How to Choose the Right Garage Door Material

Choosing the right replacement garage door material can seem like a daunting task. In this video, you’ll learn about the various garage door materials and which will work for you depending on what you’re looking for in a garage door.

Steel

Steel doors are quite common and are known for their durability and rust resistance. However, some steel doors can dent and if not treated properly may be susceptible to rust over long periods of time.


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Vinyl

Vinyl doors are also pretty common in regions that do not experience extreme heat or are high in elevation. A vinyl garage door is durable and will resistance dents un, unlike steel doors. Even better, vinyl doors do not rust and thus keep their appearance longer. Just make sure you don’t live in an area with extreme heat as that will weaken the door and cause it to fall apart over time.

Real Wood

Perhaps the nicest-looking material for a garage door is real wood. This material will spruce up your house and increase the beauty of any garage. However, this material type also requires the most amount of maintenance for any garage door material. Think of wood like indoor furniture; it will need annual treatment to stay fresh, healthy, and strong.

30 Apr 2021

10 Everyday Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

If you are having trouble with finding everyday ways to reduce your carbon footprint, you are not alone. Millions of Americans are still finding it hard to incorporate green practices into their everyday lives. While living green can be a challenge in a world that is always evolving, the looming effects of climate change have made many Americans conscious of their impact on the environment. There are many ways that you can fit green practices into your everyday life.

If your home is due for an upgrade, there are many eco-friendly solutions that you can implement. With spring finally here, we have come up with 10 simple everyday ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Keep on reading if you want to find out more.

Consider Solar

Choosing solar energy over conventional power delivery systems can help you reduce your carbon footprint on a large scale. This is one of the most significant everyday ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Not only does solar energy have the least impact on the environment, but it also helps you reduce your energy bill by a large margin. Solar energy is available and applicable everywhere. In some states in America, you can receive a tax credit when you install solar panels. The benefits of solar energy are that it can be used for various purposes to generate electricity. Whether you need it to heat your water, light up your home or open your gate, solar energy can be used everywhere in your home.

When you use solar energy, you are using clean and renewable energy. This is the type of energy that is needed to contribute towards a more healthy and sustainable environment. It can motivate you to make more improvements that are aimed towards being socially and environmentally responsible.

Go Tankless

Going tankless is an easy and efficient way to manage your water heater installation. The water gets heated up quickly, and it is only heated when it is needed. A conventional water heater uses up a large amount of energy to continuously heat the tank’s water. With a tankless water heater, you will save money with fast energy efficiency and conserve water.

If you are looking for everyday ways to reduce your carbon footprint, a tankless water heater installation can offer you many benefits. These benefits include saving space in your home and being more energy-efficient, helping you make a valuable contribution towards an improved environment.

Add Native Plants

Nowadays, landscaping projects have taken a significant step towards improving the quality of the environment. Landscaping designs such as xeriscaping focus on mitigating the impact of water shortages on landscaping in certain regions. Xeriscaping includes adding native moisture-loving plants as a key component to reducing any further water waste by up to 75%. You can incorporate xeriscaping even if you live in regions that experience rainfall.

This is one of the most effective everyday ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Moreover, you can also reduce the maintenance of your lawn if you have opted for xeriscaping. Reducing your water bill and maintenance costs will save you a lot of money in the long term. Native plants do not need to be treated with any chemicals. This is a significant step towards reducing pollution.

Add More Sustainable Plumbing

Green plumbing is changing the way home plumbing solutions operate. Many different fixtures have changed the way that homes can save energy. For instance, low-flow toilets and low-flow showerheads have helped many families reduce the amount of water they require to shower or flush the toilet. Other fixtures are installed and are controlled by solar panels.

Green plumbing has valuable solutions that are key for everyday ways to reduce your carbon footprint. They also improve the longevity of home appliances. For instance, when you opt to install a low-flow showerhead, your appliances are kept from overworking and potentially wearing out.

Upgrade to Eco-Friendly Garage Doors

You would be surprised to find out how many people do not consider their garage doors when thinking of ways to reduce their carbon footprint. An eco-friendly garage door is a door that has been designed and produced according to several green practices. This includes the types of materials used to make it, the process that goes into making it, and how it is maintained once it is produced. If you are a homeowner who has a conventional garage door, the following are some advantages of installing an eco-friendly garage door.

  • The materials that are used make it energy-efficient and durable to withstand extreme weather conditions for a longer period.
  • It offers curb appeal that can positively influence the value of your home.
  • It can save homeowners money over time.

If you are looking for a garage door option to choose for your home, you can find reliable sources online for price comparisons and options for installations.

Get Green Flooring

Have you ever considered changing your floors as part of the everyday ways to reduce your carbon footprint? Green flooring is a solution that many homeowners are looking into. The wood that is used to make the floors has been recycled from other building applications. When you choose green flooring for your home, you’re reducing waste and lessening the number of living trees being cut down.

Green floors are also known for their various health benefits. For example, they can reduce the levels of indoor pollutants. Using wood that is a natural hypoallergenic can reduce the occurrence of allergies or even asthma attacks. Moreover, when you install these floors, you will not need to use chemicals to maintain them. The eco-friendly materials used in green flooring ensure that your flooring is effortless to maintain and lasts longer.

Install Eco-Friendly Countertops

If you are looking for everyday ways to reduce your carbon footprint, you cannot forget about the kitchen. Countertops matter the most when it comes to remodeling your kitchen. Fortunately, there is a wide range of eco-friendly countertops that you can choose from.

  • Recycled glass slab: These are a lovely alternative to natural stone. Recycling the aggregate of your concrete counters can make it a green option.
  • Paper composite: These can be used instead of laminate. Paper composite offers you durability minus the chemicals found in laminate.
  • Reclaimed wood: This is a natural material that makes the home look warm and inviting.
  • Recycled glass tile: This can be used as a substitute for ceramic tile.
  • Recycled aluminum. For a modern countertop, you can try out aluminum instead of stainless steel.

Many kitchen remodeling contractors know how to install eco-friendly countertops that can make your kitchen look like it should be featured in a modern magazine.

Energy-Efficient Replacement Windows and Doors

Did you know that your windows and doors play a significant role in the energy-saving that happens in your home? They make up the most important parts of your home. When your windows or doors have cracks, they can mess up the insulation during winter or summer, causing you to spend more on heating and cooling systems. This means that you will end up spending more each year trying to keep your home cool or hot enough for you and your family.

Replacement doors and windows offer you key everyday ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Nowadays, you can combine window frames to ensure that you customize your windows to suit your needs, no matter the weather. For example, you can install storm windows or energy-efficient window attachments to improve the heat in your home. For your doors, you can consider replacing them with more energy-efficient doors or weatherstripping them to improve their durability.

Install a cooler roof

If your roof has minor leaks, or it creaks more frequently at night, you may be due for a new roof installation. When you are shopping around for a new roof, you may want to find one that absorbs less heat than a conventional roof. These roofs are a great way to reduce energy bills. They can improve indoor comfort by providing cooling to spaces that are not exposed to the sunlight. They can also extend the lifespan of your roof.

These roofs reduce the need for air conditioning because they keep the house cool during the hot seasons. Cooler roofs are also known for their health and environmental benefits, including:

  • They can reduce the urban heat island effect
  • They can decrease electricity consumption
  • The reduction of cooling energy use in buildings can help to reduce the number of plant emissions

Use Low-VOC Paint

Low-VOC or Non-VOC paints do not contain volatile organic compounds. These compounds are responsible for the way paint smells. As a result, they contain gases that can be harmful to the environment or a painter constantly exposed to them. These chemicals need to be regulated by the government because they can also build up in your walls and cause health complications.

When homeowners choose to be conscious about the types of paints and chemicals that they use in their homes, they make strides towards ensuring that the environment suffers less damage over time. The most obvious advantage of using Low-VOC paint is the health benefits that minimized exposure to these chemicals has on an individual over time. These paints also promote green buildings and reduce the need for air conditioning.

Moreover, these types of paints are easier to clean when compared to other paints, such as oil paints, and they do not cause yellowing of your walls over time.

The Bottom Line

Coming up with simple everyday ways to reduce your carbon footprint can be challenging for some people. However, if you are committed to staying true to your goals of improving the environment, you can follow through on the suggestions listed above without much difficulty. We consume copious amounts of energy daily. It is important to know and understand our impact on the environment and ways to reduce this impact.

You can start thinking about ways to upgrade your home and life that are also environmentally friendly. This can include the types of building materials you use, the showerhead you install, or the types of windows and doors you choose. Everything should be aimed towards practicing everyday ways to reduce your carbon footprint. It is important to stay informed and to know what alternatives are there that are energy efficient.

12 Apr 2021

Pros and Cons of Direct-to-Consumer DNA Testing

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consumer product

DNA testing is a helpful tool for identification, medical purposes, and ancestry that is almost 100% accurate.

It helps in criminal investigation to identify victims and establish suspects. It is used to test for genetic conditions or potential congenital disabilities. With recent improvements in technology, it is used to discover an individual’s ancestry.

Genetic testing, or DNA testing, as it is more commonly known, involves obtaining DNA from a cell sample to identify specific chromosomes, genes, or proteins, including mutations or faulty genes, and is available as a consumer product. The test will:

  • Identify genetic lineage
  • Confirm or rule out an inherited genetic condition
  • Assess the risk of developing or passing on a genetic disorder
  • Determine medications that may be most effective based on your genetic profile

There are several hundred genetic tests available, and the development of more is ongoing. The tests can be performed on:

  • Blood
  • Body tissues
  • Bone
  • Hair
  • Saliva
  • Urine

How At-Home DNA Testing Works

At-home DNA test kits use a saliva or cheek swab sample for testing, keeping the process simple. Using the cotton swab provided in the kit, swab the inside of your cheek or use the saliva collection tube. Seal the sample and send it back to the company for testing.

What You Can Find Out From An At-Home DNA Test?

Many things can be discovered through consumer product DNA tests.

Family History

Do you wonder who your ancestors are? Deep within every cell of your body are clues to their identity. They have survived plagues, droughts, fires, and floods. Your existence is because of them, but you have never had a chance to know them – until now.

Ancestry tests allow you to trace your family history much farther back than traditional genealogy records. Some even provide more in-depth detail about your family. The DNA test can tell you where you and your family came from. With more advanced tests, you can determine when your family arrived in certain locations.

A lineage-based approach is used by the lab for DNA testing. It analyzes the mitochondrial DNA, which passes through the maternal line, or analyzes the Y chromosomes DNA, which passes from fathers to sons.

During the testing, the DNA is analyzed, then run through a database comparing genetic markers with that from other individuals’ DNA on their file. As DNA is passed from generation to generation, slight mutations occur. These mutations eventually become the genetic markers that are traced back to people throughout history until today.

With an at-home DNA consumer product testing kit, your DNA is added to the company’s database. It is then compared to other samples from people who have submitted their DNA. You can look at your results online and see how many people have been found that are related to you and how close the relation is.

Because DNA ancestry tests can trace your DNA to find familial matches from the past, you can use the matches to trace how your family migrated over time from one location to another.

Health Information

While most people are interested in their ancestry, DNA testing is used to reveal important health information. The best DNA tests enable you to learn about traits you inherited from your parents, optimize your vitamin routine, or allow you to embark on a weight loss treatment plan.

Types of Genetic Testing

Genetic tests have a wide range of applications both in medical and non-medical settings.

  • Carrier testing is done prior to or during pregnancy to determine if you or your partner carry a gene that could cause a congenital disability.
  • Diagnostic testing will confirm or rule out a genetic disorder.
  • Newborn screening routinely screens for inheritable disorders as mandated by law.
  • Pharmacogenetics testing determines whether your genetics may influence your reaction to drug therapies, such as genetic resistance to viruses such as HIV.
  • Predictive diagnosis estimates your predisposition or risk of developing a genetically influenced disease later in life, such as breast cancer.
  • Preimplantation testing screens embryos for abnormalities, which is part of the in vitro fertilization process.
  • Prenatal diagnosis can detect abnormalities in the fetus’s genes prior to birth to identify birth defects or congenital abnormalities.

Non-medical uses for genetic testing consist of paternity testing to identify inherited patterns between individuals or forensic testing to identify individuals for legal purposes.

Accuracy of DNA Testing

On average, consumer product DNA testing results for medical conditions and paternity tests are 99.99% accurate. However, you can see conflicting results if you have multiple DNA tests completed by different companies. This is due to each DNA testing company having its own set of traits they test for.

This means that one at-home kit may tell you that you have the gene needed for blond hair, while another test may not mention that. That is because one company looked for that specifically, while the other one did not. It depends on the information in their database on similar ancestry data.

For thousands of years, people have moved around the world, mating with individuals of different descent and different DNA. This has made it increasingly difficult to determine a person’s region because their ancestors did not stay in one place. At-home DNA testing kit companies use the same kind of science to determine your origin.

Results from different companies may not be exactly the same, but they will be similar. The results will tell you what continent you came from, but not the specific country. There is a lot of interpretation involved in genetic genealogy. Scientists can use your DNA to calculate the likelihood of relations based on genetic markers, patterns, and variations. Genetic genealogy cannot prove them entirely, only suggest them.

Genetic genealogy helps people learn about their family history and where they came from. The DNA variations found in DNA testing provide clues about people’s predecessors and where they came from. People of particular backgrounds often share genetic variation patterns. Shared or similar variation patterns are present the closer two people are related.

What Else Can You Learn?

Some companies such as 23andMe provide recommendations for healthy changes for people with your genetic makeup. While healthy changes such as getting enough sleep and eating enough vegetables are good for everyone, this can reduce risks in some more than others, depending on your DNA.

Are you unable to handle drinks with a lot of caffeine, or do you think cilantro tastes like soap? These preferences can actually be linked to your genetic makeup. Your fear of heights, muscle composition, or whether or not you move around in your sleep can be guessed at by looking at your DNA profile.

Cons of an At-Home DNA Test

DNA Tests and Ethnicity

It is a common belief that ancestry DNA tests can tell your ethnicity or race.

An ancestry test will show some of it, but not all. DNA is tested through your mother’s mother and her mother. Or through the paternal line. These tests only analyze a small fraction of your DNA.

If you have DNA testing done and discover family members going back ten generations, you obtain information for one out of a thousand of your actual ancestors. Basically, it can give you a general idea, but not the entire picture of your race or ethnicity.

Accreditation

Another disadvantage of a consumer product at-home DNA testing service is that the test itself may not be accredited with the appropriate agencies. Medical tests have to attain laboratory accreditation through the federal program, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). Not all companies selling at-home tests have this accreditation.

Interpretation and Counseling

The results of the at-home consumer product DNA test may be challenging to interpret without the help of your primary care physician or other medical care professional.

When a physician administers DNA tests, they provide genetic counselors who help patients read the results. Without this help, the results could be misinterpreted.

Privacy Issues

The theft of online data is a continuing problem. The testing organizations do their best to keep DNA results private on their systems, but the hacking threat is impossible to eliminate. Consumers who take an at-home DNA test should be aware of this threat and determine what steps the company has taken to reduce the risk.

Psychological Implications

Test results are very personal. The individual’s family history could stir up unwanted drama or be upsetting. If you never knew you are at risk for a particular disease or opioid addiction, for example, the revealing of this fact could be difficult to hear. These companies do not have related counseling to help in dealing with this information.

A study showed that persons who were told they had a predisposition toward depression actually had worsening symptoms.

Cost

At-home consumer product DNA tests can vary in cost from $60 to $200. Consider your options before deciding the test you purchase is worth the investment financially.

Cannot Be Used for Medical Purposes

It is essential to understand that a DNA test administered by a physician is treated differently from a DNA test administered by an at-home consumer product test.

The results of the at-home tests have not been cleared for clinical use. You should not take action to treat any condition without first obtaining healthcare solutions from your doctor. If your test results show you may be at risk for a disease or condition, see your health care services provider.

Selecting a DNA Test

The information you wish to acquire determines which at-home consumer product DNA test you should purchase.

Ancestry

  • Trace your ancestors throughout time
  • Ethnicity and region estimates
  • Identify relatives that have taken this test
  • Build a family tree
  • Cheek swab collection
  • Results in 6-8 weeks

Living DNA

  • Test covers 15 generations of maternal and paternal ancestry
  • Connect with relatives up to 13 degrees removed
  • Covers migration history
  • Cheek swab collection
  • Results in 6-8 weeks

MyHeritageDNA

  • Over 100 million users with 9.6 billion historical records available
  • Uncover ethnic and geographical origins of your ancestors
  • Find long-lost relative
  • Build a family tree
  • Available in 40 languages
  • Results in 3-4 weeks

There are other at-home consumer product DNA tests that can be purchased, such as 23andMe, 24 Genetics, FindMyPast, Family Tree DNA, Nebula Genomics, TeloYears, and Vitagene.

Science Behind DNA Testing

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a self-replicating material present in all living organisms. It carries genetic data and a genetic code for everyone. It determines a person’s characteristics, such as hair color and personality. Every cell in the body has a complete set of DNA.

All DNA testing from two people will be 99.9% the same. There is only 0.1% of the DNA code sequence that is different from one person to the next.

This 0.1% is what makes people unique. The differences are called genetic markers and are part of the code forensic scientists use when testing DNA. When people are closely related, some of the genetic markers will be the same. Knowing where to look for these similarities and differences in the genetic code is the key to DNA testing.

DNA testing looks for a likeness in genetic markers between two or more samples. The samples can be taken from anywhere on the body because each cell in the body contains the same DNA. Hair, blood, skin, and other bodily fluids can be used for DNA testing. The more DNA available for testing, the easier it is to analyze genetic code and variations.

The DNA is divided at specific locations and points. These pieces are analyzed, and a DNA “fingerprint” is the result. By comparing two fingerprints from two different samples, they see if there is a match.

It is a fantastic technology that helps all people uncover secrets of their past. Knowing where we came from, possible medical implications, and how it helps law enforcement are benefits we all can appreciate.

03 Mar 2021

How To Throw the Perfect Engagement Party


Are you joining the half of American adults who are already married? You had a successful proposal, and your soon-to-be-wife spent weeks showing off her engagement ring to all her friends and family.

So, what’s next?

Even before you decided on getting married, you already know that the marriage proposal is the start of a string of events that will mark the beginning of your married life. Weeks before the actual wedding, you have the bachelor’s party, bridal shower, and many related events to plan.

One of those events is the engagement party, which you celebrate with friends and family. But how do you pull off the perfect party?

Read these tips to help you plan the best pre-wedding party without taking away anything from the actual wedding.

1. Set the Budget

Determining the budget is the most crucial step when planning for the perfect party. Consider all the expenses involved in the whole wedding event — f (more…)

30 Jan 2021

Home Charity Jewelry Shopping

Have you ever been to a thrift shop? The chances are that most people have gone thrift shopping. What are the benefits of thrift shopping? Here are the reasons why thrift shopping is worth trying:

  1. Reduces waste- Did you know that manufacturing, production, packaging, and distributing new clothes wastes a lot of energy and water? If not, now, you know. Shopping in the local thrift is one of the easy and simple ways of going green. Disposing of unwanted clothing affects the environment as the materials take a long time to breakdown into landfills.

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    Choosing to purchase second-hand clothes will therefore reduce waste and help the earth generally.

  2. Creates uniqueness- most people desire to dress according to the latest trends in fashion. Thrift shopping helps you make a one-of-a-kind wardrobe; the vintage and unique clothes.
  3. Offers high-quality products for affordable prices- thrift stores have a wide range of fantastic deals. By shopping at a thrift store, you get the chance to save on furniture, shoes, clothes, books, games, accessories, and home decor.

    It’s a great feeling to get more quality items at a low price.

  4. Unlike other retail chains, which means f supporting the community- thrift stores are put in place to serve others. The stores are not meant to generate a profit for stockholders but to impact community members.

As seen in the video “Thrift Haul 2020! Thrifted Fashion & Home Charity Shopping #SecondHandSeptemeber / Lara Joanna Jarvis’ thrift stores have a wide range of unique items to buy. Did you know that you can get a unique wedding band for your partner in a thrift store? Visit a thrift store in your local area and get to see the beauty of shopping in one. Ranging from clothing that makes you look exceptionally good to items you have never seen before for reasonable prices.

There are things to look out for when visiting a thrift store for second-hand clothes. Not all clothing is created equally; hence look out for the following:

  • Durable zippers- save yourself low-quality zippers: go for more durable metal zippers. Plastic zippers are more difficult to zipping and quickly get off the track hence less stable.
  • Natural fibres- avoid plastic fibres as they are prone to pilling and are easily damaged by heat from ironing and the sun. Go for linen, wool, and cotton for clothing that holds up wash after wash.

  • Ensure the seams are durable- ensure the clothing does not contain wardrobe malfunctions due to faulty seams. A seam is where pieces of fabric join and are held together by stitches.

Be part of the support, shop at your local thrift shops, and impact different people’s lives in your community.

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04 Jan 2021

Jewelry For Charity

Giving back to the community is the best thing one would choose to do. As little as it may seem to you, it may have a significant effect on someone’s life. There are people in this world who can hardly afford or access basic needs. Thoughts and acts towards such people come with a lot of appreciation.

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It positively touches the lives of people.

Many people make a community but can coexist. Among members of one community or the local area, it is easy to identify a pressing issue that may be in your ability to help out. You might be wondering how or where to start or even how to go about it. Don’t worry, and it can be as easy as giving what you do an extra effort to have more for charity.

What do I mean? The current situation you are in may not allow you to undertake a big project to help the needy: you are not always ready for charity. However, you might be running a business or engaging in activities or production of items that may earn money or be used directly towards charity. Did you know that you can offer such things instead of cash? It just takes the will and desire to engage in charity.

For instance, the video ‘ Jewelry That Gives Back: The Domino Effect” shows a lady who designs jewelry aimed at supporting charity organizations, donation of jewelry ranging from necklaces, bracelets, custom engagement ring can go a long way in helping charity organization.

Like this lady, it does not matter what business you engage in: you can still make someone smile’. The community may be facing a homelessness crisis.

You sell building materials: you may have significantly impacted a home building project for charity in helping the homeless by donating construction materials towards the project. Participating in charity financially or through materials are more or less the same.

Try to make the world a better place for everyone you can. What is the state of your home area? How can you make an impact? Where do you start? Identifying the needs of the society you live In is the first tip of finding out what role you can play in the charity involving your home area. With this, you are better positioned to layout a good plan on what to do and how to go about it.

Start with what is achievable for a successful project. Charity work never ends. People will still need help and more help. To experience growth when engaging in charity, you will need to start with the achievable moving towards bigger projects. With this you are guaranteed of seeing progress in your charity work.

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28 Dec 2020