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    September 19th, 2017Decor BloggerDesign Tips & Tricks, Featured

    (Decor Amor) – Now that fall is underway and you’re already growing tired of all the pumpkin-flavored treats, Halloween must not be too far away. That means it’s time to head to the store to pick up the trendiest Halloween decor to guarantee a shocked response from trick-or-treaters. But before you do, have you considered what some of these products are made of? Chances are, some may be polycarbonate plastic made with a safe, common chemical known as BPA.

    BPA is a building-block chemical used to make a certain kind of plastic known as polycarbonate, which has unique properties that make products like flashlights lightweight and durable. And its shatter-resistance makes it ideal for use in LED lights to illuminate your Halloween-scape to guide trick-or-treaters to your doorstep.

    Before heading to the store, take a look at some of the common ways BPA is used to keep trick-or-treaters spooky and safe on Halloween night:

    * Flashlights – For trick-or-treaters, flashlights are a must-have to avoid losing their way. Polycarbonate gives flashlights their strong, shatter-resistant outer casing so trick-or-treaters can spook their way through their neighborhood late into the evening.

    * Halloween decorations – Every neighborhood has one house that spares no expense when decorating for holidays throughout the year. But did you know many of those decorations would not be possible without polycarbonate? It makes those spooky plastic tombstones and skeletons durable and shatter-resistant.

    * LED lights – To keep your jack-o’-lanterns burning bright into the night, LED lights have become the lights of choice. Polycarbonate plastic allows LED lights to be more durable and energy efficient as well as transparent.

    Products made with polycarbonate help keep trick-or-treaters safe on Halloween night, and using BPA to make the polycarbonate for these products is safe as well. BPA is one of the most widely studied chemicals in use today, and when it comes to BPA used in food contact materials, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) answered the question, “Is BPA safe?” with a clear answer — “Yes.”

    With Halloween fast approaching, rest assured your trick-or-treater will have a safe and fun Halloween thanks to polycarbonate made from BPA — which isn’t so spooky after all!

  • scissors
    September 19th, 2017Decor BloggerDesign Tips & Tricks, Featured

    (Decor Amor) – Here comes Santa Claus … and a sleigh full of confusion about Christmas trees. Better to buy real or better to buy artificial? Popular myths are that real trees are bad for the environment, artificial trees make more financial sense and real trees are just a hassle, but read on for some facts that will set the record straight and some thoughts that might turn your head on some of the more subjective sides of the debate.

    If your No. 1 concern is the environment, your No. 1 choice should be a real tree. Growing, using and recycling real Christmas trees is good for the environment. Research shows that when compared on an annual basis, the artificial tree has three times more impacts on climate change and resource depletion than the natural tree. Real Christmas trees are biodegradable and can even be recycled or reused for mulch, and every year the circle of life continues. Artificial trees are petroleum-based products and most are imported from overseas. Many are thrown away seven to 10 years after they’re purchased, and every year the landfills where they will stay (literally for centuries) get a little bit bigger.

    Still don’t like the idea of cutting down a tree? Remember that just like the Halloween pumpkin you carve with your kids or the fresh-cut flowers you buy for a loved one on special occasions, real Christmas trees are farmer-planted and hand-harvested specifically for people to enjoy. And, for every real Christmas tree harvested, a new tree is planted.

    If it’s your wallet that worries you, keep in mind that it’s no surprise that artificial things frequently cost less than real things. True, not everyone agrees “you get what you pay for,” but there’s a second economic case to be made for buying a real Christmas tree: Real Christmas trees provide real business for real farmers. Fully 100 percent of real Christmas trees sold in the U.S. are grown in North America.

    Every choice is a trade-off. What you gain with the ease of an artificial tree, you lose in the experience of a real tree. To be fair, this is subjective. But years from now, which do you think you’ll remember more warmly: assembling a plastic tree you pulled out of the attic that looks exactly the same year after year, or bringing home and decorating a real tree that you enjoyed hunting for with your friends and family? Selecting a real Christmas tree makes memories. The hunt for a real Christmas tree can create an experience — everything from the scent to the search — that simply can’t be manufactured and that no artificial tree can replace.

    Ultimately, with all of the myths aside, a real Christmas tree is a choice you can be proud of. Whether you prefer to shop at a neighborhood store, local farm, seasonal lot or even online, there’s a real Christmas tree available for everyone. For more information, visit Facebook.com/ItsChristmasKeepItReal.

  • scissors
    September 18th, 2017Decor BloggerDesign Tips & Tricks, Featured

    (Decor Amor) – After months of sticky heat and humidity, it’s time to put away the shorts and pull out the sweaters because the autumn season is finally here. But, late September brings us more than just cooler temperatures and a wardrobe change. If you or a loved one are over the age of 65, the change in seasons is also an opportunity to think about another kind of fall — the kind that impacts one in four older Americans every year — and the steps we can all take to help prevent them.

    According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and account for the majority of emergency room visits for older adults. More than 75 percent of falls happen in or around the house, but fortunately there are ways to evaluate our loved ones’ homes and make them safer for everyday living.

    Use the checklist below, based on suggestions from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to help guide your review of the exterior and interior of the property. Many of the safety measures listed can be made at little to no cost, but more significant modifications could require a considerable investment.

    Keep in mind, there are financial options available for seniors who want to modify their homes to meet their changing needs. Area Agencies on Aging, state and local governments, and some nonprofits offer grants, loans or other assistance programs for eligible seniors in need of home repairs and modifications.

    Older homeowners may also want to consider using a reverse mortgage loan to convert a portion of their home’s equity into cash proceeds that can be used for many reasons, including home modifications and maintenance. Unlike a home equity loan, a reverse mortgage requires no monthly principal or interest payments and cannot be frozen or reset.

    Borrowers do not have to repay the loan balance until the last eligible spouse permanently leaves the home, or if they fail to meet their loan obligations, which include staying current on property taxes, insurance and any condominium or HOA fees.

    For a comprehensive overview of reverse mortgage loans and a Borrower Roadmap to the loan process, visit http://www.reversemortgage.org/Your-Roadmap, a free consumer resource created by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.

    Home Safety Checklist

    Start on the outside:

    * Make sure the driveway and any paved walkways are smooth and stable. Seal any cracks before more damage is created. Crumbling or uneven concrete surfaces should be repaired.

    * Porch and deck flooring should be flat, even and nonslip. Any loose or broken floorboards should be nailed down or replaced.

    * Outdoor steps should have sturdy, easily graspable handrails.

    * The porch and entryway should be well-lit and light switches should be easily accessible.

    * Consider whether the doorway to the home can be converted to a no-step entrance way. There are many creative ways to achieve this.

    Check out the inside:

    * Floors should be flat and nonslip; floorboards should be stable and carpets should be free of holes and tears that could create a tripping hazard.

    * Throw rugs should be fully fastened to the floor with tacks or double-sided tape, or taken out of the house.

    * All stairs and steps should be flat and even, and clutter should be removed.

    * Add nonslip treads to stairs that are not carpeted.

    * Stairways should have solidly mounted handrails on both sides of the steps if possible, and should be well-lit.

    * If you or your loved ones face mobility challenges and stairs are an obstacle to accessing different levels of the home, consider installing a chairlift that will enable them to enjoy all the rooms in the house again.

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