In light of recent policy making and foam bans throughout the country, some are hoping for Baltimore to follow in their footsteps. Yet other officials are saying that an anti-littering campaign will be more effective because the root of the issue lies at the lack of effort into recycling polystyrene. Below are some facts and figures to help voters make informed decisions about a proposed future Baltimore foam ban:

Foam is not harmful to the environment. In fact, it is 100% recyclable! Though it’s not available for curbside recycling yet, there is a Citizens Convenience Center on Sisson Street where residents can drop off their recyclables.

Foam ends up in the harbor because of littering. Many people simply don’t throw away or recycle their garbage, leading to a disturbing amount of trash floating atop the Inner Harbor. This is why City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young is more in favor of anti-littering advocacy. “Polystyrene isn’t the only thing in the water,” he told the Baltimore Sun. He continues saying that the city “..cannot ban [its] way out of bad habits,” and should instead, change its habits for the better.

Foam is effective. The reason why so many businesses use foam is because of how well it works, from its insulation properties to its cost to the business. Some businesses have found that if they switch to a paper cup, people will double up cups in order to further insulate their coffee.

In addition, paper cups take up almost twice the amount of space in landfills than polystyrene ones. This doubles the amount of waste that we were initially trying to reduce. Additionally, foam is sanitary and inexpensive so that businesses can focus more on the quality of their products than the packaging costs burdening their potential.…

The best front door is handsome and inviting, yet durable to stand up to the sun, intruders and other elements. It’s the first impression guests have of your home and it is a great way to tie together your home’s style with some unique flare. Below are some tips on how to pick custom entry doors:

How to know if you even need one: Entry doors are quite the investment, so make sure you get one that lasts! Many homeowners have found that their wooden doors begin to warp over time or the surface on their metal doors begin to peel. This is why it’s important to get a high-quality door. Sometimes you can just install a new one where the older one was, but sometimes you need to change the entire opening of the door, which requires the work of a professional.

Materials: The best choice for a harsh or a more humid climate is a fiberglass door. Though they are not made of real wood, they can look like they are with wood-mimicking finishes. If authenticity is more your style, wooden doors are luxurious and beautiful, but they are the most expensive option. There are also steel and aluminum doors, which offer some of the best security.

Whether you buy just the entry door or the whole system with a frame included, keep these tips in mind: If you’re picking a complete entry system, be sure all components come from the same manufacturer to make sure they fit perfectly. Also, pick from a high-quality installer and manufacturer like Thompson’s Creek, who can do full installation.  Picking the right front door will pay off in smoother operation, less maintenance, and added energy savings. You’ll also have an elegant entry that makes a great first impression for years to come.…

Did you know that 20 or more ants all gathered around like a posse in the same area is considered an ant colony? This colony is a telltale sign of an infestation, which you definitely want to nip in the bud. Last spring, my 12-year-old daughter kept on getting colonies of ants in her bathroom. I didn’t understand why there were little ants infesting her orange and pale pink bathroom, but I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I know that ants seek out shelter, moisture, and food, but why in my daughter’s bathroom?

Typically ants are known for congregating in kitchens where food is kept and served, which leads me being the type-A mother that I am, to be super anal and monitor this. In an attempt to prevent ants from attacking my pale green floral wallpapered kitchen, I take out the trash daily, and make sure that all food is properly stored and sealed tightly.

After the ant colonies in my daughter’s bathroom seemed to be multiplying overnight last April, I finally resorted to finding pest control in Maryland. It turns out that my not so type-A daughter, was throwing out remainders of bagels from breakfast, chips from snack, and other food in her bathroom trashcan, which I didn’t monitor as closely as the kitchen trashcan. The ants sniffed out the food and tried to take advantage of the opportunity.

What I later learned about ants is that they multiply quickly because queen ants sense danger and create more colonies as a defense mechanism. It is important to dispose of food all in one main location in order to prevent issues such as these. This incident was good for my family though because it set an example for everyone and freaked out my daughter enough to not let it happen again.…

The real tooth fairies are amazing creatures, especially in the eyes of kids. With all forms of tooth fairy including earth fairy, summer magic, little fairy, sunflower fairy and much else on the internet, children can now enjoy the miracles of what these fairies bring in. Almost every day in the tooth fairy websites that are listed below, kids of all ages throng into the place to play games. A variety of sophisticated software perform the relevant functions amazingly well. However, each of these websites does seem to have several traits that are not common.

The Real Tooth Fairies

On this website, you can meet your real tooth fairy for some fun filled time. Then move on to games and activities that include dress-up with your favorite avatar where you can dress your Doll for every season, play fairy fashion games for some fashion fun and pet games to rescue the pets. The website also has a wide range of makeup games and unicorn ride games where you can create your magical horse and go for an exciting ride.

Dress Up Games

Dressupgames.com is another website where you will find a lot of different tooth fairies waiting to be dressed up and get ready. This is where you can change the tooth fairy with colorful ideas. How exactly do you want your tooth fairy to look? The game allows to choose pink, purple or red hair and a wide variety of outfits from a fully-stocked closet. You can also select your favorite wands and accessories from the huge collection and decorate the fairy’s hair, wrist and shoulder.

Girl Games Club

Girl Games Club is another website to play tooth fairy games for free. To move forward from simple games is a huge step in the website’s change process. The website has many new additions for tooth fairy where kids can have a lot of fun playing with other kids. Everything here is easy sailing as well. From adventure, music, painting to puzzle and cooking, you can find anything and everything here.

All these sources of tooth fairy games are fun …

Spring has sprung and life is just all around better. There is finally color in the street from the shining sun, blooming flowers and people breaking out the pastels. After months of being cooped up inside, bark mulch even smells good, something that you thought you would never say. Now that it stays lighter later in the spring, it is the time to work on saving energy and doing your part to make a difference. Environmental consultant companies like Cenergistic, formerly known as Energy Education Inc., strive to conserve energy every day.

Use less Light

Obviously you don’t want to be sitting around in the dark when it is pitch black out, but during the day when the natural light is shining in try to avoid turning the lights on. Turning your lights off when you are not in the room or not home is a huge way to save energy that is also very easy. Using motion-detector lights outside of your home can be a very cost-effective solution. Rather than leaving your lights on all night outside, motion-detector lights trigger when someone is outside.

Carpool

Carpooling is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Nothing saves money, energy and clean air like carpooling. Whether you are going out to dinner with friends at night or trying to drive your kids to school in the morning. Create a plan and choose different days when different people will be the designated carpool driver. That way one person doesn’t get stuck always using their car and their gas money. Carpooling is also a fun way to spend time with others and catch up.

Open the Windows

Opening the windows is one of the easiest ways to save energy. Rather than running another fan in your house, just open the windows for some ventilation. Nothing is nicer than the breeze coming in at nighttime when the air is crisp and the house is a little toasty. I am seriously convinced that fresh air is good for the soul and gives your air conditioning a breather!…

If you can’t attend Than Merrill’s San Diego FortuneBuilders seminar, there are 10 ways to help you get the best offer for your home:

Tip 1

Remove all family photos, toys, nick knacks, and excess clothing. Replace the family photos with generic paintings. Eliminate anything that creates an odor-especially diaper pails or litter boxes.

Tip 2

Give each room a definitive function. Bedrooms should have a bed and a dresser. If it’s an office, remove anything that would distract from that purpose. Exercise equipment belongs in a gym or a storage building, not in an office.

Tip 3

Remove heavy curtains and valances, and replace them with lighter weight fabrics. Replace old or worn out light fixtures, and wash the windows.

Tip 4

Patching and painting walls will give the appearance of a well-kept home. Use neutral colors that will appeal to everyone. It does not have to be white, but a shade of white or tan should work. The darker a room is, the smaller it will look.

Tip 5

Remove and replace–if possible–old carpets. Call a professional steam cleaner if the carpets are in good shape. Look for specials on wood flooring or tiles to replace floors that cannot be saved.

Tip 6

The two rooms that are scrutinized most are the kitchen and bathroom. To sell a house for top dollar, these two rooms must be updated. Painting cabinets and replacing countertops will make a big improvement in their appearance. You should update the faucets and hardware, too. Replace any broken or leaking plumbing fixtures.

Tip 7

Paint exterior walls if they appear dull and old, and update the entry. The front door and outside lighting will be one of the first things prospective buyers will see. Damaged or old doors will deter buyers from even stepping inside the house.

Tip 8

Mow the grass and plant fresh flowers, or create planting beds and get rid of over-grown bushes and trees.

Tip 9

Stage the house so that rooms appear larger. A chair, sofa, coffee table, and an end table with an attractive lamp, are more than …

When it comes to education, it is very important to invest the most in your students.  Budgets are very tight in a lot of school districts these days and schools are trying to cut down on costs, but not compromise their student’s education. Having a proper environment that is conducive to learning is very important as well. Both the school administrators and students need to feel that they are in a place where they can both teach and learn. We have tips for you on ways to cut costs in certain areas and invest more in others.

Cafeteria Foam Products

This may come as a surprise to you, but by switching the type of tray you use in the cafeteria can save a school up to millions of dollars a year. Recently in cities like Miami there has been a Miami foam ban, which has eliminated the usage of foam from the area. This foam ban is spreading to other cities in Florida as well, which is only going to increase costs for school districts. One way for schools to save money is by investing in foam trays rather than eliminating them. Alternatives to foam trays, such as compostable trays, are very costly and can lead a school to spend a lot more money than anticipated.

Don’t Skimp on Teaching Materials

When it comes to equipment needed to do the job, always provide proper school supplies. Teachers need certain supplies to do their job efficiently and students need certain supplies to participate in a classroom. Whether your school is filled with whiteboards or chalkboards always have the proper writing materials available to create an organized environment. Tissues, paper to print, and pens are all staples in a classroom, which will go a long way! You don’t want your teachers to resent the school for not providing necessary materials for learning.

Author Frederick M. Hess, has a book called Stretching the School Dollar: How Schools and Districts Can Save Money While Serving Students Best. This book has in depth details on how to cut costs in areas where it …

Although you might fall for the black eyed creatures, raccoons are wild animals that you do not want to cross paths with. Raccoons are highly intelligent and lack a sense of fear, contributing to their dangerous name. It is important to hire pest control to get rid of raccoons (more raccoon info) that reside around your home because they can harm both you and your dog. I don’t know about you, but nobody messes with my golden retriever.

Raccoon removal is dangerous thus the importance of hiring a professional to capture a raccoon. Professionals have the best tactics to trap wildlife animals and know the proper protocol to deal with the raccoon once it is captured. Additionally, you don’t want to put yourself at risk for rabies.

When it comes to your pets, raccoons can put your pets in harm’s way, but especially your dogs. Dogs are greatly at risk because they try to fight back raccoons in order to protect themselves.

Raccoon attacks frequently happen at night, which is when it is the most important to monitor your dog when they go out to the bathroom in the dark.

Raccoons have a number of deadly tactics for harming dogs. The most common ways that raccoons try to attack dogs is by attempting to scratch out their eyes. Raccoons have very sharp claws that allow them to ravenously scratch and bite at dogs.

Raccoons are definitely no friend of your furry pooch, which is why it is important to eliminate raccoons the minute you notice their presence.…

There are certain areas in every home where it is definitely worth it to splurge. Some things you can buy from the floor in bulk and it will not make a difference, but certain aspects of a home are worth investing a little more time and money in. Quality is important for both resale value and for performance purposes in your home. The three areas, which we think are the most important to invest in are your entry door, closets, and countertops.

Entry Doors

Your entry door (is one of the first things someone will see upon arrival to your house. The entry door is the first impression of your home, which someone experiences while waiting for you to come to the door. It is important to have an entry door that will both protect the inside from the outside and perform its job. There are several different types of materials used to design a custom entry door (http://www.thompsoncreek.com/doors/custom-entry-doors-and-front-doors) that you get to design the door to your liking. When designing your entry door it is important to find a door that will protect your home from the outdoor elements and keep your home safe from any intruders. It is also important to find a door that will not require a lot of maintenance since that can become quite costly.

Counter Tops

Custom counter tops are definitely something worth splurging on in your home, especially in your kitchen. Custom counter tops can definitely be a good selling point if you’re looking to sell your home at some point. Nothing makes a kitchen look more finished than nice counter tops. There are several different types of counter tops for your kitchen ranging from granite to marble to glass. The kitchen is one of the most commonly used rooms in your home, making it pertinent that it is in the best condition.

Closets

Custom closets are another area of the home worth investing in. Custom closets today are made so efficient that they will solve all of your organizational issues. Whether you have a really small closet or a really …

There are many people that relooking into moving into a new home, but they are undecided as to whether they should rent a home or buy one. Some FortuneBuilders are afraid of the housing market crash a few years ago and so they are reluctant to purchase a home, while others are simply tired of renting, and they would rather spend money every month on something that they can call their own. Although there may not be a clear cut answer on which is better there are some things to take into consideration.

When buying a house there are many things to consider. The first thing that a person should consider is how financially stable are they? Do they have a good job? Is their credit score high enough to get a good deal on a mortgage? All of these questions should be thought about, at length, before just jumping into buying a home. Purchasing one is a long-term commitment. Many people are attracted to that since it gives them a sense of security in knowing that they don’t have to live under the reign of a landlord, they can change the layout of the house, and they are responsible for all of the repairs.

Renting a house for some people seems as if it is a better option. They like the idea of having someone else responsible for the property maintenance. They also like the fact that they are only locked into, typically, a one year lease. This is a good choice for people that are unsure on if they are going to stay in the area or not. Typically, changing the layout, or performing any major renovation, on a rented house is not advisable. This is because the renter will have to spend their money for the materials and the labor for the renovation, and the landlord may not reimburse the renter for it, so they will have to take the monetary hit for the renovation.

In conclusion, depending on a person’s lifestyle, their financial status, and their plans for the future deciding to rent or buy a …