Wednesday, December 30, 2009

DIY Eco Storage Ideas

You might have scoured the internet for Eco-friendly storage options only to find that they are scarce and often pricey. Fear not, if you are handy you can reuse some common 'useless' items to make your own storage containers. Of course, these are just a few ideas - use your imagination and your local salvage yard to come up with even more creative options!

Large Capacity Recycling: Are your recycling containers so small you have to empty them nearly every day? If you have the space, make a container out of some used burlap bags. You can get some free or at very low cost from your local coffee roaster. Just make a frame out of 2x4s and place the bag in the middle, roll the edges over the frame and secure them with large tacks.

Under Bed Storage: I have come across many old dressers that are just too ugly to be placed in a visible space in the house. Often though, they are very well made. Sometimes out of sturdy and high quality hardwood. Find a new use for old dresser drawers by attaching some casters to the bottom and "voila!" - you've got yourself plenty of under bed storage. Great for dorm rooms by the way!

Bedding Storage: Use an old wine barrel with lots of character to create a unique storage space for extra pillows, comforters, and bedding. Just make sure it is clean and use an old sheet to make a liner bag. Easy as that!

General Organization: Give new life to old wooden crates by creating a fabric liner that will prevent things from falling out. A myriad of things can be stored in these. Organize your craft room, your kids' art supplies, or the glass jar collection (you know, the ones you don't want to recycle just yet because you keep thinking you'll find a use for them).

Storage for the Small Things: You know what I am talking about. The small things you find all over your house that do not have a place of their own. The greeting cards from friends, the tape and scissors, pens and pencils... Just use some old shoe boxes and cover them in fabric, there is no end to the possibilities!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Germ Guardian UV-C Room Air Sanitizer Review

Just in time for flu season! No, I don't have germaphobia, you would know that if you came to my house. It isn't exactly sparkling clean. I was looking for a way to clean the air though now that winter is here and I can't air out the house everyday with a baby at home. Never mind that it is below zero most nights and even during the day. There are many air cleaning gadgets out there but how many can claim that they kill 99% of viruses and airborne bacteria? How many use technology that hospitals rely on to sanitize their air? The Germ Guardian Air Sanitizer uses UV-C light to do just that. Thanks to Germ Guardian we were able to test their product and write this review.

DESIGN: The Germ Guardian UV-C Room Air Sanitizer has a modern, futuristic design. The stainless steel construction is both durable and will look good in any interior environment. It really looks great in any room in my house, be it the bathroom or the bedroom. There are also other colors on the market if you want a different look (red, blue, orange, black). It has two openings, one that takes air in and one that disperses clean air. It emits some light and can double as a night light. My only complaint is that the operation is louder than I expected. Though to put it in perspective, yesterday my daughter and I fell asleep with it on! So I guess you can call it white noise if you will.

EFFICACY: There are many gadgets on the market that claim to do something but have nothing to show for it. This Room Air Sanitizer has been tested by the Harvard School of Public Health and by independent third party laboratories. So you can rest assured you are paying for something that actually works and can live up to its claims.

In terms of our experience with Germ Guardian UV-C Room Air Sanitizer, it also lives up to its claims in my unscientific way. So what does it do? In our experience the air in the room where it has been on for a minimum of 24 hours has more resemblance to fresh outdoor air. It does kill odors as well, but you have to have it continuously running. My real hope for it was our moldy bathroom. Unfortunately I did not have the time to leave it on in that room for more than 12 hours. Even in that amount of time the air changed for the better. But the mold needs some major remedy that an air sanitizer can't offer. I am also looking forward to seeing what it can do for us this season in terms of getting sick less or shortening the duration of sickness (our friends that used it had a great experience with it in that aspect).

VALUE: The Germ Guardian UV-C Room Air Sanitizer costs anywhere from $100 to $200 depending on where you buy it and what model you choose. A refurbished one costs $70. If you think about it in terms of health, it is a great investment. It can possibly help you avoid or minimize time off from work due to colds, flu, and other viruses.

If you are looking to sanitize surfaces (such as door knobs, cutting boards, toys, toilets, countertops, etc), Germ Guardian has you covered as well with UV-C light wands. Take a look at their website for more information.

  • Baby Nursery
  • Daycare
  • Homes with children (especially those in public schools and daycare)
  • Home or business office
  • Libraries, museums, and archives
  • Elderly homes
  • Classrooms
  • Public places such as banks, post offices, and stores

Disclaimer: I did not receive payment for this review. I did receive a sample of the product or service for testing and review purposes. This will in no way sway my opinion of the product or service. The review is in my own words and is my own opinion. Your results and opinion may differ.