Posts Tagged ‘Cincinnati’

Green Your Home This Spring

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Green: A Great Color for the Home

It’s hard to believe, but spring is just around the corner. For many of us this means it’s time to begin knocking tasks off of spring cleaning to-do lists and gearing up for those home improvement projects you began realizing were long overdue while cooped up inside all winter. Whether you’re looking to remodel your bathroom, upgrade your kitchen tile, or turn your backyard into an oasis, The Cincinnati Home and Garden Show, held at the Duke Energy Convention Center, is the place to be. The show is open to the public today, March 5th through Sunday, March 9th.

This year will also feature a Go Green Cincinnati Show, presenting dozens of retailers offering sustainable products and services, helping residents of the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky lead greener lives. While not everyone can afford to install solar panels on their roofs or invest in new, energy efficient appliances, there are plenty of ways to go green for little to no cost. Here are 10 easy tricks to add a little green to your life and your home.

Create your own low-cost compost bin  
Composting is a great way to make use of things that would normally end up in a landfill. You can throw all kinds of things into your compost bin which will, in turn, create natural and nutrient rich soil for flower beds, gardens, or even the grass in your yard.

Wash laundry in cold, rather than hot, water
Although using cold water can take a little longer to properly clean clothes, it will clean them just as well as hot water. According to Energy Star, almost 90% of the energy used by washing machines goes towards heating water.
Bonus Green Points: Line-dry clothes. Again, you’ll be saving money and energy, but the UV rays of the sun can help kill germs and bacteria too!

Shop at local Farmers Markets
One of the best and easiest ways to go green (in addition to helping your local economy) is to shop at local Farmers Markets. Your food is almost certainly guaranteed to be fresher, more nutritious, and more flavorful than items bought at a grocery store.

Unplug unused and rarely used appliances
Although it may not seem like it, many appliances that aren’t in use but are still plugged in continue sucking up energy. All kinds of appliances from toasters to televisions use “standby” power when they aren’t in use. If unplugging all those unused appliances seems like too much of an inconvenience, another option is to invest in a Smart Power Strip, which monitors electricity use and stops sending power to appliances that have been idle for a certain amount of time.

D.I.Y. cleaning supplies
Not only do most name brand cleaning supplies contain toxic chemicals, but they are expensive. With a handful of inexpensive and basic ingredients you can make a whole host of cleaners for the entire house.

Invest in energy efficient light bulbs.
Energy Efficient bulbs may have more of an upfront cost, but you’ll be saving in the long run and helping the environment. Even changing a few bulbs throughout your house can save you hundreds of dollars annually.

Donate old newspapers to animal shelters, old plastic bags to participating grocery stores, or buy/make your own reusable bags.
Animal shelters are a great place to drop off plastic bags and old newspapers. Lots of grocery stores take bag plastic bags to reuse or recycle; talk to your local grocery store to see if they accept donations. Or better yet, you can buy or make your own reusable bags and avoid the plastic ones altogether! Most patterns are simple enough for beginners to use and only take a few minutes to make!

Lighten the load
How many of us avoid the cluttered, black hole that is our car’s trunk? If you’re like me, the trunk of your car has slowly accumulated knick-knacks over time. Cleaning out your trunk (or the entire car, for some of us) will lighten the overall weight of your car, helping improve fuel efficiency. Improved fuel efficiency decreases the amount of gas you’ll need, so lighten the load in your car and you can lighten your weekly gas bill, too.

Caulk windows
This is a project that sounds much more daunting than it actually is, and will greatly improve the energy efficiency in your home. Something as simple as re-caulking your windows will only take a couple of hours and will help keep the warm air in during the winter and the cool air in during the summer. It’s a quick an easy project that will prove beneficial for any season.

Repurpose!
A little creativity will go a long way with this one. With a little craftiness and a good google search the options are limitless. Sites like Pinterest, Apartment Therapy, and DIY Network are all great places for inspiration. From old t-shirts to baby food jars, just because it’s served its original purpose doesn’t mean those objects can’t be repurposed for another use. Repurpose! Reuse! Recycle! It’s fun, easy, and all these small acts can make a huge difference for the environment!

The contributor for this article was Katie Butts, an intern for Keen Communications.

forkheartknife

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

There is absolutely nothing I love more than good, home-cooking!  Already, Cincinnati is blessed with an amazing independent bakery/cafe, TAKE THE CAKE.  Not only do they make great wedding cakes and other holiday cakes to order, but also have an always changing menu from day to day in their open kitchen layout with communal tables, and when the food is gone, it’s gone (and believe me, it’s good enough that it goes quickly)!

Very recently another wonderful place just opened, and wouldn’t you believe it is right across the street from my last apartment in downtown Cincinnati (Over-the-Rhine).  Go figure!  The newest addition to the Gateway Quarter is forkheartknife, which has a truly inspiring (although heartbreaking) story behind its inception.  Co-owners Sierra Laumer and Leah Heisel Grande are mainly focused on catering but will be open a few days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late night snacks, to be decided (it’ll be a surprise).  Soapbox Media did a great piece on them where you can get some real insight into what they’re up to.  I know what I’m doing for dinner this Thursday, 6-10pm  – they’ll be open for dinner!

If you can look at their Website and not drool at the food pictures, I’ll give you a dollar.

That’s all for now.  I have to go find myself a snack after all this food talk!


BIKE MONTH – MAY 2010

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

This month is Bike Month in Cincinnati!  The folks over at Queen City Bike have done such a wonderful job of organizing a month full of events both for fun and to raise bicycle awareness.  The artwork for the promotion is absolutely gorgeous!

We are lucky enough to be a part of the whole shebang: Tuesday, May 18, 7am-9am, we will be hosting a bicycle commuter station right outside of our offices in Covington, KY.  For Covington residents commuting over the Ohio River via the Roebling Suspension Bridge, they can stop by our commuter station for free air, grease, coffee, water, snacks, and more free goodies!  I’m excited and I’m not even traveling over the bridge.

I definitely think that every city should be having a campaign like this one at some point this summer.  Today was the first day I rode my bike to work since I got the shiny, new thing.  I even carried a glass pan with a loaf of homebaked banana bread while riding.  Pure talent.

This Saturday is the MoBo Bicycle Co-op’s used bike sale, where we’ll be adopting a previously loved bicycle for my boyfriend.  Hopefully we’ll find him a real winner.

Everyone drag out your dusty, rusty bicycle this month and take it for a spin!  Share the love!

The Importance of Physical Activity

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

AND getting outside – go green!

Getting outside and getting physical, whether it’s just taking a stroll through the woods or scaling a mountain wall, is one of the most important things you could do to keep yourself healthy!  Check out all the great benefits of staying active, according to the CDC.

I know this is information that just about everyone is familiar with, but still, with the shape America’s in, we could all use a little reminder every now and then.

About six months ago I did something healthy for myself and began walking to work.  It was great through winter, at some points we had over a foot of snow, I just trudged my way down the sidewalks in my snow boots.  Let me tell you, there’s nothing like being the only person out early on a snowy morning… so quiet and peaceful.  When it gets unbearably hot this summer, I’ll start riding my brand new Tonino Lamborghini Rapido bicycle to the office (not bragging or anything).

I also joined a local gym and regularly attend Pilates and Yoga classes.  I have been sleeping better, eating better, and all together feeling incredibly better.

To go green, however, I’m riding my bike to some local hiking trails over the weekends.  I’m lucky enough to work at a book publishing company whose biggest selling books are some incredible hiking guides.  You should check them out, there’s one for almost every big city in the country!  www.keencommunication.com

Tonight we are hosting an event with the Tri-State Hiking Club at a local pub.  Tammy York, author of 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Cincinnati will be the featured author and will sign her book for what we hope to be TONS of interested outdoorsy folks!

THERE ARE ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT TO HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT EARTH DAY AND OUR #green2010 CAMPAIGN!  Check out Think Green 2010 for more information, but don’t waste any time!