BBB Solutions: Water Efficiency

All of the water your household uses gets sent down its pipes and into its septic system, and so reducing your water usage, or using your water efficiently, helps avoid potential issues and damages such as septic system overloading or failure, drainfield problems, clogged pipes, and contamination of local water sources.

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Composting: Turning Garbage Into Gold

We shared what foods to avoid putting down your garbage disposal, but don’t worry! We won’t leave you with a handful of scraps. 

Instead of throwing food waste down the drain or into the garbage, we recommend composting. 

The Long And Short Of It

Compost consists of decomposed organic materials, while composting refers to the natural process by which compost is created. Finished compost is dark in color and rich in nutrients, making it a highly valued soil additive referred to by gardeners as Black Gold. 

But Wait! There’s More! 

Composting isn’t just good for your garden, it’s good for the environment and good for your garbage disposal. 

In a 2017 study on household composting, researchers tracked household waste in a series of homes over the course of a year and discovered that, on average, composting saved 277 pounds of waste per person that otherwise would have gone to decompose in landfills. Though organic matter does naturally decompose in landfills, it does so underground and undergoes a process that produces methane – a greenhouse gas that’s bad for the environment and 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, composting at home occurs above ground and allows access to oxygen, meaning decomposition can occur sans methane.

(Know your meme! Come on a Neature Walk.)

Composting is also good for your garbage disposal! While your garbage disposal can handle a lot, there are various foods and food waste that require a different method of discard, lest you invite clogging, drainage issues, and unpleasant sink odor. Avoid the mess and stress by feeding your garden instead of your garbage disposal! 

Composting At Home

To start composting at home, all you need is a bin or large bucket that you’ll keep outside in a dry area. Make sure that it has a lid, or that you can easily cover the top of your compost bin – we recommend using a tarp.

And so the science of composting begins! Your ingredients should include: 

Browns – hay, straw, leaves, branches, twigs, and small paper scraps

Greens – vegetable and fruit scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds, and grass clippings

Water 

You’ll want to add your ingredients in layers, and make sure you dampen them with water when you add more to your compost pile. For best results, turn it with a gardening tool every few weeks and make sure it gets up to at least three feet tall so everything heats up nice and even. You’ll know it’s ready to add to your garden when it looks crumbled, and resembles soil rather than scraps! This process can take up to two months or longer, so be patient. 

Do you have your own compost pile? Tag us on social media and let us see your hard work! 

Spring Cleaning In A Time Of Social Distancing

In light of recent current events, many of us are spending an unprecedented amount of time in our homes with limited access to the day-to-day activities that help provide us with a semblance of normalcy. For most, the result is this: lots and lots of down time and a general sense of unbalance. Now, we too have seen much of the mass online messaging that offers the chiding advice to “make the most” of this time, and so we gently say: For those who are using this down time to process, we honor and support you. And for those who feel a desire to keep busy during these strange times, we recommend taking the leap to tackle your spring cleaning.

Spring Cleaning Benefits

For all of our fellow social distancers who are just itching to keep busy, spring cleaning is a great way to occupy time, and it works to uplift your mental and physical health which is certainly a welcome benefit during these trying times. In fact, reports from experts say benefits can range from improved mood and reduced stress, to illness prevention and improved breathing.

Here at BBB we recommend the three C’s approach to spring cleaning: create, clear, and clean. 

Create 

Spring cleaning your entire home might seem like a daunting task. To help negate this, try creating a list or a coming up with a game plan for what you’d like to see accomplished. Consider adding on projects you may typically ignore or push off, like septic maintenance or closet clean outs. And the best thing about a list? The satisfaction of crossing off a completed task! Now, when creating your game plan, think about what sort of cleaning system usually works best for you and/or your housemates. Do you prefer completing one room at a time? Or once you start dusting in one room, do you prefer to go ahead and dust the whole house? Regardless, knowing what you want to do, and how you’re going to do it are helpful in making your spring cleaning feel less intimidating. 

Clear

Clearing away unwanted or unused items during spring cleaning helps to tidy and open up the space in your home. You’ll feel better after this decluttering – we promise. To start, gather up clothes and shoes that no longer fit or go unworn, broken items you never got around to fixing (it’s been years, my friend – time to let it go!), and toys your kid’s have outgrown, and then ready them for rehoming to a place in need or disposal (speaking of disposal, are you using yours properly?). If the items are still good quality, try donating them to a local nonprofit. After all, it feels good to do good! 

Clean

The last, but certainly not least “C”: clean. Now, more than ever, cleanliness is of the utmost importance. With new viruses (looking at you, COVID-19) reportedly able to survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours and seasonal allergies affecting those with sensitive respiratory systems, it’s vital to sanitize and remove dust from surfaces. When spring cleaning, take special note to include those hard to reach or generally forgotten areas, such as tops of ceiling fans, behind heavy furniture, or between appliances.

Happy spring cleaning, and stay safe and sane out there friends!