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How To Keep Your Easter Activities Safe

Food Safety

One of the main overlooked hazards of Easter is food safety. Dyes are not typically healthy for ingestion so hands should be washed thoroughly before and after dying, eggs should be refrigerated thoroughly before and after dying, and any egg that’s shell is cracked should not be ingested because the dye might penetrate the surface of the egg. Furthermore, candies that are put inside plastic Easter eggs should be considered for those who have food allergies. Candies that do not contain dairy, peanuts, or gluten are among the safest for sensitive children to eat

Choking Hazards

If you choose to use plastic eggs, you’ll want to be sure that the contents are not choking hazards. If your children are older than 5 years old than you probably won’t need to worry about this too much, but if you do have toddlers participating in an Easter egg hunt or are receiving an Easter basket of plastic eggs filled with prizes, the best fillers for them will be toy cars, hair accessories, cereal and animal crackers or foods that easily dissolve.

Game Alternatives

If you’re concerned about hosting an Easter egg hunt outdoors, here are some fun games to consider as alternatives where children can easily be supervised.

Guess How Many Jelly Beans

Fill a jar with jelly beans and decorate a box on the side where children can submit their name and number for guessing how many beans are in the jar. You should know how many beans are in the jar ahead of time to save yourself the headache and be able to announce the winner before your guests leave the party. The closest guess to the actual number of jelly beans can take home the jar or be given another pre-established prize

Easter Egg Spoon Race

One of the most fun ways to play a spoon race is on teams for team building skills, to provide you more winners and less hurt feelings, and provide a good variety of different kinds of games. Split the children into teams of 5-7 players and have them line up behind their team at a starting line you can create with spray paint (on grass) or tape (on floor). At (ready, set) “GO!”, the front runner will carry an egg on a spoon as fast as they are able 15-20 feet away to another line, and back. Here they will pass the spoon to their next teammate. The team whose members all complete the race first wins!

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EPA Safety Approval Labels

E.P.A. stands for the Environmental Protection Agency. The E.PA. Is responsible for protecting the health of the environment and people in their homes, schools, and workplaces. To achieve this they develop and enforce federal regulations safely and fairly, give grants, carry out environmental and human health research, publish and curate information and educate the public, and seek out and maintain sponsorship (including with other countries).

The E.P.A. Is a government agency that does all this, but some responsibilities maybe shared or delegated to other government or local agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Energy Office Of Environmental Management. Nearly half the government budget dedicated to running the E.P.A., half is spent on awarding grants to State environmental programs, non-profit organizations, education institutions, etc. The majority of their missions are to conduct scientific research and organize community clean-up projects. These projects help the E.P.A make better decisions and implement better practices.

One division of the Environmental Protection Agency is dedicated to updating standards, conducting research, and enforcing safety regulations of consumer products. This division brings you an easy way to identify the safest chemical ingredient products “without sacrificing quality or performance”. Look for the “Safer Choice” label (previously known as the “Designed For The Environment” or DFE label) and know that you’ve got in your hands, one of the 2,000 safest products to use in your home, office, school, hotel, or sports venue.

The companies that sport the label have participated in the program voluntarily and put forth their own investment in research to meet the requirement to obtain the label. Every single ingredient that makes up the product, no matter the percentage, is reviewed by the E.P.A. The criteria for determining the safety to the environment and human exposure is carcinogenicity, reproductive/developmental toxicity, and toxicity to aquatic life, among other things. Products are also checked for pollution and respiratory threat, PH balance, and that they perform similarly to conventional products on the market. Together, the product creators and the E.P.A., make sure the label and design of the product also meets standards in conveying what it is and what it does.

For more information on this program and others like it, visit epa.gov.

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What Does Biodegradable Mean?

When something is biodegradable it means it’s capable of decomposing rapidly by the help of microorganisms found in nature, the earth or airborne. Photodegradable items are close relatives and they are capable of decomposing by the help of natural sunlight or even some forms of man-made light. It’s man-made products made of plastic and Styrofoam that harm our environment and take up valuable space and litter natural habitats for animals and humans alike. Biodegradable items include food, cotton, wool, wood, human and animal waste, and products manufactured with natural materials such as natural paper, fibers, and oils. Natural materials such as paper and orange peels take only months for mother nature to dissolve. The harmful man-made products that set us back such as leather shoes and tin cans can take up to 50 years or longer. Glass takes 1 million years to dissolve and plastic, our most often used material, will never truly dissolve by mother nature.

What Can We Do?

By voting for sustainability with our money by purchasing items that are biodegradable or re-usable we cancel out only some of the damage being caused on a regular basis. Luckily, businesses and people are catching onto the concept of restoring and protecting our resources, if not for our planet and future generations, for the popularity of our business and for stroking our egos. If you can’t purchase an item that is biodegradable or photodegradable, you can at least make an effort to recycle or reuse the items you do purchase. Thrift and recycled fashions, up-cycled home furniture and decor, and having a personal purpose or mission are all popular concepts on the rise. Be a star, and care for the environment, your home.

Your Sustainability Checklist

  • Purchase products with biodegradable packaging, second hand fashion and home decor, and the greenest products whenever possible

  • Learn how to organize your recycling for at home pick-up or find out where your nearest recycling facility is and what they recycle for future reference

  • Educate your children on the lifestyle changes you’re making to provide them a better earth for them and their children in the future

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Keeping Children Safe From Products Under The Sink

Poisoning is among the top ten most common accidents among children. Every day 2 children die of poisoning and 300 are admitted to the emergency department for related incidents. Items you might not otherwise think as poisonous are popular causes, along with not properly child proofing the home and supervising children as closely as they need to be. Take these 5 precautions and share with the parents you care about to protect the small children you know from this potential harm.

Baby proof your home

Although there is no replacement for proper supervision, cabinet locking products are among the best measures you can take to prevent children from getting into the dangerous products in your home. It only takes seconds to minutes for a child to find new things to explore. It’s in their DNA to find and put things in their mouth upon discovery. Not only are cleaning chemicals a risk, but plants, cosmetics, and coins. There has been a rise in consumption of dishwasher and clothing detergents since they’ve been made into pods that look like candy to a child. The most popular choking hazard is coins. Baby-proofing droors, especially bedside and junk droors, is also a great idea. Find the baby proof section at your local Target or Toys ‘R’ Us branch. To really determine what you need and how you can re-arrange your home, consider crawling on the floor at the level your baby or child would. This will allow you to see what they see, and what they have the potential to get into!

Have emergency contact information readily available

You will have a babysitter eventually, and anyone who watches your child should have access to a list of contacts on the fridge. First your phone numbers, other emergency contact people, and finally the national Poison Control Center phone number which is 1-800-222-1222. Other numbers you might include are the non-emergency police phone number, the fire department, the nearest emergency room, your regular doctor’s office, and of course, 9-1-1. There are magnets made specifically for keeping these numbers securely to your fridge. Be sure to remind your sitter any information you want them to know and where they can find the things they’ll need.

Know where the nearest emergency room is

In case of an urgent situation without anytime permitting to call a professional, you’ll want to head straight to the nearest emergency room. It’s great to have the address programmed to your phone, GPS, or on your refrigerator with your emergency contact information, but it’s even better to have driven there yourself and know how to get their by memory as well.

Know the symptoms of poisoning

You may not know that your child has gotten a hold of a medication and you should know the signs of poisoning so that you can catch it after it’s happened even though you didn’t see it. Symptoms include:

-Difficulty breathing

-Blurred vision

-Disorientation

-Drooling

-Tearing

-Loss of muscle control

-Twitching

-Fever and more

If you notice anything out of the ordinary, call poison control to confirm what you are noticing and be walked through the process of evaluating the situation. Always try your best to remain calm. Deep breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth can calm your heart and override the panic you can feel from the stress hormone, Cortisol.

Greenify the home further

If at all possible, having the greenest home possible can lessen the chances your child would be harmed by the products kept in your home. There are ways to make your own cleaning products, or you can buy them from the store. More than looking for the terms “Green”, “Non-toxic”, and “Natural”, read the ingredients yourself to determine the contents are safe.

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So Your Toilet Has Overflowed

Unless you can blame your children for putting non-flushable items down the toilet, overflowing can be so embarrassing. Imagine how bad you’d feel if it were to happen to you at someone else’s home! Here is what you need to know to handle this situation with as much dignity as possible.

Why Has This Happened?

You’re probably asking the man upstairs “Why?! Why did this happen to me?!”, but instead need to know why your toilet overflowed in the first place. The main culprit is a blockage somewhere in the pipes, either from build up of some kind or having something flushed that shouldn’t have been. This probably can be fixed easily with a toilet plunger with a lot of suction. If this relieves the problem and makes the water go down as it should, you have your perpetrator. If this is not effective or the water is slow to drain, you might have a defect in the plumbing or flow managing mechanism and need to call a plumber. If you think this may be your problem, duct tape your toilet shut with a sign to prevent further damage.

How To Clean It Up

  1. After you’ve “fixed” the toilet, if even temporarily, you will want to remove any large debris from the floor. Human waste and toilet paper can be re-flushed a little amount at a time and any items damaged by contact can be thrown in the garbage or bucket for sanitation.

  1. The excess water needs to be drained from the area. This can be done manually using towels or if flooded enough, might require a pump of some kind.

  1. Sanitizing the cupboards, floor, bathtub wall, base of toilet and any other point of contact can be done with clean, warm or hot water and a little bit of low sud detergent. Bleach is also an option for sanitation for the surfaces, as well as the items that you may have put aside for washing. Please look up proper recommendations, read your bleaching product’s label, and be sure to know which surfaces will benefit or be damaged by the use of bleach before using.

Knowing what to do in this situation will make it easier for the owner, their guest or children, and any plumber that may need to come and assess the situation. Share this article with a home or business owner you care about today and save them the stress as well.

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Good Habits For Happy Drains

Fun fact: Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers all across America. What do you suppose is the reason they are called? It’s because of an increase in clogged drains and garbage disposals! These suggestions may be silly and seem common sense, but in our busy lives it’s easy to forget, get lazy, or rely on the technology to be strong enough for what we throw its way. These mistakes can be costly though, so here is a friendly reminder to…

Watch What You Put Down The Disposal:

Mainly Grease and Oil

In both bathrooms and kitchens, grease and oil is most responsible for the build up in drain clogs. Butter and meat fats from Thanksgiving are probably the main reason plumbers are booked every Black Friday. It’s important to pour these fats and oils into aluminum cans and throw them in the trash when they’re full and have hardened. Other things to consider are using cold water when flushing questionable liquids, so they solidify instead of melt and stick to the inner pipe, and running the garbage disposal often, before its full. In bathrooms you can avoid lotioning while you are in the bathtub or using excessively oily products in both the shower and the sink.

Take More Precaution When Hosting

Whether a large family lives under one roof or you host for the holidays, there are a few things to consider to save yourself a visit from your plumber than can cost you between 90.00 and 350.00. You can post reminders in each bathroom to not flush anything other than toilet paper, including anything that’s supposed to be flushable and to wait 15 minutes in between showers to allow the bathtub to completely drain. Having foot petal trashes with lids in the bathroom might relieve any embarrassment your guests might have about putting soiled things in the trash as well. Be sure each bathroom also includes a toilet brush and plunger for this reason too!

Brush Before You Shower

Everyone knows hair accumulates around stoppers and down drains. To reduce the amount of hair that goes down your showers and sinks, you can brush your hair away from them. If you are one who likes to brush in the shower because it’s easier for you, you can apply detangler before you shower and brush it out using a shower comb and dispose of the hair in the trash. This will greatly reduce the amount of hair that makes it down there.

In addition to these good habits, there are liquid and non-liquid products to prevent clogs in drains or help to dissolve them. Do your research on what preventative measures will work best for your home!

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Top 4 Non-Liquid Preventative Care Products For Drains

These suggestions may seem like common sense to some, but not others. The main reason you should have these cheap and effective products implemented in your home is to save you money from having to call your trusty plumber to handle the small drain issues you may be able to alleviate yourself. If you take pride in owning your own home you may want to make the small investment in a set of these easy maintenance tools. You can get all of them for less than 100.00! For renters and everyone else who rely on homeowners for maintenance, think of how connected plumbing really is. What you put down your toilet and garbage disposals not only affect your landlord but animals who share your ecosystem.

Plunger

Believe it or not, not everyone keeps a plunger or toilet brush in their bathrooms. Some plungers are of better quality than others as well. Buying yourself a quality plunger can be the difference between an embarrassing episode calling your landlord (who owns a plunger) or plumber. Higher quality plungers give more suction and force, allowing you to handle bigger clogs yourself. There are even plungers designed to not splash back toilet water! You can find a variety at your neighborhood hardware store between 3.00 and 30.00.

Snake/Auger

While at your neighborhood hardware store you can pick up a drain snake or more heavy duty auger. There will be an even wider range of products in this department for residential and commercial use, manual and electric. These products all have one thing in common; a long snake-like tail with ribs or “grabbies” you force down your plumbing to grab any hair or debris that has clogged your pipes. This less commonly owned tool can get the job done if you’re brave enough and for the small investment of 6.00 to 30.00 can save you a visit from your plumber or landlord.

Screens

Plastic or metal mesh screens can stop debris from going down your sinks, shower and bathtub drains, preventing clogs and providing you a more pleasant clean up than a snake would provide you after this stuff has made it down there. They are very inexpensive and come in all different kinds of materials, shapes, colors and even scents!

Compost Products

If you have a garbage disposal in your home or apartment, there are some routine maintenance techniques you can employ to keep it from clogging or smelling. It’s common to send ice or vinegar down the disposal to degrease and clean your disposal’s blades, but you can keep your garbage disposal like new by sending less down it and using a compost keeper. For 30.00 to 50.00, you can buy a nice ceramic compost bucket and lid for discarding your fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, coffee grounds. There are many products to choose from that will meet your needs and address your concerns of the smell, some have built in odor-fighting filters. If taken out daily to your outside compost pile, you can use any bucket and lid you like whether for compost or not. Your plants and garbage disposal will thank you!

Reviewing items that are not to be flushed or put down the drain will also prevent potential clogs from happening. Do not flush items such as any paper product that is not toilet paper including things advertised as flushable or feminine hygiene products and don’t rinse down the drain the stickers off your produce, coffee grounds and grease. The saying goes “when in doubt, throw it out!” suggesting if you question disposing of anything down your pipes to throw it in your garbage instead.

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Tips For Getting Ready For Holiday Guests

The Holiday seasons are great and opportune times for having family and friends around. Typically, people do share, laugh, eat, and have fun together. But after all is said and done, cleaning up has to be done because of the mess that comes with lots of fun, games, and feasting.

Most people usually dread the cleaning sessions since the mess left behind is usually too much for one to handle. However, this should not bother you since there are ways in which you can set up your home for an early ‟cleanup”.

Below is a holiday preparation guide that will have you host family and friends without minding the mess that will be left behind after all the partying has come to an end.

Bathroom

First and foremost, you must ensure that the bathroom is spotless clean since it’s where your visitors will use for relieving themselves, cleaning, or freshening up. After cleaning, stock it with guest toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, razors, shaving cream and soaps.

Once you are sure you have adequately stocked your bathroom, make a point of checking the functionality of your tub and sink. Make sure that they are sparkling clean, smelling fresh and draining quickly.

If by any chance you have the need of sprucing up your drainage prior to the get-together, you can consider using BlueBio Drain Cleaner. This solution will power through your drainage system and get rid of the entire clog to your amazement.

Apart from helping you clean up quickly after the festivities, having a clean, neat and functioning bathroom will save you a great deal of embarrassment.

Bedroom

Ensure that the bedrooms are clean, tidy and orderly. This can easily be done by having the beds neatly spread and keeping the wardrobes/closets and the entire room clutter free. To cater for the large number of visitors, you are also advised to provide extra storage for their personal effects.

In the case of emergencies and to avoid unnecessary inconveniences, print for your visitors emergency numbers and passwords to your Wi-Fi or any other communal gadget that is password protected.

Kitchen

Apart from the common holiday delicacies that you have prepared for the get-together, ensure that your fridge is well stocked. The food should be able to cater for your guests’ breakfast, lunch, and supper for the period of time that they are going to spend at your place. Because of the frequent dumping of food wastes, you should make a point of refreshing the garbage disposal using the BlueBio Drain Cleaner. Apart from your guests, this solution might be the next great consumer of your grab.