How to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

How to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

When it comes to running an energy- and budget-friendly home, what and how you use certain features makes all the difference. Families, more than ever, are aware of the harmful carbon footprint homes leave every single day. Along with that concern, they are also trying to save money in the process. So here are some of the best methods to cut your energy costs at home.

Be More Efficient

One of the easiest and fastest ways to start cutting down on energy costs is to be more efficient. You can accomplish this goal by purchasing more energy-efficient appliances, devices and much more. One of the most popular and easiest areas to fix today is your light bulbs. Switching from traditional bulbs to more green versions can provide you with lower yearly costs on your light bill. Although these do cost a little more, they also last you a lot longer.

Use Renewable Energy

You might have heard about this before on the news or from your neighbors. The power of the sun is the energy of the future. When people say sun power, they mean solar panel technology. Although this energy tech has been around for many years, only now has it become affordable to the everyday person. Yes, many of the panels on the market are still what consumers would consider to be expensive, but they are not out of reach. In fact, there are many financial benefits to purchasing solar panels for your home. There are many tax credits for solar panels to incentivize you to go in that direction.

Insulate Your Home Properly

A common frustration among homeowners emerges after they’ve done everything right. They’ve installed solar panels, changed their lighting choices and turned off any unnecessary lights around the house. Yet they still can’t manage to bring down their monthly energy costs. What could be the problem? Often, the answer to this issue is insulation. A lack of insulation can prevent you from reaping the rewards of being energy efficient. Therefore, it is incredibly important for homeowners to hire professionals and determine what areas of their properties need to be insulated.

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to cut down on your energy costs. However, in order to lay down a strong foundation for other options you might be considering, it is recommended to follow the tips listed above.

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What to Keep in Mind When Teaching Your Teen to Drive

What to Keep in Mind When Teaching Your Teen to Drive

It’s something you knew was coming but were never really prepared for: the day you begin to teach your teen how to drive. Understandably, this can be one of the most exciting yet challenging times in both of your lives, so it’s necessary to get things right. As you begin the process of teaching your teenager how to drive, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Rules of the Road

When your teenager is about to learn how to drive or has already gotten their driver’s permit, there are a few ground rules that you mist established first. First, you must establish the rules in order to avoid any conflict during the actual driving lesson. Laying these out before leaving the driveway can provide them with expectations and little to no surprises. According to Brauns Law, in preparation for your teen learning to drive, they should study the driving materials. You can quiz your child to ensure they know the proper rules of the road before they go out driving for the first time. Some of these can include asking them a question such as, “Should you use your phone to change a song?” or, “Can you turn left on a red light?”

Vehicle Privileges

Most teenagers don’t own their own car and often will use their family’s car instead. However, even if they do own their own car, you should still make sure that driving is not a right but a privilege. You can instill this into your teen by setting up some rules. One is that you, the parent, always have control of the car keys. This means they must always ask you to borrow the car when they want to use it. Secondly, they should also adhere to certain rules that may not be illegal but can help you establish your authority. These may include always having an adult present, not driving on high-speed roads and nor driving through bad weather. Also, make sure they know never to allow one of their friends to drive the car without permission from you.

Set the Example

Teenagers are very observant about everything they see around them. This is why they often get into trouble. When a parent tells them not to do something but then they see that parent doing that very thing, it provides the teen with an excuse to break the rules. Therefore, when you are driving with your teenager, it is important to always follow your own rules, according to Top Driver. This means not answering that work call and remembering to wait until a stoplight to change the music. These moments are crucial and should be taken seriously the next time your teenage driver is present with you.

Teaching your teenager how to drive for the first time is a very challenging experience for both parties involved. Not only is there the possibility of conflict, but all the important topics you want to cover may simply go in one ear and out the other. This is why it is imperative to research what you’re going to say and do prior to getting into your car.

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What to Know About Renting a Boat on a Family Vacation

What to Know About Renting a Boat on a Family Vacation

If you are planning a family vacation near the Florida coast, you may want to consider renting a boat as part of the fun. Taking a boat to go water skiing, fishing or exploring for a great swimming spot can bring hours of fun while on a holiday. Here are some ideas you may want to consider before making that decision.

Budget

Renting a boat needs to be included in the vacation budget. Some research may be needed once you decide what type of boat you will need for your activity. Check to see what is included in the rental, such as life preservers, gas, dock fees and a first aid kit. Also, check to see what kind of amenities comes on the boat. Some may have coolers, deck chairs and a small galley. Different boat rental agencies will have varying prices for in and out of season, the size of the boat and the length of the rental.

Following the Law

Before renting a boat and proceeding out onto the water, it is important to check local and state maritime laws for boating. For instance, even though you’re on vacation, keep in mind that being drunk while boating is a crime. If fishing, check for a license requirement, as well as the local catch-and-release program. Nothing can spoil a vacation for the whole family more than fines or arrests for not following the law. Also, there are established boating ethics that should be observed while on the water, so try to brush up on what you need to know.

Things to Have on the Water

When boating, there are items you will want to have with you. You will need to bring enough drinking water for everyone, dry towels, food and a first aid kit. Sunscreen is a must as well, and everyone should bring a hat. Plan on bringing the equipment you will need for your activity, such as fishing poles, tackle, water skis and pull ropes. You will want to bring your cooler and ice if there is not a cooler on the boat.

Boating is a great addition to a family vacation. Plan activities for the kids, such as visits to beaches that will be great for having a picnic or grilling. Favorite cove swimming holes can be fun for the whole family. Be sure you have enough fuel for your boating destination and return, plus look for landmarks that will guide you back home.

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Ways to Involve Your Children in Common Household Tasks and Responsibilities

Ways to Involve Your Children in Common Household Tasks and Responsibilities

It’s good for your children when you involve them in activities that make your household run smoothly. Chores can boost a child’s confidence and teach him or her how to perform tasks he or she will need to know in the future. Here are a few great ways to get your kids to help take responsibility around the home.

Cooking

Sit down with your child sometime during the week, and design a meal plan together. Let your child choose what meals to cook from this list, so he or she will have responsibilities in the kitchen. This helps your child learn about nutrition and meal prep at the same time. According to Noonan Law; In order to protect your family, kids should be careful in the cooking zone and should not play near or around the oven. Give your child cooking duties that are age-appropriate, and add more as your child becomes ready for them.

Laundry

Laundry often feels like a never-ending chore, so get your kids involved to help. Even very young children can sort clothes into light or dark piles. They can then learn to fold their own laundry and put it where it belongs.

Teach your child how to use the washer and dryer when he or she is ready. Explain what settings to use and what water temperature works best for each load. Once your child knows all the steps, you won’t have to do his or her laundry any longer! He or she can even help wash towels, dish rags and sheets to lighten your load.

Yard Work

Being outside is great for children for a variety of reasons. Help your child spend more time outside by assigning him or her chores in the yard. Kids can eventually graduate to mowing the yard, but there are plenty of other things they can do when they are still too young for that chore.

Have children pull weeds, plant flowers or seeds and tidy up the yard when it starts to get cluttered. Kids can also water gardens and help rake leaves in the fall. This allows them to be physically active and learn the importance of nature in their lives. Kids are often less reluctant to work outside than they are to be stuck indoors, so yard work may be a responsibility that receives fewer complaints.

Common household tasks can be split between the whole family. Don’t forget to get your kids involved when possible.

Should I Rent a Golf Cart on Catalina Island?

Should I Rent a Golf Cart on Catalina Island?

Travel to Catalina Island will mean you’ll need to leave your car behind. While there are bicycle tours, walking tours and golf carts for rent, car access is deliberately limited on the island.

Climate

The weather on Catalina is both consistent and pleasant. You’ll enjoy warm ocean temperatures of approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and it drops to 60 degrees in the winter. Daytime temps on the island vary little and run between 50 degrees during cool winter mornings and 73 degrees on the warmest summer day. Your trip to Catalina can include a simple wardrobe of casual garments with the chance to layer as it will cool while the sun sets. Your golf cart tour along the streets of Avalon or up the mountains surrounding the city may require you to bring a light jacket or a sweater.

Well-Maintained

The rental golf carts on Catalina Island are plentiful. Before you finalize your rental, it’s a good idea to check out the cart. All golf carts, whether gas-powered or electric, need maintenance products such as oil and other lubricants. If you can smell any petroleum products on or around the cart, check with the owner or the person who rented you the cart. In addition, it should steer straight ahead naturally. Should your cart pull to the left or right, there may be issues with the tires. Tires require regular maintenance in order to avoid blowouts and other disasters. If you notice a tire is wobbly in transit, a pull to one side or the other in the steering wheel, or a tire with a bump, talk to the rental company about trading for another vehicle.

Plan Your Trip

Your trip to Catalina Island can be as luxurious or as rustic as you choose. You can stroll through Avalon or find a hiking trail into the mountains. You can stay in a luxury hotel or condo rental, or you can pack in tents and rough it at one of the many campgrounds on the island. Bring an inflatable kayak and some good hiking shoes for an amazing trip!

Catalina Island offers travelers of all ages a great chance to relax and enjoy the natural beauty. You can vary your time between relaxing on the beach and getting in a good hike in the mountains. Rent a golf cart and take a picnic to a scenic spot. Enjoy your visit!

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The Importance of Modeling Good Driving Behavior for Your Teen Who Is Learning to Drive

The Importance of Modeling Good Driving Behavior for Your Teen Who Is Learning to Drive

Your teenager is learning to drive, and you want to make sure she uses good sense and adheres to the laws. Whether she takes driving lessons from a teacher or you, she has already been learning every time she gets in the car with you. Children learn some of the most important lessons watching their parents in day-to-day life.

Stay Calm

Other drivers can pose some of the biggest risks when out on the road. It can be easy to lose your temper when you get cut off or if someone is following too closely behind you. Be sure not to make reckless driving habits or become impatient while driving, as this can set a bad example for your teen. Bad habits can be passed on to your child when he sees how you respond to other drivers. Get in the habit of keeping your temper under control whether you’re alone or with passengers. Your child will see how you handle frustrating situations and be more apt to do the same.

Obey Laws

If your child sees you obeying laws when you drive, there is a better chance she will see how important it is and follow them when she drives. It does matter if you roll through that stop sign. It does matter if you go over the speed limit just a little bit. Theoretically, it is possible to do either safely and without being stopped and given a ticket. But if you bend the rules, it is more likely that your teenager will think it is okay for him to do, too.

No Cell Phone

One of the biggest causes of accidents is being on a cell phone either talking or texting while driving. Show your child that you can do without your cell phone while driving. It might help to keep it in your glove compartment or purse, so you won’t be tempted to just peek. It only takes a second of glancing away from the road for a life to change.

When your teenager is learning to drive, it can be challenging for both of you. Be patient and try to remember when you were in the driver’s seat for the first time. You can make a big difference in the driver your teenager becomes when you show by example how to be a courteous and responsible driver.

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