6 Easy Ways to Go Green

You don’t have to break the bank to save the environment. In fact, you can start making positive, sustainable changes without spending a dime. Here are just six simple and affordable ways to go green.

1. Stop Adjusting the Thermostat

Constant fiddling can really waste energy, even if the difference is only a degree or two. When you wake up in the morning, set your thermostat on a single temperature and leave it alone for the rest of the day. If you find yourself too hot or too cold, there are other measures you can take to get comfortable that don’t involve the air conditioner.

2. Take Shorter Showers

Annually, you can save gallons and gallons of water just by cutting your showers a few minutes short in the mornings. It costs absolutely nothing on your part, but you can reduce your water consumption in a meaningful and long-lasting way. As a bonus, you won’t even notice a difference in your morning routine once short showers become a habit.

3. Shop Locally

Hit up your local farmer’s market instead of getting your produce from one of the big chains. In addition to enjoying fresher, more organically-grown products, you’ll also reduce the expense and pollution required to ship these items from the fields to the store.

4. Change Utility Companies

Look for companies like PALMco that pride themselves on their eco-friendly policies. Look for brands that sponsor or donate to local environmental groups. Not only will you make positive changes in your energy consumption, but your money will also go towards a good cause.

5. Seal Cracks Around Your Home

When’s the last time you inspected your walls and windows? Even small fissures can let in warm or cold air. If you regularly find yourself freezing in the winter or burning up in the summer, take some caulk to your window frames and plug up the drafts.

6. Recycle

Recycling is easier than you think. Gone are the days when everything had to be meticulously organized and broken down; you can now throw all of your recycling goods into a single bin and then leave it outside along with your regular trash cans for collection.

These are just a few ways to start preserving the environment and reducing your carbon footprint. Even little changes can have a big ripple effect, so don’t be afraid to start small. Every effort counts!

5 Reasons for Art Lovers to Visit Scottsdale, AZ

Touted as “The West’s Most Western Town,” people might know Scottsdale as a steamy desert city located…somewhere in Arizona. But Scottsdale is also home to more than 125 professional art galleries and studios, one of the highest concentrations of galleries per-capita of any city in the United States. See our list below of the top 5 art spots to check out on your Arizonan travels.

  1. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Known locally as SMoCA, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary art is the only permanent museum in Arizona that’s dedicated to modern works of art. Located in Old Town, the museum has five main galleries and an outdoor sculpture garden. Upcoming exhibitions include showcases from artists Jennifer Marman, Daniel Borins, and Kelly Richardson, amongst others.

  1. Marshall Way Arts District

Join locals for a Thursday night art walk through the Marshall Way Arts District, located in downtown Scottsdale. Beginning on Marshall Way and eventually spilling out onto Main Street, you’ll find a collection of the best galleries that Scottsdale has to offer, with a range of style that will leave even the pickiest gallery snob thoroughly satisfied.

  1. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Located in Old Town, the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts hosts over 1,000 indoor and outdoor performances, educational programs, festivals, and other events each year. The offerings are diverse and abundant, ranging from jazz concerts to folk dance festivals to specialty film nights and everything imaginable in between!

  1. Taliesin West

Just outside Scottsdale in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains lies the gorgeous and expansive winter home of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Whether it’s just for a quick visit of the grounds or to take a class at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, make sure to schedule in a visit to this historic home, which Wright fondly referred to as “the top of the world.”

  1. Western Spirit

Western Spirit, Scottsdale’s “Museum of the West,” celebrates the art, culture, and traditions of the American West. Situated in Old Town near the Marshall Way Arts District, the museum offers those with a penchant for cowboys and sunset-stained desert landscapes a feast of high-quality exhibitions and educational programs, all with an aim toward exploring and learning about the unique and dramatic style of Western art.

 

This post was posted by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on June 3, 2015

 

Three Ways to Save on Barcelona Basics

Sunny and friendly Barcelona epitomizes the best of Spanish and Catalan culture. Miles of coastline encourage casual beach adventures during the day, while at night, sophisticated clubs and restaurants keep you entertained until morning. If you want to save money on Barcelona hotels, food and transportation, check out these three tips.

Try the Plate of the Day

Local cuisine mixes fresh produce with mountain-raised meats or seafood from the Mediterranean; however, the bread, wine, appetizer, entree and dessert of a typical repast can quickly add up the euros. Save money by trying the menú del día (plate of the day) during lunch at any eatery, and you’ll get the same courses for a much lower price. In the evening, when full meals are more expensive, you can graze on tapas, or small plates. Many hotels, like Hotel Barcelona Universal, have restaurants on the premises so you can satisfy your hunger on the spot.

Get a Discount Card

You’ll find various discount cards in the city, all of which have savings on different museums, attractions and transportation. The Barcelona Card is available for 2, 3, 4 or 5 days and offers free transportation on the Metro, trams and buses, as well as the train from the airport to the city. It also gives you free entry to several museums, including the Fundacio Joan Miro and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, where using the card lets you skip the line. To get around easily, look for a hotel near the Metro — like Catalonia Ramblas, about a block away from the Universitat Station.

Head to Las Ramblas for Entertainment

As in any city, Barcelona offers costly entertainment in the form of music performances, movies and live theater. For diversion that’s free or at minimal cost, head for Las Ramblas, the city’s world-renowned shopping street. Living statues, street musicians, shopping booths and tourists from everywhere vie for your attention. However, staying, eating or shopping on the thoroughfare comes at a cost; consider spending your vacation money somewhere else, like the Hotel Almira in the Horta neighborhood. The shopping street is accessible by Metro from almost anywhere in the city.

Saving money on necessities like lodging, daily food and transportation gives you more to spend on diversions and well-deserved splurges. Fortunately, Barcelona is big enough to offer options at both ends of the price spectrum.

Outdoor furniture cushions

Having high quality cushions on your patio furniture can provide you with luxurious and comfortable seating so that you can relax and enjoy the outdoors. In addition to having weather resistant and attractive fabric on the outside, you also want the cushions themselves to be made of high quality material and be durable as well as comfortable.

The key to having comfortable and long-lasting outdoor furniture cushions is for them to be made out of high quality foam that also dries quickly when it gets wet. Patio furniture cushions will almost inevitably end up getting rained on from time to time, so it is important that they be made out of foam that dries quickly. This will prevent the cushions from suffering water damage and also help to prevent bacteria and other micro-organisms from growing on the cushions.

If the cushions need to be replaced on your outdoor furniture, you can either purchase replacement ones or make them on your own. There are companies that make foam that you can purchase to make your own cushions. You can either cut the foam to the correct sizes to fit your outdoor furniture or the company will cut the pieces to size for you. One example of a company that makes high quality foam is The Foam Factory. So whether your old patio furniture cushions are worn out, water damaged or you just want to have a change, it is easy to replace your cushions to provide you with brand new attractive and comfortable seating.

Once you have selected the foam and cut it to size, you will want to choose a suitable fabric to cover the cushions. Using the right fabric will also help to keep moisture from soaking into the cushions. Solution-dyed acrylic is a good choice of fabric. It has been specially designed to be soft, comfortable and ideal all-weather fabric. There are also some fabrics that come with a UV coating that will help keep the colors and material looking vibrant and new.

The really fun part is choosing the colors and design for your cushions. Of course you will want them to complement the outdoor furniture they will be covering as well as your overall patio or outdoor garden decor. Fortunately these days there are a wide variety of fabrics to choose from, ranging from bold stripes to delicate floral patterns. The choice is absolutely up to you.

Shampoo and Conditioner? We Rounded Up The Hotels that Carry the Best Toiletries

Many hotel chains are now turning their backs on the bland and boring toiletries of days past. In their efforts to provide singular experiences of ever-increasing luxury, they have paired with well-known cosmetic companies and high-end beauty lines, creating bespoke products for all of their guests. No longer does a traveler return home with cheap plastic bottles of weak lather—now we get a virtual goodie bag of the best in the world of skin and hair care. Here are some of the most exciting partnerships in the business.

Gilchrist & Soames at TRYP by Wyndham

Wyndams’s midscale hotel chain works with this British toiletries company to combine a modern, urban aesthetic with an all-natural, old country experience. With almost 100 locations worldwide, TRYP caters to the active, adventurous traveler, but they provide their guests with Gilchrist & Soames’s relaxing Zero Percent Collection, made from top-quality, gentle ingredients free from sulfates, parabens, or artificial colors. If that wasn’t enticing enough, Gilchrist & Soames is committed to creating products that are not only luxurious but environmentally friendly—all of their packaging is recyclable, they never tested on animals, and they employ manufacturing and shipping practices which minimize their environmental footprint.

Bliss at W Hotels

Bliss Spas and products have been featured at W Hotels for years, and guests have cited this collaboration as a major draw of the chain. Any stay at one of these contemporary and beautifully designed establishments isn’t complete without a trip to the Bliss Spa, and their Lemon+Sage bath and body collection is so popular, it’s provided in each guest room and is available for sale through all W Hotel and online vendors. No mere “shampoo” here—the line includes “supershine” cleanser and conditioning rinse with wheat protein and avocado oil, body butter, exfoliating bar soap, and a fresh and foaming facial cleanse.

Aromatherapy Associates at JW Marriott

To compliment their comfortable guest rooms, the Marriott chain brought on London-based Aromatherapy Associates, who favor the use of Damask rose water, jojoba, evening primrose, arctic strawberry seed oil, and shea and murumuru butters. Combining these amazing natural ingredients with essential oils, they create chemical-free products that best compliment the needs of the skin and body. With their commitment to providing a soothing, healing experience through their extensive line, Marriott guests can expect a relaxing stay after the stress and effort of travel.

Le Labo at Fairmont

The high-end Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, a global leader in the hospitality industry, has further established themselves by partnering with artisan parfumerie Le Labo. Based in New York, Le Labo prides themselves on individual fragrance development, candle and soap-making, and responsible harvest. A community of craftsmen creates their unique and environmentally responsible packaging, with an attention to design perfectly in keeping with the Fairmont chain’s high standards. Their Rose 31 scent is a particular feature of their product line and is a favorite of the Fairmont’s loyal guests.

 

Malin+Goetz at Morgans Hotel Group

Also based in New York City, family owned- and operated- apothecary Malin+Goetz pays special attention to the needs of sensitive skin, a particularly good fit for the diverse clientele of the Morgans boutique hotels. With many international locations, travelers who come from far-off places to new climates can count on gentle and scientifically developed formulas that will help tired skin maintain its balance. Using only natural ingredients obtained from other family-owned businesses (and always fair trade), Malin+Goetz continues Morgans Hotel Group’s commitment to creating a unique and thoughtful experience for all of their guests.

This post was posted by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on June 24, 2015

 

Famous Coffee Shops of Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, coffee shops have become famous not only for their lattes, but also the legal sale of cannabis to individuals over 18. Just about anyone staying in a hotel in Amsterdam should take the time to stop into one of the various coffee houses to grab a caffeine-fueled drink and partake of the plethora of cannabis goodies for sale.

Green House Centrum
The Green House Centrum, which is open daily, has been awarded multiple High Times Cannabis Cup awards in several categories, and is a favorite stopover for celebrities from around the world. Pictures of the coffee house’s famous patrons line the walls. Located in Amsterdam’s red-light district close to the canals, the Green House Centrum always draws an abundance of international visitors.

Grey Area
Grey Area might be one of the smallest coffee houses in Amsterdam, but don’t let the size fool you. Open daily, the coffee shop has a reputation for selling truly outstanding cannabis. It has a loyal clientele of celebrities, such as Snoop Dogg, who stop by when passing through or staying at an Amsterdam hotel.

Dampkring
Dampkring is a large coffeehouse that is a favorite hangout for international travelers and locals. They have reasonable cannabis prices and a knowledgeable staff that is always willing to answer questions. Open daily, Dampkring is located not too far from some of Amsterdam’s top hotels in the Canal Belt area.

Barney’s Coffeehouse
Barney’s has won the High Times Cannabis Cup several times. They not only serve up superior weed and tasty coffee, but you can also order breakfast, lunch or dinner. Occasionally, you can catch live music by a local artist as well. They are open daily and employ a highly knowledgeable staff that are always willing to answer questions. It’s a favorite hangout for locals and travelers alike.

Bluebird
The Bluebird Coffeehouse is open daily, and they employ a multi-lingual staff specifically to cater to tourists. This modern coffee shop is well-known for its exceptional selection of weed and hash. The Bluebird, located on the eastern side of the red-light district, also has a menu of mouthwatering entrees.

Even if you don’t partake of the cannabis products sold at the coffee shops, stopping by one is well worth the visit just to soak up the atmosphere and chat with the locals. And you never know what celebrity you might catch sight of enjoying a smoke and a coffee.

Three Ways To Optimize Your Business’s Physical Space

Business owners who utilize physical space to run their companies should ensure that this space is in optimal condition. As many business experts know, clients will often gauge the efficacy of a business’s brand based on the aesthetic appeal of the company’s offices and buildings. Since this is the case, make a point to consider these three space optimization strategies.

1. Invest In Professional Pest Control Services.

Although people don’t like to think about it, pest invasion is a common occurrence. If your commercial property is subject to invasion by pests such as ants or rodents, it’s important to eliminate the unwanted creatures immediately. To make it happen, consider investing in professional pest control services. Companies like Barefoot Pest Control specialize in offering businesses the detail-oriented, results-centered insect elimination services that keep your physical space pristine and pest-free. You can access more information about the company at their website: http://www.waldorftermiteandpest.com/. Visit today to learn more about all of their awesome services.

2. Hire A Professional Cleaning Company.

In addition to employing a professional pest control company, it’s a good idea to hire professional cleaners. Although you and your staff may be able to keep your office relatively clean, getting it in great shape will oftentimes necessitate a team of professionals. Luckily, the internet makes it simple to identify and hire a team of professional cleaners. Simply go online and enter a key phrase like “Find Professional Cleaning Company In (City/State).” You can then click “enter” and review the SERPs to find the ideal cleaning company for your business.

3. Attain Routine HVAC Services.

One final strategy you should implement to optimize your business’s physical space is attaining routine HVAC services. When your heating, venting, and air conditioning equipment grows old, it starts to look dilapidated and can detract from the aesthetic appeal of your office space. To prevent this from happening, make sure that you have a team of HVAC professionals regularly optimizing the appearance (and functionality) of your equipment.

Conclusion

If you’re ready to ensure that your business’s physical space looks amazing all the time, there are several ways to make it happen. By attaining pest services, cleaning assistance, and regular HVAC help, you’ll likely find that your commercial property starts to look incredible

Three Simple Ways to Make Your Yard Appealing

Taking care of a yard can become costly and time consuming but is something most homeowners like to keep up with. Going beyond simply maintaining your property can mean the difference between an ordinary yard and one that excites. Outdoor entertaining and daily life can be much more pleasing with a few, simple fixes.

Custom Build a Deck

Having a grand or unique deck in your backyard can make it stand out from the others. Whether it is large and extravagant or just incredibly well done, choosing a bold finish or interesting design will be sure to add value to your property. Find a company with a custom deck builder option like Archadeck and make your backyard into a comfortable, outdoor living space.

Personalize Your Yard

Find a do-it-yourself project for your yard that will stimulate conversations and provide a meaningful space on your property. Homemade stepping stones or stone decorations can become a family tradition and be customized and personalized to please. It will bring back memories, prompt storytelling and add texture to your lawn.

The area can also be a space in which you relax or gather for events. Build a bench and engrave it. The great thing about custom making something is that you have full control over how it is done and what the purpose and functions are. You can also embrace the pride and memories you have from creating such things.

Plant a Garden

This task can take up a lot of your time if not done properly. Certain bulbs can be planted once and they keep coming back on their own each year. All you have to do is water and weed the garden area to keep it looking fresh. Pops of colors will add great curb appeal and beautiful views while relaxing outside. If you enjoy gardening, it can even become a hobby and stress reliever.

Sometimes simple concepts can provide comfort and allure, however constructing something special will help create feelings of interest, love and beauty on your property. Standard spaces can get boring. Lacing them with different pieces of style will separate your yard from the plain ones. It will also bring fun and fulfillment from designing your own ideas.

Pressure Washing Benefits Your Home in Many Ways

Pressure washing can be more beneficial than you realize. This is the type of service that can give you instant results that you can enjoy for many long years. It is important to choose a professional pressure washing company. You may be surprised at what this simple service can do for your property.

Get Rid of Mold
The outside of your home can develop mold growth over time. Mold is not good for your health and should be taken care of quickly. Professionals can get rid of the mold growing on the outside of your home as well as dust and dirt that can aggravate your allergies. Pressure washing can be a healthy option.

Improve the Look of Your Home
If your home looks dirty and could use a good cleaning, pressure washing can be the best answer. You can pressure wash your walls, roof, deck, sidewalk, and more to instantly refresh your property. If you want your home to look clean and new, pressure washing is recommended.

Pressure Wash Instead of Replacing
Before you replace your deck or sidewalk, try pressure washing it. It can be much cheaper to restore your decking or sidewalk by pressure washing it than if you tried to restore it by replacing it.

Raise your Property Value
Since pressure washing gives your home instant curb appeal, it raises your property value right away. If you are thinking about making an investment into your home, consider this option to see fast results.

There is no need to worry about mold, mildew, or dust, when you can have a professional to get rid of these problems for you. Pressure washing can quickly end these issues and help to prevent many health concerns that can be caused by them. You can enjoy having a home that looks its best. When people drive by, your property will always look clean and cared for. It will be welcoming and inviting when you come home as well. If you are thinking about selling your home or just want to add more curb appeal, pressure washing is a fast answer that will give you long term results when performed by the right company.

Bring the Wonders of the Sauna to Your Home.

When you really want to have an escape from the daily grind, there is nothing like a steam sauna. You can truly relax and soothe your body after a long hard day. Any time that you want to feel like you are stepping into a spa or a resort, a steam sauna in your shower will work. If you’ve already experienced the wonder of steam shower products from the Steam Sauna Depot, you’ve come to the right place when you need Steam Sauna parts.

Keep Your Steam Sauna in Top Form
If you want to enjoy your steam shower to the fullest, you need to keep it working at maximum capacity. That means taking care of your shower kit and dealing with any problems that arise. Whether you’ve had a malfunction, want to install new accessories, or think it’s time for an upgrade, Steam Sauna has exactly what you need. Your bathroom can become the spa, ensuring you don’t even have to step outside your door to pamper yourself.

Browse and Order with Ease
Thanks to steamsaunadepot.com, you can do all of your shopping for your steam sauna at the click of a button. View your options, make your selection, and complete your transaction. There are no hassles and you don’t need to hunt through a long list of suppliers. When you have a question, helpful customer service representatives are available to help you to find solutions. Take the guesswork out of finding the parts and accessories you need to keep your Steam Sauna in tiptop shape. With the right supplier, you will be good to go.

A Name You Can Trust
The Steam Sauna Depot has been working in the industry for more than two decades. You can count on experience and expertise when you turn to staff members for guidance. Whether you are installing your Steam Sauna shower kit for the first time or have issues that have come up with your existing system, count on Steam Sauna Depot to help you find answers.

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