuck it into the furniture like you would a slipcover. Merely draping it over the chair just made a fun tent for him! Lesson learned. The furniture looks a little strange, too, when it's covered with the foil-side up. Kind of like a baked potato hot out of the oven. But the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

For even more ideas about living with your best furry friends, see "Creating a Pet-Friendly Home."

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