Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate

Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/2/2019

Using the following simple steps, you can transform your home into a safer, healthier living space through the use of environmentally conscious household products. A ‘green’ makeover of a home can improve your family’s quality of life while reducing your carbon footprint. 

Wooden Furniture

Furniture made out of wood or other natural materials is a safer and sturdier alternative to non-renewable plastic. Insist on sustainably-harvested woods, finished in paints, oils or varnishes that are earth-conscious. This ensures all the processes are healthier for your home and the environment.

Eco-friendly lighting

Replace incandescent bulbs with LED energy-saving lights, and you’ll have you’re your bit to curb the amounts of carbon dioxide and heat emissions in the atmosphere. You will also have given Mother Earth a lot less waste to deal with as LED bulbs last much longer. Though they are pretty costly, their longevity makes them much more cost effective in the long run. 

Windows that save energy

Who wouldn’t like ample sunshine and sizable openings for better fresh air circulation? You can achieve this by installing energy-saving windows (yes, they are a thing). Then sit back and watch them transform your home into a bright, eco-friendly space. Windows made out of fiberglass, vinyl or wood are your best ‘green’ bets, with window designs such as awnings, picture windows, double-hung windows, and casement windows being the most energy-efficient. 

Decorative Plants

Decorate your interior and exterior with charming plant varieties such as chrysanthemum, snake plant, dracaena, Aloe Vera, bamboo palms, and peace lilies. 

Wool-stuffed organic materials

Think about switching out the current carpets, mattresses, pillows, bedding, along with other similar furniture with products made from wool-stuffed organic materials. These products protect against bed and dust mites that cause asthma and allergies. 

Ecologically friendly wall paint

When painting walls, pay attention to the paint’s contents, before being overawed by its aesthetic effect. Materials and chemicals contained in some paints, otherwise known as VOCs or volatile organic compounds can cause headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Insist on natural paints created from plant oils along with various other extracts that contain little to no VOCs.

Roofs featuring solar panels

Solar panels do not create waste or emissions and are therefore expected on any ‘green’ home. They instead create reusable and clean energy without combustion or excavation. Another home ‘greening’ solution includes geothermal energy products and wind turbines, which are cost-effective in the long run through advantageous subsidies and tax credits.

Find out more about the benefits of green building from the EPA. If you want your next home to be green, make sure your realtor knows just how off-the-grid you are looking.

Posted by Thomas Murphy on 10/9/2016

Who doesn't love a fresh smelling carpet? Carpet cleaners can contain lots of unknown chemicals and can really do a job on your wallet. Here are a few recipes for homemade carpet freshener.   Recipe #1 Ingredients: 1 cup crushed dried herbs. Use any herbs you like (rosemary, southernwood, or lavender) 1 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons baking soda 1. Combine all the ingredients in a large jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid. 2. Shake well to blend. 3. Sprinkle some of the mixture on your carpet, let it sit for an hour or so, and then vacuum.   Recipe #2 Ingredients: 2 cups baking soda Essential oil (pick your favorite scent) 2 cups lavender, buds 2 cups rosemary 1. Put 2 cups of baking soda in a glass or ceramic bowl; with the back of a metal spoon get rid of the lumps. 2. Add the essential oil (approximately 20 drops) and mix. 3. Add the lavender and rosemary, mix and then put in a plastic bag or glass container. 4 Let it sit for 2-3 days so the oil can be absorbed into the baking soda (the oil can stain the carpet if it is wet). 5. Sprinkle desired amount on the carpet, leave for a few hours then vacuum.

Posted by Thomas Murphy on 12/6/2015

There are many ecologically friendly cleaning products available in stores today, however, they can do a number on your wallet. There are great alternatives to these costly store-bought items that you can make in your own kitchen. Orange peels for instance, are an inexpensive and powerful base for an effective all-purpose cleaner. Here is a recipe for an orange peel cleaner: Things You Need:

  • 1 dozen oranges
  • Baking soda
  • 24-oz. or larger glass jar
  • 1 pint white vinegar
  • Strainer
  • Pitcher
  • Spray bottle
  • 1. Scrub a dozen oranges with a solution of 1 part baking soda to 3 parts water to remove pesticides and any trace chemicals. 2. Rinse the oranges thoroughly. 3. Peel the cleaned oranges. 3. Put the orange peels in a clean glass jar, and cover them with the white vinegar. 4. Cap the jar tightly. 5. Allow the mixture to rest in a cool dark place for at least one month. 6. Shake the vinegar concoction vigorously, and strain off the liquid into a pitcher or other wide-mouth, easy-to-pour container. 7. Dilute the mixture with 1/2 cup water; shake or stir again, and strain the cleaner into a spray bottle for convenient use. Note: Lemon and lime peels can also be used with the orange peels.  

    Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/3/2015

    Are you tired of spending so much money on things like furniture polish? Do you want to free your home from harmful chemicals? You can be frugal and live green by making your own furniture polish. Here are three recipes for making your own homemade furniture polish: Recipe I Ingredients: 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice 1 tablespoon boiled linseed oil 1 tablespoon turpentine 1. Combine the ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until blended. 2. Dampen a cloth with cold water and wring it out until it's dry. 3. Saturate the cloth with the mixture and apply sparingly to a small area at a time. 4. Let dry for about 30 minutes, then polish with a soft cloth. This mixture gets gummy as it sits, so make just enough for one day's work.   Recipe II Ingredients: White vinegar   Lemon juice 1. Combine equal parts white vinegar and lemon juice in a bowl or spray bottle. 2. Use a clean cloth to rub a small amount of the polish into your furniture. 3. Wipe dry with another cloth.   Recipe III Ingredients: 1 cup olive oil 1/2 cup lemon juice 1. Combine olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl or spray bottle. 2. Use a clean cloth to rub a small amount of the polish into your furniture. 3. Wipe dry with another cloth.  

    Posted by Thomas Murphy on 7/6/2014

    Baking soda is not just for baking. It has many uses in your home from removing stains to treating burns and bites. Here are some great tips for home uses of baking soda: Just one-teaspoon baking soda to one quart of warm water will clean your refrigerator. Unclog your drain with a cup of baking soda. Pour it into the opening of your drain and then add a cup of hot vinegar. Wait a few minutes, flush the drain with a quart of boiling water. Keep the pests out of your home by laying down barrier of baking soda under sink-pipe openings and along basement windows. Relieve sunburned or itchy skin by adding baking soda to your bath water. A paste of baking soda and water applied to a burn or an insect bite will provide relief. Clean your toothbrush by soaking it in baking soda and warm water overnight. A paste of baking soda and water will remove stains from your coffee and tea cups, and red sauce stains from plastic containers. Post your own baking soda tips below.