Cork, once thought of as the material of dartboards and wine stoppers, has become increasingly popular for its warm, natural, DIY-appeal, its eco-friendly cred and its industrial utility. From high fashion to eco flooring and space-age technology, cork is now being used in many surprising ways.
What is cork? Cork, interestingly enough, is a vegetable tissue harvested from the bark of cork oak trees found primarily in Mediterranean regions – most notably Portugal.
It takes 25 years for cork oak trunks to start to produce cork. Cork harvesting is a highly specialized process done by skilled “debarkers” to preserve the health of the trees. The first stripping of a cork oak produces a cork of irregular quality referred to as “virgin cork,” which is used in a variety of commercial applications, but not suitable for cork stopper manufacture. (Cork stopper production is guided by strict guidelines defined by the International Cork Stopper Manufacturing Practice.)
Cork can be harvested from a cork oak every nine years, but cork suitable for the production of quality cork stopper (with a regular structure that is smooth inside and out) is only produced from the third harvest on [via APCOR].
Day 4 of 31 Days, 31 Ways to Get Organized: In many new kitchens, upper cabinets don’t reach all the way to the ceiling, but you can still use that gap for storage. Use baskets or bins to store large, seldom-used appliances like ice cream makers or bread makers, or seasonal tablecloths and napkins.
Watch this video for lots of ideas on how to organize your home.
Learn how to transform your space from cluttered to clean and organized in just three simple steps – elimination, organization and storage. You’ll also learn little tips to make the job easier like the most efficient way to organize your clothes and ways to categorize all that stuff! Don’t forget to check out homedepot.com for containers, shelving, storage systems, and everything else you need to get organized. And you can also visit The Home Depot How-To Community Forum for advice from expert associates.
Day 3 of 31 Days, 31 Ways to Get Organized: When you open the cabinet under sink, do all the cleaning bottles and sponges fall out? Make more floor space in the cabinet by hanging spray bottles from a tension rod. It’ll keep them neat and free up space for other important items.
Day #2 Tip of 31 Days, 31 Ways to Get Organized: Add extra storage to your kitchen or pantry with a chrome shelving unit. Outfitted with clear containers filled with your kitchen staples, it looks organized and adds an industrial look.
Once the holidays are over, give or take a bowl game or two, it’s time to take down the decorations and bid a fond farewell to the tree that created so much Christmas spirit in your home. How about letting your natural tree provide one more useful service by recycling it instead of sending it to a landfill?
There are tree recycling or mulching projects in communities across the U.S. Often the local sanitation department or public works department will shred the tree to provide mulch for your garden or for city parks. Depending on your area, the chipped trees can be used to renew hiking paths or to create soil erosion barriers along lake shores.
The Home Depot offers Christmas tree recycling in select areas; call your local store to find out if it is participating. You can also check for local tree recycling (or other types of recycling) at Earth911. Look for “recycling search” near the top of the page, search “Christmas tree” and plug in your ZIP code.
Here’s to a happy and healthy new year… and to making good use of our former Christmas trees.
Most of us have at least a few pieces of outdoor power equipment in our power tool arsenal to help us take care of our home and yard, but what do you do with yours after the fall growing season is over? Do you just pull them into your garage or shed and let them sit until spring?
Here are seven key maintenance tips to consider that will help you extend the life of your outdoor power equipment all year round:
1. Drain the gasoline and oil out of each outdoor power tool at the end of the fall growing season. Fuel that is older than 30 days can develop moisture and lead to gum deposits in the engine, carburetor or fuel line. When spring rolls around and the growing season begins, fill with fresh gas and oil.
A new year brings with it the promise of a fresh start. This year, disorganization is out, and clean, clutter-free spaces are in, and with 31 Days, 31 Ways, we plan to offer you solutions for those jumbled closets, kitchen cabinets in disarray, and under-the-bed junk. Some of these tips are tried-and-true organization best practices, and others are clever ideas from our friends all over the web. Follow 31 Days, 31 Ways to Get Organized, and let’s kick off the new year in clean, mess-free bliss!
Wrapping Christmas ornaments in newspaper or tissue paper is the most popular method for packing up ornaments come January, but it isn’t the fastest or the most full-proof. One ornament inevitably winds up crushed at the bottom of the heap, or a cardboard box gets gets smashed or damaged. Try something new this year. Rather than wrapping your ornaments in newspaper, try storing them in plastic cups attached to cardboard à la Martha Stewart.
Martha Stewart’s instructions are to hot glue plastic cups to a piece of cardboard to create individual cubbies for each ornament. Stack the cardboard layers in a plastic box, and label the box at the top, “Christmas Ornaments.”
As we mentioned in our post Learn How to Maintain My Thermostat, air conditioners and heating systems are some of the highest energy drainers in our homes. Even though the latest technological advances have decreased the amount of energy required to run our heating and cooling systems, there are several do-it-yourself steps you can take to help get more mileage out of your HVAC system and save on energy costs.
Upgrading to a new programmable thermostat is the next step in saving some real dough.
Estimates on energy cost savings when using a programmable thermostat range from 7-40 percent. Most experts agree that a household can save an average of 20-30 percent off their energy bills, depending on region and climate.
The Home Depot carries a large selection of programmable thermostats with such features at various price points.