10 Businesses Your Child Entrepreneur Can Start Right Now

10 Businesses Your Child Entrepreneur Can Start Right Now

There are a few things that exist in children which sometimes make them better with businesses than adults! Children are naturally artistic and creative. They love to come up with new and interesting ideas and when they want something, they are motivated to work until they get it. This may be why there are so many children starting their own businesses these days! Does your child show an entrepreneurial spirit and a head for business?

Here are 10 businesses that your child can start right away.

  1. Pet Walking – Pets and kids; what could go more naturally together? Children love taking care of pets and many people need help walking their pets. In fact, I’ll bet that in your own neighborhood there are many people who would appreciate this service. Elderly people, busy young mothers and many others would love to pay for someone to lovingly walk their pet!
  1. Lawn Care – Your child would be a big help to someone who couldn’t get outside and rake up leaves, weed the garden or pick up trash. This is a perfect business for your child to start and one great thing about this kind of business is that you will always have repeat customers if you do a great job!
  1. Babysitting – For your older, responsible child, babysitting can be a great business. Of course, your child needs to have a good knowledge of how to take care of kids and what should happen in an emergency. Plenty of parents would appreciate a great babysitter that they could rely on.
  1. Car Wash – This is a great business for your child to start. In fact, if they get a few friends together they would surely make a good chunk of change. Many people need to have their car washed and don’t have time or aren’t able to do it. This is a great child business.
  1. Selling Items – Can your child create something that is especially unique? Do you think he or she could potentially sell these items? For example, many different children sell homemade candles, cookies or even soaps and bath products. One way to do this is at craft fairs or in booths at markets.
  1. Online Businesses – With a website, your child can virtually have any sort of business they are great at. They can participate in an affiliate program, where they gain customers and get those customers to buy a certain product. Normally, you get a percentage for each sale. What this usually entails is a website with relevant content and a link the product.
  1. Tutoring – Is your child particularly great in a certain subject? This is a great opportunity for your child to make some extra money and help other children out in subjects they may not be so great in. Since a lot of parents don’t have time to sit down and tutor their children, or the money to hire an expensive tutor, they will be grateful for your child!
  1. House Sitting – When people go on vacation, they need someone to keep an eye on their home. This might include going in and feeding the fish, airing the house or any other special request. This is a great business for children and parents to get into – it’s easy and there are many people who would pay for this. For this one to work, parents would have to assist the child in the proper care of the absentee client’s home.
  1. Running Errands – There are many people such as the elderly or busy parents who don’t have time to do things that they need to do. If you live in a close town, your child could visit the grocery for people, pick up items that they need or anything else that someone needs done. A great bicycle with a basket would be sufficient and they could make some great money!
  1. Painting – House painting is a great thing for children to help with! Whether it’s outside or inside, this is something that children typically find fun and they can do a great job. Of course, they can also make a good little bit of money!

These are all just the tip of the iceberg. The possibilities are truly endless! You can grab your child a wooden box and a ton of lemons and they can make lemonade like in the good ol’ days, or you can grab them one of many cheap gaming laptops under 300 dollars and get them streaming gameplay!

There are many different businesses your child can start. The more creative and unique, the better the business will be. If your child expresses an interest in opening a business, try to be there for him or her and do what you can to encourage them! Good luck.

Indigo Sound

Indigo Sound

Prologue: Ms. Regina Baiocchi is one the most celebrated entrepreneurs of the 20th century. Recently, I was blessed to catch up with Ms. Baiocchi as she was taking a brief respite from her multifaceted career. Following is an in-depth discussion with this talented Author.

E: “Good afternoon, Ms. Baiocchi, I hope you are well. Please give us a glimpse into your life.”

R: “Certainly, Ms. Cogdell! I am a Composer/Author/Poet, currently writing music for a concert. The concert is scheduled for Sunday, October 23, 2011, at 2:00 pm at Holy Family Church (1080 W. Roosevelt Road in Chicago). The concert features the music of ‘6 Degrees’, six female composers, including myself. I have two compositions that will premiere at this concert titled, ‘Doxology‘ (for pipe organ) and ‘Mass of the Holy Family’ (SATB acapella). The former is a tribute to my Mother, Lanzie M. Harris; the latter has not yet been dedicated.”

E: “Exciting! We’d like to hear about your education.”

R: “I hold post graduate degrees from Roosevelt University (Bachelor of Music Composition); DePaul University (Master of Music Composition); and New York University (Public Relations Certificate). I am an alumna of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and St. Elizabeth Grammar School (part of the oldest Black Catholic Church in Chicago).”

E: “Please describe a typical day in your life.”

R: “I rarely have typical days.”

E: “What motivates you and why?”

R: “I am motivated by deadlines and compensation for what I do. Deadlines motivate me to complete art on time and in a palatable way for others to enjoy my artwork. Compensation or money motivates me because it is one way that the commissioner/patron of my music expresses his or her respect for my time and creativity. My muse always motivates me because it is the Voice of our Higher Power speaking to me, and to others through me.”

E: “How, why and when did you begin your writing career?

R: “I have been writing poetry since age seven; music since age 9. Words and music have always spoken to me.”

E: “How many books have you penned and which is your favorite? Why?”

R: “I have penned three fiction books: ‘Indigo Sound’; ‘Urban Haiku’; and ‘Blues Haiku’, as well as several books of creative non-fiction. To choose a favorite book is like choosing a favorite child; it is not wise to do so publicly. My three ‘babies’ know which is my favorite, and they know that each of them have held that honor.”

E: “That’s interesting, Ms. Baiocchi; good answer! Are you self-published? Why or why not?”

R: “My fiction books are self-published, but my creative non-fiction is published by Oxford University Press, Greenwood Press, Third World Press and Center for Black Music Research’s Digest. I chose to self-publish to: (a) maintain creative control; and (b) learn the process of publishing.”

E: “Please give us a brief synopsis of ‘Indigo Sound’.”

R: “I’d be more than happy to do so. ‘Indigo Sound’, my first work of fiction, is a collection of short stories, expertly weaved in African folkloric style, which when combined, comprise a ‘novel’ of epic proportions. This exciting ‘novel’ features such interesting characters as: Trieste Meeks (a mute girl); her cousin Sankofa; Ivan (Sankofa’s first husband); Hamid: Deacon Promise; and Obi and Fulvio. ‘Indigo Sound’ has been highly praised by such literary giants as: Nikki Giovanni; Haki Madhubuti; and the late Studs Terkel.”

E: “Who is/was your target audience? What did you hope to accomplish by writing this book?”

E: “We’d love to hear some of the highlights of your illustrious career.”

R: “Certainly! Among the many diverse wells into which I dip my pen are: music; poetry; fiction; creative non-fiction; and marketing/advertising. I have composed both vocal and instrumental music. My vocal compositions are usually accompanied by piano, but sometimes also by flute, alto sax, bass drums and other percussion instruments. Diverse vocal compositions are titled: ‘Ask Him’; ‘God is Mighty’; ‘Lovers and Friends’; and ‘I Hear Voices’. My instrumental compositions feature clarinet, conga, dgembe, marimba, string quartet, and violin accompaniment. Some of my instrumental compositions are titled: ‘After the Rain’; ‘Friday Night’; ‘Shadows’; and ‘Three Pieces for Greg’. My second fiction work, titled, ‘Urban Haiku’ is a collection of haiku prose and poetry revolving around such topics as God and Jesus, people, food, our surroundings, war and death. ‘Urban Haiku’ firmly put me ‘on the map’ as a bonafide poet. Illinois’ late poet laureate, Ms. Gwendolyn Brooks put it this way, ‘Like all good elixirs, Regina’s poetry reflects a golden ear and platinum pen, working in perfect tandem to distill the essence of life’. My works of creative non-fiction include the following: ‘Fanfare for the Uncommon Poet’; ‘Gospel Music’; ‘Jazz’; and ‘Women of Cave Canem’. Additionally, I teach both music and poetry at various workshops.”

E: “Awesome, Ms. Baiocchi, you definitely are the consummate entrepreneur! So, tell us, which gives you the most satisfaction, writing, teaching or music?”

R: “Combining writing music, writing words and teaching provides the ultimate setting for my creativity, hence I receive satisfaction in all three areas.”

E: “Which of these careers has been most successful?”

R: “Since I believe success is ‘the pursuit of a worthy cause’, I have been successful at all three endeavors.”

E: “If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?”

R: “I would have enough money, resources and opportunity to spare, and to share.”

E: “What are you currently working on?”

R: “In addition to my Fall 2011 Concert, I have submitted a new book of poetry to a potential publisher.”

E: “How do you spend your leisure time?”

R: “Leisure time allows me to read, watch movies, visit with my husband Greg and play board games (Scrabble, Checkers, Cards, Bid Whist, Solitaire), etc.”

E: “What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs? Why?”

R: “Be persistent! Nothing ruins a dream more than a dreamer who gives up on his or her dream.”

E: “Where can readers obtain copies of your works?”

R: “My books are available through my website, at libraries, and at the following book stores: 57th Street Books; Sandmeyer’s Books (Dearborn  amp; Polk in Chicago); Nubian Heritage (NYC); Women and Children First (Clark amp; Foster in Chicago); and Jazz Record Mart (East Illinois Street near State Street in Chicago).”

Thank you, very much, Ms. Baiocchi, for this very exciting, informative interview. Much continued success to you in all your future endeavors. I am certain you will continue to enlighten and entertain us for generations to come.

How to Build a Contact Form in Drupal

How to Build a Contact Form in Drupal

Drupal is a free and open source Content Management system. Since its’ inception in 2001, hundreds of thousands of webmasters and aspiring entrepreneurs have utilized its’ ever expanding features to create, manage and maintain their websites. Ranging from small personal blogs to corporate sites with intricate graphics and multiple pages, the usage of Drupal is evident all over the World Wide Web.

A crucial feature of any site that aspires to be more than just a static repository of content or basic advertising blurb is the contact form. Allowing the reader, and perhaps potential customer, instant access to further information, even if it is just to ask a simple question, can be crucial to a site’s ultimate success.

The contact form module is built into the Drupal Core system, but like many features within the program it is turned off by default in the basic installation. To activate the module the user must click through to Administer/Site Building/Modules and follow the prompts to turn on the contact module. It is a relatively quick and simple procedure.

In order to begin configuring your new form you need to navigate to Administer/Site Building/Contact Form and click the Add Category tab to begin. You will at this point be prompted to name your category, which you are free to label as you please.

A nice feature of Drupal is that it gives you ability to set up multiple contact forms in any category you require, each of which can be directed to a different contact e mail address. For instance, you may want to create a different contact form for various departments, such as Customer Service, Billing or general information. Drupal also allows each individual form to be directed to multiple e mail addresses, useful perhaps if you have a team of people working in the same division. You configure the recipients for each form by entering the addresses, separated by a comma, when prompted to do so. You are also offered the option of configuring a polite auto-responder, allowing you to make instant contact with the interested individual even though you may be too busy to address their needs immediately.

The standard setup creates a form with fields for name, email address, subject and message. There is also a check box that allows the sender to receive a copy of the message, which can be disabled if you so wish.

If you wish to customize your form beyond these basics you can do so by browsing to Administer/Site Building/Contact Form/Settings .This area will also allow you to set up a useful anti spam measure that will limit the number of contact forms that may be received in a single hour, so your inbox is not bombarded with spam contact forms.

When you activate the Contact Form module, a menu item is created for the page. Again, this is an item initially disabled by default but can be activated by going to Administer/Site Building/Menus, locating the Contact Form tab and clicking on the enable button. You may then move each form to the appropriate place in your site’s navigation. Once activated according to the prompts, the live links to your forms should appear when the page is refreshed.

To ensure the form is functioning correctly you should send a couple of quick messages through it, an important final step as there is little more frustrating to an interested user than a contact form that does not work.

The Transformation

The Transformation

Dawn isn’t far off. The grayness of morn, the ability to distinguish shapes in the night, all signs that the first rays of sunlight aren’t far off. This trip to Tangent Lodge has been a revelation. Yesterday evening as we left the hustle and bustle of the city the exhaustion of the work week was taking it’s toll. Glad that we only had an hour to travel, we commented how the distance was about all we wished to endure. Mary commented “I can hardly wait until we get home”.

At the moment I didn’t make a comment, but those few words stuck in my mind. As I was laying in bed a little while ago I listened to the clock on the living room wall tick away and the refrigerator in the kitchen cycle on and off. Those are the only noises in this otherwise silent country setting.

There’s a peacefulness here, a sense of escape, a feeling of contentment that lets you exhale the concerns of the world. All week long the news bombards us with doom and gloom forecasts of pending peril. The economy’s on the rocks, the stock market’s in another downward spiral, there’s famine and unrest all over the globe.

Not here. Amongst the pines all is well. There is no noise, the sun will shine bright in an hour or so. Two loaves of bread dough are nestled in pans, rising on the counter. The thought of eggs, cooked over easy with crisp bacon on the side, accompanied by a couple slices of fresh bread toast and a tall glass of milk, makes my stomach growl with anticipation.

There is no TV, no morning news report, no newspaper on our stoop. There is no reminder of what we left just 12 hours ago. True the walls are unfinished drywall. Yes the woodstove sits unconnected in the corner waiting for the stove pipes to be installed. We must dodge around construction materials to navigate most of the house and the kitchen sink drain leaks like a sieve.

There is a mountain of unfinished work to do before our vision is realized, but it doesn’t matter. It already feels like home.

Yes, we’ve been city dwellers for the past almost 10 years. It’s been a good life, our residence is comfortable and chosen well for its convenience. We’ve considered it our home, and it still serves us well. But that’s different. How so you ask? That’s hard to explain.

Life as we know it requires you to be employed. To get up daily, go off to work, come home after so many hours and repeat the same cycle for years at a stretch. Tangent Lodge is a symbol of a completely different way of life.

Retirement, where the daily cycle of activities goes a whole different direction. It will be the time of our lives where we can decide for ourselves what we wish to do with the day. There is no time schedule, no deadlines, no company structure or productivity requirements to meet.

Not to say we plan on sitting in our rocking chairs on the front porch, and watch as the world passes us by. It will be the time for our desires. What do we want to do today, not what someone else wants us to do for them today.

Tangent Lodge symbolizes the point where our lives truly become our own.

It’s still a few years off before both of us can be totally separated from our careers. With a 5 year age gap, my retirement is closer at hand. Still we both can see light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. Every day we spend at our country retreat shortens our wait.

We work together to build this next phase of our lives. It’s expected it will be the last phase of our lives as well, I’ve already stated Tangent Lodge will be in our possession until the end. There’s a connection with this land, this cabin, that feels all important.

I sit, creaking back and forth in the old oak rocking chair, waiting for the first rays of sunlight to reach the picture window that looks out into the forest. Yes, we are transforming this neglected property into our home. I realize the transformation goes much deeper.

We are transforming ourselves as well. A closer couple, committed to building our home together. It’s good to have a place where we can escape the worries of the world and just be us.

Inferior Construction Repairs

Inferior Construction Repairs Leads to Home Owner Frustration

Have you ever heard the expression,” You can fix some of the things some of the times, but you can’t fix all of the things all the time.” Well if you haven’t, that’s because I took another saying and rearrange the words to create a new inspirational thought for the construction world.

Do poor construction repairs create problems in the future? You bet they do and sometimes they can create more problems than the ones originally repaired. I have seen termite and water damaged wood, simply covered up by plywood and repainted, only years later to find out that the damaged areas are creating structural problems and safety issues for the building structure.

I don’t know if this makes any sense, but would you hire a shoe repair man who doesn’t know anything about plumbing to re-pipe your home. Would you hire a handyman who has been doing home repairs for 30 years to build your brand-new home? Then there’s a good chance that were on the same page.

Year after year, I fix and I repair the homes that suffer from poor construction repairs or poor construction assembly and design. The sad part about this is that I was just talking to a homeowner the other day and explaining how the wood that I was repairing became damaged.

He wasn’t listening to me at first, until I got his attention with potential home repairs in the future that would need to be made if he didn’t correct the situation as soon as possible. I might not have got his attention, with my knowledge, but I surely got his attention when I mentioned the cost of repairing the damage in the future.

Try to use only experienced construction professionals who understand the house problems that need to be repaired. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to ask your construction professionals if there is anything that you can do in the future to avoid this type of damage from ever happening again.

You can pay me now or you can pay me later is a term that most contractors seem to live by. If you’re not interested in fixing the same repairs over and over again, make sure that the home repair man provides you with a solution to avoid future home repairs and damage to your home.

Home Building and Dealing with the Homeless

Home Building and Dealing with the Homeless

Here’s another story that’s been passed down the contractors pipelined from home builder to home builder and I’m passing it on to you. Some of the stories I’ve heard while working on new homes, truly are amazing and this one’s no different.

The construction crew had just started building the foundation when they noticed a couple of pieces of wood lying down in the shape of a cross. Any Christian would have known that this was a sign from God, but that wasn’t going to be enough to stop them from building their house.

The construction workers didn’t think anything of it until the next day, when they noticed the pieces of wood were laying in the exact spot again, in the shape of a cross. The construction workers figured that someone was coming to the job site after they left and wanted these two pieces of wood left alone. If that was all the damage these guys were doing, it was perfectly fine with the construction workers

They left the cross alone and nothing happened for about a week. That was when they finally got to meet the man who had built the wooden cross. He came running towards the construction workers like a wild man, yelling and screaming at them. He grabbed one of the workers and started punching him, until the other workers pulled him off.

The man ran back from where he came from, but hadn’t finished what he started. Every day around the same time, the situation would repeat itself, until the sheriff finally caught the man and took him to jail.

I’m probably leaving out the most important part of the story, the man was actually the same person who hired the contractor to build the home. He had talked to home builder into starting the project with out a down payment and the contractor did. The property owner was placed in jail for assault and battery and a lien was placed against his property by the contractor.

I never got a chance to hear any more of the story and I don’t know what ever happened to the contractor or the property owner. However, I would like to make a something clear here, the next time someone puts a wooden cross next to your project, it could actually be a sign from God.

Home Improvement Products

Problems with New Home Improvement Products

I’ve been a contractor for over 30 years and have watched some incredible products come and go. Maybe I should rephrase that last statement and say that I have seen plenty of so-called fantastic products, come and go.

Some of these products should have never made it to the market, but they did.

I’ve seen retaining walls, paint, exterior coatings, windows, garage doors, regular doors and the worst one of all, roofing materials, enter into the construction market and disappear within a few years. Whenever you see the word lifetime guarantee, limited lifetime guarantee or even the best guarantee you will ever get, don’t buy it.

I’m just kidding of course, but there are plenty of tricky companies out there who know how to manipulate and create the perfect illusion. If there’s one thing I can say about a lifetime guarantee, it’s this,” It’s only as good as the company.”

This is where consumers need to be careful, because it’s easy for a company to create a false illusion about their products. Guaranteed for life, usually means that the company will be going out of business.

Limited lifetime warranty usually means that the lifetime warranty has a couple of catches. Most limited lifetime guarantees don’t provide the consumer with very much protection.

One window manufacturer that I purchased products from guarantees your windows for life, as long as you own the home. Oh I forgot to mention, and as long as you have all of your paperwork and your original warranty.

Now when it comes to roofing materials, these people have created their own super limited lifetime niche, because someone comes up with a brilliant idea and actually finds a market for it. Some of these roofing materials are literally junk, but most homeowners, don’t know enough about them, to make an educated decision.

That’s when the super salesman comes in and clinches the deal, simply by using their charm and charisma. Uneducated homeowners are the ones that usually fall victim to inferior products, backed up by superior sales pitches

If I had a quarter for every home that I repaired, because of a material flaw or poor installation, I would have a lot of quarters. Even though things are starting to get better, we need to send articles like these to everyone we know, just in case.

It’s our responsibility to stop the scammers, before it’s too late.

The next time anyone tells you that you have any type of guarantee, either throw it in the trash can or read it and try to understand what type of consumer protection, they are actually providing.

Build a Snow Shelter

Build a Snow Shelter: Making a Quinzhee for Fun or Survival

Whether you’re an avid winter camper, looking for a fun project for a snow-day, or lost in the woods, knowing how to construct a snow-shelter is great, and in some cases, it could save your life. Contrary to initial impressions, snow shelters are often warmer than tents. Snow is an excellent insulator, and will hold in any body heat produced by those dwelling in a snow shelter. For fun or survival, a snow-shelter, or quinzhee, is relatively simple to make.

You can make an effective shelter, or quinzhee, with only a few inches of snow on the ground, even less if you can utilize an existing mound of snow from wind-drifts or plowing. Here’s how:

Start by piling snow into a large rounded mound. The ideal height for this mound is nearly head-height, as this will give you room to move around, and to keep any gear you may have inside with you. If you’re building the shelter for fun, and may spend time inside with a number of people, bigger is definitely better. I used to make cavernous quinzhees when I was a kid from the piles left behind near my driveway by the snow-plow.

In a camping or survival situation, you will often have to make due with a smaller shelter, due to time constraints and snow availability. Moving snow is hard work, so working form existing snow piles is always preferable to making your own. If you can, let the mound sit overnight before continuing, as that will increase its strength. Obviously, in a survival situation, this isn’t an option.

Break up some small dead sticks, and push them about 4 inches into the mound all around, making a giant snow porcupine. One winter, when I was building a lot of these shelters, I actually cut a bunch of small dowels to length for this use, but that’s overkill. Any sticks will do. The sticks will show you when to stop digging as you hollow out your functional space within the pile, and prevent you from inadvertently punching through to the outside or even collapsing your pile. For this reason, the more sticks you use, the better.

Carefully start digging a small hole in the mound at ground level – you’ll need to be able to crouch/crawl/slither through this hole, but in terms of overall warmth, smaller is better. As soon as your hole is 4-6 inches deep, start expanding it, eventually hollowing out the whole mound. Whenever you hit one of your marker-sticks, stop digging in that section. You’ll want to be slow and deliberate as you get closer to the edge. Once you’ve hit your marker sticks all of the way around, you’re essentially done, and can start enjoying your shelter immediately.

Getting Fancy – If you want to go really hog-wild, these shelters are pretty flexible. Here are a few quick tips for getting fancy with your quinzhee:

Doors – For overnight use, a door or windbreak can make a big difference. As a kid, I would prop a sled up against the door, or else hang a tarp. Either will work well to keep out the elements. In larger shelters, you can simply make a large snowball and roll it into the door hole. Wind-breaks are easy to build, too. Just build a wall of snow on the outside of your shelter near the door. The wall will divert any wind away from your door, and warm things up inside quite nicely.

Fire – I wouldn’t make this modification in any but the largest of quinzhees, as putting a fire too close to the shelter walls will melt your quinzhee pretty fast, but it is a whole lot of fun. In a shelter that’s been standing for a few days, and is quite solid, make a hole in the ceiling of the shelter, dead canter, and at the highest point of the roof. The hole should be about a foot wide. Build a small fire directly under the hole. There will be a whole lot of smoke at first, and you may even need to go outside while the fire gets going, but once it’s burning well, the smoke will be greatly reduced, and should be able to exit cleanly through the hole in the ceiling.

A note on quinzhee strength – Be aware that during the first day or two of use, your quinzhee is at its weakest. The snow pile is fresh, and is being exposed to all sorts of new load-bearing forces. After a day or so, however, the shelter will settle into an impressively strong structure. I spent a weekend in a quinzhee several years ago with two friends. We’re all pretty big guys, with not one of us weighing in at under 220 pounds. After our trip was over, we decided to test out handiwork by climbing up the outside. The shelter easily withstood our combined weight with no problem, and we literally had to jump, kick, and use shovels to break it down.

PLOW-PILE WARNING: Building a quinzhee can be a great snow-day or weekend activity for kids. As I mentioned, I used to use the plow-piles from the plowing of my driveway to build these shelters. Every year, though, the news in New England carries a sad and terrifying story about children being killed in similar situations. If the plow-driver comes while you are in your shelter, it’s very possible for them to either low-in the entrance hole, or worse, collapse the whole shelter by pushing more snow up onto the pile. Watch children carefully in these situations, and don’t use a snow-shelter of this sort if you’re expecting the plow to come by.

Quinzhees are incredible versatile and exciting snow shelters. They can be build anywhere there is snow, and provide entertainment, emergency shelter, and a lot of fun. Enjoy!

Top Five Most Difficult Construction Wastes to Recycle

Construction, remodeling and most home improvement projects almost always have waste leftover. So what do you do with it all? Chucking them into the landfill can be a big no-no. Recycling building materials is the best bet, but it’s not always possible. Finding out what you can keep, and what you have to toss out before you buy can prevent the dilemma of having non-recyclable construction materials.

Styrofoam

Plastics can be easy to recycle, especially if your local landfill or recycling center will take 1-6 numbered plastics. But Styrofoam can be a tough product to recycle. Appliances and other heavy equipment items are almost always wrapped with some form of Styrofoam. Trying to buy products without Styrofoam can be difficult at best, but it certainly warrants looking when most Styrofoam last forever.

Pressure Treated Lumber

Pressure treated lumber is used to prevent the rot and decay of wood products from insects or mold. While today’s modern pressure treated materials are less toxic than their past relatives, remodeling often brings up lots of older pressure treated waste. If the pressure treated material was made before 2003, then it contains toxic substances that must be disposed of properly at a landfill. Never burn or bury pressure treated materials.

Paints

Old paints, stains and varnishes are often unusable after a certain amount of time. But don’t just chuck it into the landfill. Proper care must be taken when handling old paint products. Landfills often take old paint only on certain days of the year and for a large fee. Try instead at your local paint store to see what recycling options are available for your old paints. Never pour old paints into the ground or down the drain.

Drywall

Gypsum based drywalls may seem like they are very recyclable, when in fact they are not at all. While paper and gypsum are often the main ingredients in drywall, other toxic mold inhibitors, emulsifiers and polymers are added to drywall. Drywall must be taken to a construction landfill and disposed of properly. Never bury old drywall in the ground.

Insulation

Another tough construction item to recycle, insulation is made from strands of glass fibers. They are extremely difficult and energy intensive to recycle, so they often get tossed into the landfills and dumps. Your local landfill will have certain requirements for disposing of insulation, so always check ahead before you bring it to the dump. If you’re buying new insulation, opt out for 100 percent recyclable materials like denim, paper or wool. Never burn or bury old insulation. Check out Construct101.com fro more information on recycling building materials.

Sonin 00700 Water Alarm

Sonin 00700 Water Alarm with Remote Sensor Product Review

The Sonin 00700 Water Alarm with Remote Sensor has a deceptive appearance. This looks stylish and seriously constructed with a professional devise. But the fact is that it is trash. Before purchasing it I went through the mixed reviews about this apparatus and decided to gamble for $14. Now after using it for 8 months both the money and water is going has gone down the drain. I expected it to work at least for a couple of years. Sadly I had do discontinue because it is not a reliable instrument.

This is basically designed to sense any sort of water leakage and alert it in advance. Once it discovers the water seeping or trickling out, it sends out warning signals. The alarm raised by it is loud enough to wake you up even from your wildest dreams. It emits a sound of intensity 85 dB and is supposed to last for three days. The fact is that the intensity of the sound is high enough only to warn the people inside the house or at the max the neighbors residing close next to the door in an apartment. If you are out of the house, then there is no way you can hear it.

What I dislike the most about this water alarm is that it is not dependable. On some occasion it gets instantly in to action while at times it goes on a slumber. This is not active to safe guard the house. I am looking for an efficient alarm that really saves my day from washing the soaked carpets and drying damp furniture. The water alarm as such is useful in discovering undesirable water seepage from humidifiers, water machine, coolers and refrigerators.

With lot of hope I got the Sonin 00700 and for nearly two months it worked fine. I still remember the day it alerted all of us when the pipe in the basement garage had leaked beyond control. We had dumped our old furniture and other seldom using stuff there and everything was protected from submerging in water. Yet another time for some unknown reason the wash basin the hall was about to overflow and this promptly rang the bell. But for this our little puppy would have got drenched in water. The last time it disappointed me when I saw my costly carpet completely soaked in water and soap from the washer tub. After that I had stopped using it.

I was told by one of my friends that the battery lasts for 8 months. I cannot comment on it because I had ceased using it before that itself. This comes with a test button that facilitates you to inspect the battery charge. I was so dump to periodically check the battery thinking that this equipment can be trusted on its performance. But I was only wasting my time on it. The worst part is that it can only sense the leak and not stop or rectify the water trickling. If only the first half had been done I would have been happy.