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Caring for your Camera

Image Source: Wikipedia

Even though digital cameras have made photography more accessible to everyone, photography is still quite an expensive hobby or profession. Yes, producing images hardly cost a thing, but the equipment needed to capture those images are more intelligent than older cameras thus – they cost more than older versions. Some high level point and shoot cameras can already cost an arm and a leg – expect to spend more on good quality digital camera bodies and lenses.

Since you will be spending a lot on a digital camera (and its accessories), you would most likely want to take good care of it. If you think you need to have a lot of expensive gadgets to keep your camera clean, you’re quite mistaken. Your camera would be very very happy if you provided the following:

Cleaning Kits

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Cleaning kits comprise of a brush (or several brushes), cleaning cloths, a blower and perhaps a cotton bud (or two). These cleaning kits are sold at most photography shops and are very affordable. Its fairly easy to use these cleaning implements however, do be careful when using the blower because even though it gets dirt out, it can also blow dirt in.

Zip-Lock Bags

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Zip lock bags? WHY?! Well, zip-lock bags are quite secure and these really come in handy when you will be taking your camera to places such as the beach, where there is moisture and very fine foreign elements such as sand and other debris.

Protective Lens Filters

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

How would lens filters help protect my camera? Well, not your camera but your lenses. Lens filters will act as your main lenses primary defence against foreign objects that fly in the wind, condensation, drops and cracks. There are several kinds of lens filters (polarising, sepia, neutral density, etc) available in the market. If you are looking for a generic lens filter – get the UV filter.

That’s all you need to keep your camera in good condition. If you want to do more and say, perhaps, clean your lenses, here’s a video clip to show you how it’s done.

Making Pickup Trucks a Greener Option

Pickup trucks may pale in comparison to small cars, especially hybrid cars, when it comes to fuel efficiency, but because of its power and large capacity they still continue to be among the best selling vehicles in the United States. In fact, a pickup truck, the Ford F-150, topped the list of 10 best-selling cars (and trucks) just last June.

 Ford F-150 XLT Photo via Chris Short

Before you get dismayed over the carbon footprint of pickup trucks, let’s put things in perspective and compare the carbon footprint of different light vehicles. As per 2007 figures published by the Vehicle Technologies Office of the US Department of Energy, pickup trucks have carbon footprints that are really close to that of vans and SUVs. So if you’re thinking of passing up pickup trucks in favor of other vehicle types, you’d better think twice because, unless you’re getting a car, the other benefits of using a pickup truck might end up negating the very small difference between published carbon footprints. Of course, finding the greener option will still depend on the particular model more than the vehicle type.

In case you do have a need for a pickup truck, be it for hauling around stuff for your business or the frequent need to go off-road, there are some things you can do to minimize your truck’s carbon footprint.

[Read more...]

Everyday Power Saving Tips

We’ve all been told that, if we want to bring down the cost of our electric bill, we have to turn off the lights when we’re not in the room, and to turn off the TV / Radio when no one is around. Those are sensible advice and they do help bring the power bill down. However, power saving does not stop there. Here are some other ways you can reduce your energy consumption. [Read more...]

Super Clean! 5 organic cleaning agents you have in your cupboard

Image source: Flickr

When it comes to cleaning, nothing beats good old soap, water and a little bit (or a lot) of elbow grease. However, because of the fairly hectic lives we all live in now, most of us don’t have the time to buckle down and start scrubbing and would opt to use cleaning agents that would dissolve grease and mold within minutes of its application. Although these products save you a lot of time and energy, they (unfortunately) contain toxic chemicals and substances that recent researches affect both our bodies causing migraines and depression; and our environment, depleting the ozone layer and polluting our rivers and streams. If you would like to clean your house and stay healthy and be kind to the environment at the same time, have a look inside your cupboard – you probably have these five cleaning agents lurking in the shadows, just waiting for you to use.

[Read more...]

Keeping Your Home Up and Running All Year Round

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Managing a home and keeping it in working order aren’t as easy as they might seem. There are a lot of ways a house can suffer from inefficiencies and disrepair that can create even larger problems. In many cases, these problems can worsen due to neglect, and when they’re piled on top of one another they can quickly turn a once-functional home into a space that’s tough to live in.

This functionality comes in several forms, from the most basic — having a home that is inhabitable and not in need of serious repairs — to the practical, such as keeping rooms clean, organized and hospitable. While that might sound like basic aspects of owning a home, many people are overworked as it is, and the poor timing of home problems can be tough to schedule into the day. And other homeowners simply may not be aware of how these inefficiencies are hurting their productivity and happiness at home.

Here’s a quick home guide to some common problems that could be making your home a tougher place to live, as well as how to address them.

Getting rid of clutter

For many homeowners, clutter is created when there isn’t enough storage to house your belongings. This can be easily addressed by adding new storage spaces in the home. Consider building shelving in your garage and even in your attic. A backyard shed could be a great way to unclutter your garage and give your property additional storage. Investing in practical organizers and containers can also help you store things efficiently.  [Read more...]

Go Solar and Save on Energy

Greening the home is what a growing number of people are doing today. Thanks to ongoing campaigns by governments and environmental advocates to preserve the ecosystem and use renewable energy, consumers are now more aware of their responsibilities. By doing their share in preserving Mother Earth, parents are ensuring a good future for their children and the next generations to come.

Solar power is one form of renewable energy that’s being encouraged to be used in the home. However, cost of solar panels has not gone down to a very affordable level that will allow a greater number of homeowners to switch to using this natural energy.

solar pathway lights

If purchasing and installing solar panels is not an option for your, there are other ways you can use the sun’s energy in your home. Do it the passive way.

The passive method is collecting heat as the sun shines and retaining the energy through thermal mass. It is about taking advantage of the house’s location, climate and materials to lower energy consumption.
[Read more...]

DIY Tips: How to Build a Deck


In this article we’ll take a look at a Do It Yourself (DIY) approach to building your own deck. While we’re assuming that you have information on building a deck, we’ve compiled some DIY tips that can help the process go as smoothly as possible. The most important part begins before the build. Make sure that the area where the deck will be built is perfectly level and has adequate draining. Do not disturb the soil so the deck’s footings will set correctly. [Read more...]

Tips on removing scuff marks on laminate floors


Laminate floors are usually employed in areas that go through a high volume of human traffic because it is very durable and quite easy to maintain. It is practically spill- and stain-proof. But one thing laminate floors are vulnerable to are scuff marks. Here are a few tips on how to remove scuff marks on laminate flooring. [Read more...]

Removing water stains on hardwood floors


Hardwood floors are very beautiful. It is a very durable material that ages quite well, is classically stylish and is quite easy to maintain. All it needs is a regular application of wax and buffing and it will serve you for years and years. But if there’s one enemy of hardwood floors, it is water stains. A water stain is an ugly blemish on an otherwise beautiful part of your house. But fortunately, water stains can be removed. [Read more...]