Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Reducing Hazardous Waste in Your Home

When you think of the ways your life could be improved, the reduction of hazardous waste in our homes is usually pretty far down on the list. However, we feel it should be moved up a notch or two. It’s not just about your home being clean - a clean home can still be a hazardous landmine – it’s about making sure the place you sleep, eat and drink is as safe as possible, and we’ve got a few ways to help you do that.

1.) Know your labels. Know what you’re buying before you buy it. Having a harmful product in the house is almost as hazardous as using it. Plus, if you have children or pets in your home they are surely bound to run across it someday. You also don’t want to be moving a product from one labeled container to an unlabeled one. You want to make sure that you or anyone else that might use something like a specific cleaning supply knows exactly what they are getting into. Keeping it in a labeled container also allows you to do step #2:

2.) Follow directions. In this day and age, directions are really treated as more of an afterthought. For the most part, we should be able to figure out how to use something. However, accidently using too much could be incredibly unsafe. That’s why there are directions in the first place; to make sure we aren’t exposed to a dangerous amount of a certain chemical.

3.) Store your products properly. Many chemicals can change if stored at certain temperatures, so make sure your products are kept at the right one; often between 50 and 80 degrees in a dry environment, but some products have more rigid storage requirements. Exposure to humidity or sunlight can also change the composition of what’s inside, leaving you with a surprise product made out of already hazardous materials in your home.

4.) Give away extras. If you don’t need it, don’t keep it! There’s no point in simply letting git sit in your home. Unused cleaning supplies can be given to a friend that hasn’t started their spring cleaning yet, unused pesticides can be donated to plant nurseries and paint can be donated to theater groups.

5.) Dispose of products properly. As convenient as it may be, simply tossing the empty container (or even a container with remaining product) into the garbage can is not the best choice. Potentially hazardous materials need to be handled at a proper waste disposal site to ensure they don’t end up in a landfill, seeping into the groundwater or contaminating our lakes and streams.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at!

Sunday, April 28, 2013 Tuesday, April 9, 2013 Saturday, March 9, 2013 Thursday, February 28, 2013

Preventing Fires in Your Home

Did you know 1 person is killed every 2 hours in a house fire? It’s true! What’s even sadder is that many of these fires are completely preventable. So before you move into a new home or apartment, here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from deadly home fires:

1.) Check your smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are your number one defense against a starting fire, so it’s essential that you not only have an adequate amount, but also that they’re in working order and placed in the right locations. Smoke rises, so your smoke alarms should be place in in high rise locations like your ceiling or high on walls. Smoke alarms mounted on ceilings should be at least four inches away from the nearest wall and smoke alarms mounted on walls should be between four and twelve inches away from the ceiling. Make sure each alarm has fresh batteries and can be heard from every room in the house. Smoke alarms that are over 10 years old or have been painted over should be replaced.

2.) Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Throwing water on a fire isn’t going to do much good when it really gets going, but a fire extinguisher might still be useful in this situation. The good news is that fire extinguishers are relatively cheap (around $30 dollars for a small one). Make sure the extinguisher is in proper working order (meaning the gauge should be checked to see if it needs to be replaced or recharged) and that it is in an easily accessible location. A fire extinguisher isn’t going to do you any good if you have to rummage through storage boxes in the garage to find it. It’s also important that everyone in the household knows how to work the fire extinguisher as well.

3.) Don’t overload sockets and power strips. With all the electronic devices in today’s world, it’s easier to overload a socket and not even know it. The television, DVD player, stereo equipment, video game console, computer, lamps and many other things will often be plugged into a single power strip. For newer homes, this may be acceptable, but in an older home it may be necessary to have a professional install a new outlet nearby.

4.) Watch your open flames. Candles are often outlawed in dorms, and for very good reason: an open flame can literally catch anything on fire! But if candles are allowed in your home, make sure they’re kept away from anything that could catch. Even curtains can be blown about when someone enters a room or a breeze comes in through a window. Pets and small children can also knock over a candle on accident.

5.) Use common sense. It may sound easy, but many people have fallen victim to this line of thinking. I’ve even come close to burning the house down when a blanket that was resting on the back of the couch feel off and landed on a heater while I was in the shower. I came out to a smoky living room and a severely scorched blanket. So keep your lamps and heaters free of debris, you never know what could catch!

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at!

Do you have any home fire safety tips?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Design Tips for a Large Apartment

Large apartment? Please, you’re in college. A “large apartment” doesn’t really exist. But it doesn’t even have to be a large apartment, per say. When you find yourself moving out of a tiny, cramped studio apartment to…well pretty much anything else, it can be a challenge to decorate without making it seem like you own virtually nothing. So here are a few ways to make a larger room seem a bit cozier:

1.) Use darker colors. Just as it’s advised to use lighter colors to make a room look bigger, darker, richer colors can make a room look more intimate. You don’t have to go all dungeon-like though; think about just having a statement wall in a deep plum or chocolate brown. This will often be enough to ground the room without making you feel like you’re floating in a vast space of nothingness.

2.) Absorb sound. Echoes give the illusion of a larger room, and while that may be the feel you’re going for in the main foyer, in the bedroom…not so much. The use of fabrics and rugs will help to absorb so much of the sound bouncing around.

3.) Go bigger. And by bigger, we’re talking about the furniture. That little loveseat of yours might have worked as a full-size couch in your last place, but in your new apartment it will probably look more like a giant chair. Instead, think about getting a few larger pieces to ground the room and give it a sense of shape.

4.) Use the right lighting. People often make the error of only having overhead lighting in large rooms, but this can often come across a bit harsh. Table lamps and other lights that are eye level will make the space seem more intimate. By combining high and low level lighting you can emphasize the size of the room while still giving it a comfortable feel.

5.) Use the right floor plan. In a smaller apartment there is often a limited number of ways you can arrange your furniture and belongings, but in a larger apartment you have many more options. By choosing the right floor design, you will make your rooms feel like they have a purpose and avoid any potential “dead zones.” Area rugs, furniture and room dividers will all help define your space.

6.) De-clutter. Too many things in a small room can make it seem cluttered and claustrophobic, but too many things in a large room can make you feel overwhelmed, like you have just walked into an oversized storage closet of some kind. Regardless of what size your room is, getting rid of all the tiny knick-knacks and decorations  you don’t need will help keep your place looking clean and sleek.

And keep in mind these pictures are meant to be examples and inspiration. We know you’re in college, not working on Wall Street. 


Saturday, January 12, 2013



Daniel Gray and Kathleen Starrie - An igloo constructed out of milk cartons filled with colored water and frozen 

how awesome is this!

Bored this weekend? Because this might be a perfect way to kill time! 

(Source: likeafieldmouse)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Retro and Awesome


Personally, I think anything that looks like a retro camera is the greatest thing in the world, so when our RE/Cover iPhone 4G cases-Retro Camera came along, I was just a little more than excited.

What about you guys?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

It’s Still an Illegal Drug


By the time you hit college, the phrase “Say no to drugs” has surely been ingrained into your mind. However, things are also a bit different in college. Of course you know what to say no to (you know, your general meth, crack, inhalants, etc.), but there’s a whole different breed of drugs that you might be considering. After all, they’re supposed to be good for you, right?

Wrong. The following are still drugs, and if they aren’t prescribed to you (and even if they are prescribed to you), taking them incorrectly can have disastrous consequences.

1.) Ritalin. It’s been around for several years, but the adverse effects of it have been fairly swept under the rug. The drug affects chemical secretion in the brain as well as specific nerves that affect impulse control and hyperactivity. But you probably already knew that…I mean it is prescribed to help with ADHD. But you should know that those nerves can be permanently damaged, especially when combined with caffeine or alcohol.

2.) Adderall. Also prescribed for people with ADHD, Adderall kicks things up a notch. It’s a sister drug of speed, and is also prescribed to people with Narcolepsy. Adderall, however, is much more dangerous. It can be easily abused and is quite addictive, with withdrawal side effects including depression, aggressive behavior, mania, and even psychosis, heart attack and death. So no, it’s not worth it to pass a final exam.


No sharing. You’d think that borrowing your roommate’s prescription might be harmless, but there are much bigger risks than you might realize. For example, I found out I have a heart condition my sophomore year of college. Had I tried taking Adderall or Ritalin during my freshman year, the results could have been catastrophic. Of course if I had gotten a prescription myself, my heart condition would’ve been taken into account. At the least, the dosage at least would’ve been adjusted.

And let’s not forget, that sharing prescription drugs is illegal; both for you to take and for your roommate to share with you (or sell, as is more likely the case).

Keep in mind that both of these drugs are not meant to increase one’s intelligence. All they do is delay the onset of sleep, allowing someone to stay up for hours on end cramming for exams and writing research papers. Of course, along with the side effects of the drugs themselves, are also the side effects of sleep deprivation, including increased anxiety and the inability to focus (the very problems the drug is supposed to fix). In fact, in terms of reaction time and decision making skills, a sleepless person can be compared to an individual who has an alcohol consumption above the legal limit.

So just don’t. Please get some sleep and develop some time management skills before turning to either one of these drugs for help. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012 Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Remind you of anyone? 

How excited are you to see your family this Christmas?

(Source: envyadams)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 Thursday, November 15, 2012


Stairs don’t just have to be stairs, they can be works of art too! What way would you decorate your stairs if you had the option?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Too tiny for you?

It’s tiny, but we think as long as you have some kind of common room it really doesn’t matter too much how small your dorm is. And besides, with a room this small there’s no space for a roommate ;) 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012