In honor of Valentine’s Day, we are sharing fourteen ways to love your home.
1. Set a regular cleaning schedule
There is a quote—often attributed to Benjamin Franklin—that says, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” Don’t let this be the case with your house. Make a schedule to clean one or two rooms each day and then stick to your schedule. By doing this, you won’t have to feel overwhelmed by a day full of cleaning and you’ll feel happier and more comfortable in your home.
2. Take care of your yard
Whether you love to spend all day in the dirt or would rather be off having some other adventure, take a little time to trim the grass and keep the weeds in check. A well cared for yard, no matter the size or style, increases the value of your house and how you feel about it.
3. Transition to LED lights
While the cost may be a little more upfront, LED lights are gentler on your wallet in the long run. These lights are longer lasting and more durable, which gives you more use than a regular light bulb.
Plus, they look great in your house and in your garden. Check back often to learn more about the release of our new line of energy-efficient, LED landscape lights.
4. Plant a tree (or two, or three)
Trees are a great way to bring beauty and variety to your yard. Take care to pick the right variety for your area and need—talk with a specialist at your local nursery for more ideas. A well-placed tree can also serve as shade and protection for your yard and home and can lower energy costs.
5. Plan a date
You know that list of projects you want to get done, but never seem to have time for? Plan a date. Whether it’s a deep clean or a new paint job, your home needs a little pampering once in a while. After all, it does keep you safe and comfortable from the world outside.
6. Keep unwanted pests out of your yard and home
Whether you are dealing with deer eating your prized tomato plants, or ants invading your pantry, there are ways to protect your house. For those annoying spiders, ants, and bugs, try calling a local pest control company. If it’s bigger critters in your yard that you’re worried about, check out our Yard Enforcer. The Yard Enforcer is a motion-activated sprinkler that deters unwanted pests with sound and water. The best part? It actually works! Check out this video:
7. Increase the safety of your home
There are little things that we can do all year long to increase the safety of our homes. Whether it’s keeping the walks shoveled, or keeping our yard well lit at night (again, check back for more information on our new landscape lights), or baby proofing our cabinets and stairs, do the little things to make your home a worry-free space.
8. Give your plants the perfect amount of water
To keep your yard lush and green, give them the water they need. Our sprinkler timers are a great way to ensure that your landscape receives consistent watering, because in our crazy world, we all have a lot on our minds.
9. Try something new
Don’t be afraid to try out a new idea. The internet is full of DIY projects, for budgets big and small that may give you just the change you need. Check out our Pinterest page for some great DIY ideas for your home and garden.
10. Plant a garden
Who doesn’t love fresh produce? If the weather is nice, set aside some land and start working the earth. But don’t let snow keep you down. You can start your garden seeds indoors. What’s better than getting your hands in the dirt again? Plus, you can start enjoying the fruits of your labor earlier than if you wait to plant when the weather’s nice.
Sometimes we let our lives get too cluttered. Instead of throwing things away, pick a number (any number) and then select that number of items to give to charity or a family in need in your area. It’s a great, and easy, way to serve your community.
12. Add some color
If you’re not ready to commit to a big color change or if you just want to update a space with this year’s color trends, try incorporating color in small ways. Buy some plants for a room, or plant some flowers in the garden—it doesn’t have to cost much to bring a lot of life to your home.
13. Take time to enjoy some peace and quiet
Whether you like to spend your time indoors or outdoors, it’s always nice to sit back and relax for a few minutes. Read a book, work in the garden, or sit on your porch and watch a rainstorm roll in. Take some time out of your busy day and do whatever it is that relaxes you. You will find that you are more centered and ready to accomplish any task.
14. Build relationships
Often, our homes are special because of the people we share them with. Don’t forget what truly makes your house a home. Take time to build those important relationships with the people you love.
Please share. What are some of the ways that you love your home?
Are you looking for activities to do with the kids this summer that are both fun and educational? Why not teach them about water conservation?
Why teach your kids about conservation?
There are many benefits to becoming a water-wise family, including saving money, but there’s more to it than that. Conservation is a community effort and learning begins in the home. By teaching your kids about conservation you teach them to look beyond themselves—to see the beauty and wonder in the world.
Did you know?
Each time you water your lawn you can be using up to 3,000 gallons of water
An average American family of 4 can use 400 gallons of water a day
Standard toilets use about 3.5 gallons of water per flush
A typical faucet uses about 2 gallons of water per minute
Here are some easy ways for your kids to get involved in water conservation:
Have your kids help you check your sprinkler system. (Any easy excuse for running through the sprinklers is a good one, right?)
Make sure that your sprinklers are not watering the sidewalk, driveway, street, or house
Look for leaking or broken sprinkler heads
Try the screwdriver test. Have your kids stick a screwdriver into the grass, if it goes in 6 inches with minimal effort there is no need to water. If they struggle getting the screwdriver into the ground it may be time to water again
Use a hose-end nozzle when washing the car instead of letting the hose run
Have them remind you to use the rain delay option on your sprinkler system timer/controller when it rains
Turn off the water when brushing teeth
Check for leaks and work on fixing them together
Shower instead of taking baths
Stop using the toilet as a waste basket
Use only one cup to drink out of throughout the day
Put a container of water in the fridge so you always have cold water (without having to run the tap)
One way to really help your kids understand how much water we use is to do some activities with them.
The Human Faucet. This do-at-home experiment shows kids how much water they use when they let the tap run while brushing their teeth. You can find detailed instructions here.
Visit your local water plant or nearby natural history museum to learn about the water cycle.
With processed foods increasingly prevalent, many people are seeking natural and organic options for their diet. But a trip to your local grocery store will reveal that although going green may be healthier for your diet, it does little for your budget.
To combat these high prices many people are growing their own produce and square foot gardening is making it easy.
What is Square Foot Gardening?
Square foot gardening is an innovative approach to traditional single-row gardening. At its basic level, square foot gardening consists of a 4′ x 4″ raised planter with 16 units. Each square foot unit is used to plant a different crop. This system takes less work, is easy to maintain, wastes less water and materials (such as seeds), and yields plenty of crops.
For tips on how to set up your own square foot garden, click here.
Watering Your Square Foot Garden
There are a number of ways to water your square foot garden, they include: Bucket watering, Hose watering, Soaker Hose watering, Sprinkler System watering, and Drip Irrigation.*
This includes a large bucket of sun-warmed water and a cup. Water each plant with a cup of water. Although this method is inexpensive, it is tedious work that someone must attend to each day.
Use a gentle hose-end attachment to water each plant. Setbacks to this method include increased risk of molds and fungi (due to the leaves getting wet) and the fact that this system is not automated.
A soaker hose is a porous hose that allows water to seep slowly into the soil. It is less work, but you still have to remember to turn it on—to combat this issue you can try one of Orbit’s hose faucet timers. While this method protects the leaves of your plants, you cannot control which plants receive more water and it is still difficult to ensure even watering.
Sprinkler System Watering
Rather than try to water your garden individually, you can adjust your sprinkler system to also cover your square foot garden. This approach is convenient because it is automated; however, you are less likely to receive even coverage and the leaves of your plants will be watered, increasing your risk for mold and fungus.
Many square foot gardeners feel that drip irrigation is the ideal method of watering your garden. Drip systems allow the water to soak directly into the soil with the added convenience of flow adjustment for individual plants. These systems are also automated, ensuring consistent watering.
Are you interested in water conservation? Do you want to save money? Just interested in having a beautiful yard?
You can save water and money. Here’s how:
Start your sprinkler system right—inspect, repair, and adjust
Set your sprinkler timer schedule—aim to apply about 1”-1.5” of water per week during cooler months
Adjust your watering frequency—depending on the time of year, soil type, and plant needs
How much water am I using?
Sprinkler heads release water at the rate of about 1.5 to 3 Gallons per Minute (GPM). So let’s say that you have 50 sprinkler heads releasing water at 3 GPM. That means you are using 150 gallons of water per minute! Now, run your sprinklers for 20 minutes and how much water are you using?
The answer: 3000 gallons of water!
What could I do with 3000 gallons of water?
That’s enough to fill: a 4’ x 18’ swimming pool (1900 Gal), a 4-person hot tub (700 Gal), and 10 bath tubs (400 Gal)!
Bigger isn’t Always Better
Many nutritionists suggest that eating smaller meals more frequently is better for your health. In a similar way, it may be beneficial to break up watering duration for each zone into multiple cycles for optimal absorption.
As always, each yard is unique. Consider your individual needs and factors—season, climate, plant and soil types, and other similar influences—for the best results.
Want to Learn More about Conservation?
Orbit believes in Conservation through Innovation. With an increased awareness of our water usage and some easy adjustments we believe that everyone can have beautiful, eco-friendly yards.