Category Archives: Blog

Think Before You Trash

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Think Before You Trash: Eco-Friendly Waste Removal

When you throw your plastic bottle or paper cup into a trash can, you may not even give the blue bin beside it a second glance. In the United States alone, about 251 million tons gets hauled away to the landfill every year. A large percentage of that trash can be reused or recycled. You have to know what you’re throwing away to make sure what it is you’re putting in the trash can should actually be there.

Should that really go there?

Some items should not be in your trash can, like electronics, chemicals, paint and tires. Next time you’ve moved on to the newest electronic, stop by the nearest electronics retail store to see if it will recycle your used electronic for you. Most automobile dealerships and oil change centers will take your motor oil and other automotive fluids. Tire dealers will also accept and recycle your used tires.

To reduce some of the food waste going to the landfill and put it to better use, try composting. Compost is great natural fertilizer and it’s at no extra cost to you. Here’s how you compost:

  • Collect all plant-based food scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, dryer sheets, vacuum cleaning contents, hair and grass clippings
  • Mix above items with equal amounts of twigs and dead leaves
  • Keep the mixture moist in a garbage can or similar container
  • Keep the container in a shady area outside
  • Stir the mixture a couple of times per week
  • Have 100% organic compost within a few months

What about the big stuff?

Trying to dispose of a large amount of waste in an eco-friendly manner can be difficult. When you rent a dumpster for large waste removal, ask if the company offers trash recycling or clean load sorting. Hint: a clean load is when the dumpster is filled with only one type of material and not a mixture of items. If you can fill each dumpster with one type of material, that increases the odds that the material can be recycled instead of emptied into the landfill.

There are currently 86 landfills using waste to energy initiatives in the United States, where they use various methods to extract energy from the waste sitting at the landfill. One method is to capture methane gas naturally produced at landfills and turning it into energy. These waste to energy facilities turn 28 million tons of trash into about 2,720 megawatts of power every year. To give you a better idea, 164 homes can be powered by one megawatt of power… so that landfill power can light up almost 450,000 homes. So, our country is slowly trying to help sustain the environment, but we can’t reach our full potential until everyone, including you, becomes more conscious of what they are throwing away.  And remember Bargain Dumpster is here to help.  Give us a call today at (803) 573-0003

5 Low Maintenance Indoor Plants

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This is for the people that have killed every single plant that has come into their lives. These plants are so low maintenance; you will have to put in actual effort in order for them to die. Indoor plants bring life into any room they are in. Indoor plants are the nature people who hate indoors need in their lives. These plants will be able to keep you company and purify the air in your home.

Snake Plants

Snake plants can live for years! They only require some water once or twice a week and a little bit of low lighting. Snake plants have a yellow border around their leaves. They are also known as Sansevieri. Snake plants can be a good accent in a living room.

Aloe

Not only is aloe a nice, low maintenance plants, but you can also cut the leaves and use the juice inside for all sorts of home remedies. Aloe does require some indirect sunlight. Make sure not to overwater this plant. Pots that have drainage holes on the bottom is recommend for this indoor plant.

Ivy

Ivy is a beautiful plant to have indoors. Hanging pots would go best with this particular plants, because it does love to grow and stretch its leaves out. Hanging plants are new and different to have indoors. Do not be scared of ivy. This low maintenance plant will require a little bit of sunlight and of course, some water.

Jade

Jade plants are seen as a symbol for good luck. The upkeep for this indoor plant is simple and easy. They require the basic sun and water. You can accent you home with jade plants and they can be your close pal resting next to you on your bedside table.

Fig leaf tree

This tall plant is the perfect piece for your home interior. These plants can live for years and are quite pretty to look at. These indoor plants are like a tree for your home. They do grow quite tall, but they are quickly the new plant inside many homes.

Places You Forget to Clean

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There are some things that are commonly forgotten when you clean. Fitting these little things into your cleaning routine can make your home a much cleaner place. The best part is that these places are quick and easy cleans. Start adding these areas into your weekly or monthly cleaning schedule.

Ceiling Fans

It is easy to forget about cleaning ceiling fans, especially if they are up on high ceilings. Most of the time you know it is time to clean those fans when the dust starts falling off. Take a wet rag and wipe down each blade. Make sure to fit this step into your weekly cleaning routine.

Handles

Think about how many times you have touched the handles around your house. Now think about how many different people have touched those same handles. It is time to start wiping those items down as well. Taking a disinfectant wipe and rub them until they are spotless.

Air Vents

Dust and dirt can easily build up in air vents. That does not allow for the best circulation. An easy way to clean these vents is with a butter knife and towel. Stick the towel over the knife and go between the vents. That is one simple quick clean.

Blinds

This is another spot that dust loves to come and pile up. You can use a cloth and wipe down each blind. It can be easily overlooked, but blinds do need some attention. Try to squeeze them in to your weekly clean, if not your monthly wipe down.

Trash cans

That putrid smell that came from the trash can still linger behind in the trashcan. Giving the trashcan a good spray down. Cleaning out your trashcan is necessary when that trash smell does not leave with the trash. Once a month should be enough attention required from your trashcan.

Storm Clean Up Tips

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Storm Clean Up Tips!

 

After a storm hits your home, it may be harder to get back on track with just your normal cleaning supplies. Debris, flood waters, power outages and broken tree limbs are all risks you may run into after a storm. Try a few of our storm clean up tips for dealing with the aftermath to save your house from any further harm and keeping you and your family safe while cleaning up.

Flooding

If there are heavy rains during a storm, it’s going to be hard to avoid flooding. If water gets into your home, be extremely cautious about getting it out. Turn off the power in your house only if the water hasn’t reached the same level as the electrical outlets in the room where your main breaker is. Otherwise you could risk electrocution.

If your basement is under three feet of water because of the rainstorm, then just wait out the storm and the water level to drop before trying to clean it up. To help protect your basement from rain-induced flooding, make sure your yard slopes away from the house and your gutters are working properly.

To dry out a flooded basement, don’t pump water out too quickly or too early to lessen the likelihood of any structural damage. Once you do start pumping, remove just a foot of water on the first day and wait overnight to see if the water level is back up. If it is, then it’s too early to pump it out. When the water stops rising, then pump out two to three feet each day until all of the water is out.

Drying Out Your House

When the storm is over, you might consider hiring a professional service for the most thorough clean-up. There are probably places that are wet in your house that you wouldn’t even think to check. With a professional service, you’re drying out your entire structure that can prevent mold attacking your walls and floors. If you want to prevent your belongings from getting ruined in the basement, try putting them on cinder blocks or high shelves. Packing lighter boxes will help too, to make it easier to lift out of water from flooding.

Preventing Mold

Even if your salvaged items seem dry and clean, the floodwaters could have already set in to start growing mold not only on the walls but also inside walls, floors and furniture. Mold only needs somewhere there is moisture and plant material for it to feed on, such as drywall paper and wood. To prevent the growth and spread of mold, you have to remove the surfaces that will provide a good host for the mold, clean what remains, clear the air and rebuild while taking preventative measures.

You must seal off the area with plastic over the doorway of the affected area, and clear out all absorbent materials, which include carpet, drywall and paper items. You have to loosen the mold spores and then suck them up with a HEPA-filter vacuum. An exterminator can spray the wood with Bora-Care with Mold-Care, a borate solution that fights mold and protects against termites, carpenter ants and wood rot.

To prevent mold from coming back, slope soil away from the house, waterproof the roof by tying it down with extra fasteners and special edging to resist wind, and assemble walls with interior air flow so moisture can evaporate. Consider using a paperless drywall and insulation that contains nothing for mold to feed on.

Handling Damaged Trees

High winds and heavy rains can cause fallen trees, which could be considered one of the most dangerous and damaging outcomes of powerful storms. If the main trunk of the tree is broken or split, then removal is a good idea. Call a certified arborist to take the tree down to prevent personal injury. If the damage is less severe, remove any damaged branches you can safely reach from the ground. If you cannot reach them yourself, call an arborist to finish the work. If the tree starts to rot instead of heal, there is a strong chance that a limb or the whole tree could fall without warning, so be sure to get it cut down.

Let Us Help You

If any of the restoration projects from a storm require getting rid of a lot of flood-damaged or mold-infested items, call Bargain Dumpster at (803) 573-0003 to help haul your clean-up debris to the nearest landfill.

Plants to Grow for Beginners

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Gardening is a good pastime or hobby that most people should take up and do. There are some plants good for beginners. It always feels good to see your food growing and their progress. That is your own green thumb at hard work right there. There are some foods that require a lot of attention and some foods that are easy enough for beginners. Here are some foods that beginners should start out with.

Herbs

Herbs are the easiest plant for anyone starting to get their green thumb could grow. They do not require a lot of attention. They require just the usual water and sunshine to help it grow. Basil, cilantro, rosemary and many other herbs could fill your first garden. Just remember to label them so you do not get confused. The smells from herbs are also a nice bonus.

Root Vegetables

Root vegetables do not grow out and take over landscapes. They grow in the ground from the root. Carrots, beets and many other root vegetables are great for people who are learning to garden. Do not forget to label where they are, so you do not forget them. They are great for starter gardens.

Tomatoes

As long as tomatoes get enough sun and something supporting them then they are one of the easiest plants to grow. Many places with starter plants will have a cage already placed in for the tomato plants. Tomatoes are not too needy and who does not need some tomatoes in their lives.

Lettuce

Lettuce is a good, resilient plant to start out with in your gardening adventures. This plant usually grows during the colder temperatures. You will be able to eat a salad everyday in you wish. These plants are here to last.

Beans

Sun and water is all that these plants need. Give them those two things and a bean bounty will be produced. Beans are easy to take care of and do not require a lot of time and attention.

DIY Mittens

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Now that winter has come, it is time to start dressing for winter. Go look through your closet and find some old sweaters that don’t fit anymore. Those too small sweaters are going to become your brand new pair of mittens. This is going to one DIY project that can last you and your family a lifetime.

  1. Trace those mittens

First, you will need to trace your hand onto a piece of matter. Make it a little bit bigger than your hand size so it will be a nice, cozy fit. Then cut out your outline and you are ready for the next step.

  1. Cut out your pattern

Next, choose which sweater you want to create mitten from. Make sure it is inside out for when you sew. Then lay your mitten cut out on top of the sweater, at the bottom. Trace the outline and then cut along your outline and you will have two pieces to your mitten.

  1. Sew it up!

Now it is time to start making those new mittens. Take some pins and pin both pieces for the mitten together. This will stop them from sliding apart when you are sewing. Go ahead and start sewing!

  1. Finishing touches

Once you have finished sewing, cut off any excess trim. Next, turn those mittens right side in. Check out that finished product you made! New and free mittens; that is the best.

  1. Repeat

Repeat all of these steps over for the other pair to your perfect mittens.

Now you have the perfect new item for winter. This can also make for a great gift for friends and family. Feathering My Nest has a great tutorial for this DIY, plus her mittens turned out extremely cute.

 

Vertical Garden

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Benefits of a vertical garden

A garden does not always have to be plants growing in the ground. Vertical gardens are becoming more common now a day. There are several pros that come along with a vertical garden versus a traditional garden. Vertical gardens are great for small spaces. You will be able to plant as many plants as you would like in a regular garden, but save yourself space.

If you do not have room for a traditional garden, then a vertical garden is perfect for you. Some vertical potters are skinny and are able to fit in many spaces. Vertical gardens can be called “living walls,” because they can grow on fences and walls. You will be able to have that garden you have always wanted; it will just be vertical instead of horizontal.

Gardening vertically can help with bending over and if you have a bad back. There is no longer a need for people to get on the ground and maintain their garden. You will be able to stand and be comfortable while tending to your plants. It also benefits the plants with their air circulation. The higher off the ground they are, the better circulation they get.

People living in urban areas are more likely to have a vertical garden, because the plants are growing up instead of out. A benefit to this is that the vertical plants will help clean the urban air surrounding them. They can help clean up bacteria inside homes and apartments.

Vertical plants, or “living walls,” are a great way to bring plants into your life. If there is not a lot of space, then get creative. You can cover a whole wall or fence with plant life. Vertical potters can help you grow vegetables and sometimes this way is healthier for them to grow. A vertical garden helps you get the garden you have wanted to have.

Easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint

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Everyone is going to leave behind a carbon footprint. It is impossible not to, but you can reduce how much of a footprint you leave. Reducing your carbon footprint does not even have to be difficult. There are simple and easy steps that you can take to help out our planet and keep it alive for a long, long time.  COTAP, also known as Carbon Offsets to Alleviate Poverty, has lot of good information and tips to help reduce your carbon footprint.

Driving

Driving emits a bunch of CO2. COTAP has a few tips to avoid emitting carbon any more than you have to. Alternatives to driving are walking or biking to your destination. If you can’t do that then carpooling is better than multiple cars to the same destination. Drive a low carbon vehicle that is clean electricity.

Air Travel

The less air travel the better. Air travel is possibly the worst way for you to travel. It is also a huge carbon footprint. Some alternatives to air travel are taking longer and fewer vacations. Also, take vacations that are closer and do not require so many hours of flying.  Need to fly to work? See if you can Skype into those meetings and save our planet while doing it.

Home Energy 

Insulating and getting your home sealed is a great way to reduce that carbon footprint of yours. Appliances that are labeled with Energy Star are better for the environment. If you are not using a light, then turn it off. When it comes to the thermostat do not set it way too high or too low. Simple things down around the home can have a big impact.

Food

Local food is the best food. Eating local food decreases the transportation of foods. Cutting out the beef and dairy in your diet helps you and the planet. The resources it takes to produce that steak or that late night glass of milk is actually a lot. Making some diet changes end up being the better choice in the end.

You can go look on the COTPA website and get even more information on how to cut down your carbon footprint.

5 ways to green your pet

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Now that you apartment or home is green, it is time to change up your pet’s lifestyle for the better. Making your pets go green is easy and a great thing for our planet. People talk about the carbon footprint people leave behind, but your pets can also contribute to this carbon footprint. Let’s help them reduce the waste they leave behind.

  1. Biodegradable bags

Your dog has to go number two outside, but no one likes stepping in the poop that was left behind. Many people use plastic bags, which are not the best thing to our environment. Biodegradable baggies are an amazing second option to plastic bags. Biodegradable bags are perfect, because you scoop up the poop and then you can leave the bag to decompose into the environment.

  1. Eco-friendly litter

Cat litter is usually placed in plastic liner and then thrown away in those plastic bags. There are types of cat litter that are corn-based litter. Instead of throwing it out in plastic you can easily flush it down the toilet. The corn-based litter does not make a clog in the toilet and eliminates those awful plastic bags. Any non-clay litter is not a good option.

  1. Preventing fleas

Shampoo that gets rid of fleas usually has toxins that are not so good or the environment. You can naturally get rid and prevent fleas from bothering your pets. Combing them once daily with a flea comb is a natural and harmless way to prevent fleas. If you require shampoo, choose the organic one that will prevent fleas but do it the green way.

  1. Spay and neuter

There are so many homeless pets that walk our streets today and that has to deal with the overpopulation of dogs and cats. Getting your pet spayed or neutered is going to contribute to cutting down on the population of pets. This helps shelters reduce the amount of animals that they receive a day, but it also increases the chances of a pet getting adopted.

  1. Green cleaners

Anything cleaning supplies you use for pets should be green. All-natural cleaners are better and healthier for your pets instead of all those cleaner full of chemicals. You can even make your own all-natural cleaners and save yourself a few bucks. Green cleaners are the better choice in the end for you and importantly, your pets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 ways to upscale your old tires

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There are plenty of things that you can make from old tires. If you need new seating or a bed for your dog, tires can be turned into these. This a great way to recycle some old things and it doesn’t hurt that it can help save a few bucks.

Tire swing
  • This oldie but goodie is a great idea for the kids and it is a way to get them to go outdoors. Choose a color you like and paint the whole tire. You can paint it red and give it a ladybug face for a different style. Get some hardware and chains and find a stable tree to hang it on.
Tire Planter
  • Don’t want to spend the money on those expensive planters? Then recycle those old tires and get creative. Clean out the old tire to make sure it is not dirty. Fill it up with soil and choose any plants and plant your tire. You can paint the outside of the tires for some decorations.
Doggie bed
  • A recycled tire turned into a brad new doggie bed is a great and easy project to spoil your family’s best friend. Practically Functional has a blog that shows the steps on how to put together this easy DIY project. You can decorate the tire to match your dog’s personality and make it their own little unique spot.
Tetherball
  • A tetherball set in the backyard is something that the all the kids will be wanting. Simply Kierste Design has detailed step-by-step instructions to build the perfect tetherball set. This will make a great addition to any backyard.
Tire sandbox
  • Don’t have time to go to the beach and soak up the sun? Well bring the beach to your own home. I Heart Naptime is a good mom blog that shows how she created this beautiful sandbox for her family. You can pain the tire any color or any design you like. Let the kids build some sandcastles while you relax and pretend to have the beach right under you.

 

 

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