Harnessing Texas Sun and Style: Eco-Friendly and Energy-Efficient Roofs for the Lone Star State

Metal Roof for Texas

Texas, known for its sprawling landscapes and intense climate, is also a state that’s increasingly conscious about sustainable living. In the heart of such environmental and weather extremities, the roof over your head plays a pivotal role in your home’s energy efficiency and ecological impact. Here’s a roundup of the most eco-friendly and energy-efficient types of roofs tailored for Texas homeowners.

Cool Roofs: Beating the Texas Heat

The concept of cool roofs is simple: they reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. In the Texan summer, a cool roof can make your home more comfortable by reducing heat transfer into the building, minimizing the strain on your air conditioning, and thereby cutting energy usage.

Materials: Cool roofs can be made of highly reflective types of paint, a sheet covering, or highly reflective tiles or shingles.

Ideal for Texas because: They significantly lower roof temperatures during hot summer months, leading to decreased energy costs and increased indoor comfort.

Green Roofs: A Living Canopy

Green roofs, also known as living roofs, are covered with vegetation over a waterproofing membrane. They are excellent insulators, reduce stormwater runoff, and help combat the urban heat island effect.

Materials: A standard green roof includes a layer of vegetation, a growing medium, a filter membrane, and a drainage layer.

Ideal for Texas because: They provide much-needed green space in urban settings and help insulate buildings from the intense Texas sun, leading to energy savings and improved air quality.

Solar Roofs: Harnessing the Power of the Texas Sun

Solar roofs are designed to generate electricity by integrating solar panels directly into the roofing material. Texas, being one of the sunniest states, offers the perfect opportunity to capitalize on solar energy.

Materials: Solar shingles or tiles, which function both as traditional roofing and as a solar PV system.

Ideal for Texas because: They reduce dependence on fossil fuel energy, harnessing the state’s abundant sunlight to power homes in an eco-friendly manner.

Metal Roofs: Durable and Reflective

Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25%. They are durable, recyclable, and can be made from a high percentage of recycled material.

Materials: Typically made from steel, aluminum, or copper.

Ideal for Texas because: Metal roofs withstand severe weather conditions and are excellent for rainwater harvesting, an added benefit in drought-prone areas.

Slate and Clay Tiles: Timeless and Sustainable

Slate and clay tiles are natural materials that have a lower environmental impact over their lifecycle. They are extremely durable, have a natural ability to regulate indoor temperatures, and can be recycled at the end of their lifespan.

Materials: Natural slate or terracotta clay.

Ideal for Texas because: They offer a classic aesthetic that matches many Texan architectural styles and provide exceptional longevity and fire resistance.

Reflective Roof Coatings: The Upgrade Option

For those not ready to replace an entire roof, reflective coatings can be applied to existing roof materials to increase their reflective properties.

Materials: Specialized coatings made with reflective pigments.

Ideal for Texas because: They can extend the life of your current roof and improve its solar reflectance and thermal emittance.


For Texas homeowners, the choice of roofing is critical not just for aesthetics but for comfort, cost savings, and environmental stewardship. Whether you opt for cool metal, lush greenery, innovative solar tiles, timeless slate, or an upgrade with reflective coatings, the best roof is one that aligns with your ecological values while standing up to the Lone Star State’s challenging climate. Embrace these eco-friendly and energy-efficient roofing options to protect your home and the environment—one shingle, tile, or plant at a time.

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How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

Donate to a garage sale

Donating your unwanted items to a garage sale is a great way to make money. Many people use garage sales as fundraisers for charities. These sales usually take place at private residences and allow people to purchase items such as clothing, household items, and furniture. However, you must know that your items must be sellable. Items that are too worn or broken will not be accepted. Large pieces of furniture and books will not be accepted.

Some popular garage sale items are garden tools, toys, and games. People often buy used garden tools and fix them up. Toys can also make a great donation. You can sell unused toys and games that your children have outgrown. Just make sure to check them for functionality and clean them thoroughly. Antique and vintage toys are especially in demand. Compile all the reusable items you have in a garage or room in your house and donate them to a local sale or Goodwill. If you’re doing a house or garage cleanout, this can be a great way to reuse and recycle. It can also be helpful to use junk removal services or a roll-off to get rid of items that can’t be reused. For example, if you’re in Akron and need to rent a dumpster, a local waste management company would be a great way avoid back-and-forth trips to the dump after you’ve tried selling and donating everything you have.

Create large and colorful signs to direct people to your garage sale

Garage sale signs are a great way to attract attention to your yard sale. They help people find your items without having to walk around your yard. You can even create directional signs in pink, which are great for attracting younger buyers. Make sure your sign is large enough so people can read it without walking into your yard.

You can use a variety of different signs to direct people to your garage sale. For example, you could create a large sign that includes arrows directing people to your sale. Moreover, you can make a colorful one that clearly marks the date of your garage sale. It would be best if you have another person nearby to check on the signs and make sure that they are placed in a visible location.

Advertise your garage sale on Craigslist

The Craigslist website is an excellent place to advertise your garage sale. It offers free online classified ads that are broken down by country and city. You can create an account or post an ad without one. Craigslist allows you to search for similar garage sale ads in your area and make any changes based on what you find. To post your ad on Craigslist, simply click the “Post to Classifieds” link in the upper left corner of the page and fill out the form.

Then, enter the information about your garage sale in the appropriate category. Remember to include a picture if possible. This will draw potential buyers to your garage sale. A photo can also catch the attention of shoppers who browse the site based on what they see.

Price your garage sale items

If you’re having a garage sale, it’s important to know how to price your items for a successful sale. People love to score a bargain, and they aren’t shy about haggling over prices. Make sure that you label each item with a descriptive tag, and don’t price too high.

Prices should never exceed ten percent of the retail price. That means, for instance, you shouldn’t charge more than $2 for a $20 product. However, you can charge more if your product is of higher quality. If you’re selling a high-end item, consider charging up to 20 percent of its retail price. This blanket rule will help you keep your prices reasonable, while still attracting potential buyers.

If you’re having a garage sale, you should consider pricing each item for its resale value. You can use price tags or stickers to display prices. For more visibility, use colored stickers. Also, use large tags for items that are more expensive.

Plan for after-sale pickup

To prevent people from leaving empty-handed after your garage sale, make sure that you plan ahead. Make sure that you have a staging area that is low-traffic and ground level, and that you categorize items according to their price. You can also group items into general categories, such as clothes, home goods, toys, and so on. Before your garage sale, make an inventory of all of the items you plan to sell.

Make sure you have plenty of bags and boxes to take items home in. Also, remember to keep things neat and organized. You can rearrange them later as items sell. You can also group similar items together, so that people can find them more easily. Kids can also set up a lemonade, coffee, or hot-coffee stand to make a little extra cash.





Benefits of an Artificial Lawn

Benefits of an Artificial Lawn

benefits of an artificial lawn

One of the biggest benefits of an artificial lawn is that it is low maintenance. You can avoid worrying about watering and mowing your lawn, which can take up a lot of your time. You can also forget about puddles that can form after a heavy rain, which is an attractive habitat for mosquitoes. An artificial lawn also has a built-in drainage system, so you can avoid these problems as well.

One of the biggest benefits of an artificial lawn is that it is easy to maintain. Unlike a traditional lawn, an artificial one doesn’t require mowing or weed-whacking. All you need to do is sweep it regularly and weed it out occasionally. You also don’t have to spend a lot of water to keep it looking great. Furthermore, a well-maintained artificial lawn doesn’t produce mud.

Another benefit is that it doesn’t need any maintenance. Unlike natural lawns, artificial lawns require very little care. Unlike natural lawns, these don’t need any fertilizers or pesticides to stay healthy. This is a significant benefit, especially if you have kids or pets. You can also be assured that weeds won’t destroy your beautiful lawn. Then there’s the cost savings.

Another benefit is that an artificial lawn is much easier to maintain. You won’t have to worry about weeds or grass cutting. You won’t have to rake the grass. You don’t have to weed the yard and keep the hoses running. You’ll also save on water as you won’t have to worry about it absorbing water from the ground. You won’t have to deal with this problem with an artificial lawn.

Another advantage of an artificial lawn is that you’ll save a lot of water. You’ll save around 22,000 gallons of water a year. In addition to saving on your water bill, some local authorities offer incentives to homeowners who use their water savings for home improvements. Plus, you’ll get the beautiful look of a freshly-cut lawn year-round. You’ll be glad you did! The K&D Landscaping experts can help you decide which is the best option for your home.

When you have an artificial lawn, you won’t have to deal with lawn-care costs. You won’t need to spend any money on watering or fertilizing your grass. And you’ll save a lot of money, as the materials used to make your natural lawn look beautiful will be much more expensive. However, artificial lawns will be easier to maintain and will save you money. It’s also possible to keep up with the weather, which is one of the biggest advantages of an artificial lawn.

Lastly, an artificial lawn is cleaner than a natural lawn. You don’t have to worry about grass stains, mud, and puddles, and you don’t have to worry about pesticides. In addition, you don’t have to deal with weeds, which can be a nuisance when you’re busy. Moreover, if you’re concerned about your children’s health, artificial grasses are a good option.

Aside from being safe for your pets, artificial grass doesn’t need watering. There is no need to water your natural lawn, as it will dry up and die. It is also much cheaper than a natural lawn. This is because you won’t have to spend any time on lawn care, as it only requires minimal maintenance. If you don’t have the time, you can hire a company to do your artificial turf installation.

The long-term benefits of an artificial lawn are numerous. First and foremost, you can save money. You won’t have to spend money on watering your natural lawn. Aside from saving money, an artificial lawn also offers you the peace of mind of knowing that your lawn is always looking good. This is a major perk of an artificial lawn. It will make you happy to look at your lawn every day. You can even enjoy your garden year-round thanks to the fact that the lawn doesn’t need any water.

Another benefit of an artificial lawn is that it will not require any mowing or watering. Unlike natural grass, it isn’t susceptible to droughts. So, if you live in a dry area, you’ll have to worry about watering your lawn more often. You’ll also save money on gas, since you won’t have to pay to refill your tank. An artificial lawn also requires less energy, which means that you can afford it.

How to Hire a Tree Service

How to Hire a Tree Service

How to Hire a Tree Service

If you’re considering hiring a tree service, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the best one for your needs. In order to do this, you should ask for references. While this isn’t a legal requirement, some companies do require money down before they can begin work. This is common practice for companies that use expensive supplies. You should also know that the company’s trucks and other machinery may require access to your driveway or lawn. You should also expect some minor disturbance to your yard, so make sure the crew is experienced in working in your area.

Before hiring a tree service, make sure they have the proper licenses and insurance. Moreover, the arborist should be a full-time employee of the company. A few companies may promote one arborist on their staff, but this is not enough. It’s important to hire a certified arborist. They’re likely to know the right ways to cut trees and will leave the property clean and unharmed.

Ensure the company has insurance and is licensed. Without insurance, you might be responsible for any damages the company causes to your property. Before accepting a tree service’s quote, request a copy of their insurance certificate. Providing the insurance certificate is an official method of verifying the company’s legitimacy, and you shouldn’t hire a tree service without it. If you’re not sure, you can also check their online reviews and read customer testimonials. However, don’t get carried away by low bids or deals that seem too good to be true.

Finally, you should ask for references. Although reviews online are biased, they can still provide helpful information. The best way to make sure you hire a reputable tree service is to read their previous clients’ testimonials. Besides, the company should also have a list of satisfied clients, and you should be able to contact them if you need more information. There’s no reason to risk hiring a substandard tree service.

First and foremost, you should look for a company that is licensed and insured. A tree service must be licensed and insured. If they do not have insurance, you can’t trust them. Secondly, you should consider how much you’re willing to spend for the service. Moreover, you should compare the quotes provided by different companies. Ensure that they’re affordable and offer the best quality. You should also consider the time they’ll need for the project.

Aside from obtaining a certificate of liability insurance, you should also ask for references. A certified arborist should have no problems with liability insurance. You can ask for a copy of their insurance certificates from any tree service. If you don’t receive any references, you should avoid hiring a company. In addition, ask for referrals and testimonials. Most of these companies will be happy to provide you with a list of satisfied clients.

Before hiring a tree service, you should ask around for references. Whether it’s a certified Arborist or not, the person you choose will be the one to handle your property’s safety. If a certified arborist doesn’t have the necessary certifications, you’ll have to pay for them. Secondly, you should check whether they’re insured. While hiring a tree service should be insured, it should also be able to give you a copy of their insurance certificates.

Aside from checking out the credentials of the company’s workers, you should also look for the company’s reputation. While online reviews are usually biased, you can ask for references of the company’s employees. You should also make sure that the service is insured. You should always ask if they have insurance and what type of policy it has. A reputable tree service will be happy to answer these questions and to provide you with a list of satisfied clients.

Before hiring a tree service, make sure you check the company’s insurance coverage. A professional will be able to provide you with a certificate of insurance in the event of any damages or injuries. If a tree service does not have these documents, you should move on to the next option. You should make sure that the tree service you choose is licensed before hiring them. You should ask for the references of these companies.

Great Kitchen Ideas

green feather duster

One of the most wasteful parts of any home is always the kitchen. Everything gets wasted here. Water gets wasted constantly. Food gets wasted. Paper gets wasted. Plastic wrap gets wasted. Everything gets tossed away in the hubbub of getting dinner done and the dishes washed, and in between, we all produce quite a lot of waste here. While waste is a cycle that is borne mostly out of a desire for efficiency, it can be mitigated through the use of appropriate items throughout our kitchens. Two great ways to reduce waste and be more environmentally friendly in the kitchen are:

Biobag Compostable Trash Bags

These bags are absolutely great. Not only can you use them for regular trash, but you can compost them in your compost pile just like you would compost a paper bag. The secret is what it’s made out of. The plastic here isn’t quite the same as the plastic you’ve become accustomed to over the years. Instead of the nasty, oil-based plastics we more commonly use, the Biobag Compostable Trash Bag will break down in a very short amount of time. The secret is in its chemistry. The plastic in the bag is made out of corn starches, meaning it has a much more natural rate of decay than a plastic bag.

Green Cleaning Products

There are a lot of options out there if you want to use green cleaning products. I personally like the Seventh Generation line of products, but there are a lot of choices. If you’re new to using green cleaning products, then I recommend getting a gift basket of some type that will give you the chance to see how many different environmentally-friendly cleaners work.

Bamboo Everything

bamboo stalks

There are a few different options out there for people looking to have a more sustainable lifestyle. First, you can always just use reusable things. This is probably the simplest of all things you could do, and it will probably have the most immediate effect. However, if you simply need to use something that is lightweight, and that you may be OK with tossing every now and then, then you can’t go wrong with bamboo.

Not only does bamboo look good, but it’s light and it’s very sustainable. Some types of bamboo can grow feet in just a single day, meaning that there’s even less time spent between seeding and harvesting. Not only does this mean it’s a very useful product, but it also means that it’s a much more sustainable one. After all, if resource managers can get tons of bamboo out of one spot over and over again, why would they ever need to branch out into other spots?

I specifically like this travel set on Treehugger.com if you are looking for something nice, attractive, and sustainable. The great thing about this utensil set is that it comes with a very cool carrying case, making it very easy to tote around with you wherever you go. The size of the case doesn’t seem to be very proprietary or anything, so if you ever need to replace the bamboo with metal or other bamboo utensils, then it’s going to work just as well.

In the end, this is just a cool little thing to have around. It’s simple things like this that really add up over time to make your life much more sustainable, and really that much easier to live. If you are looking for any other green living ideas, Treehugger.com is a great place to start. This is especially true if you’re looking for recycled goods or anything of that nature. Good luck!

Usable Bike Chains, Part Deux

bike chains

I’ve talked about bike chain-themed wares on this site before, but this is a really interesting take on what can be done with a chain. This bike chain picture frame by Graham Bergh is a great little piece that adds a very unique flavor to any photo and room arrangement. The greatness of the piece lies within its utilitarian, yet infinitely versatile, look. This is definitely a piece that can make people stop and take a peek, and it is a wonderful addition to any home.

First, they start off much the same as many other items of this nature. They start off as old, useless junk that most people have already written off as trash. This is where Bergh and his small team of designers come into play. They put themselves in the right place at the right time to grab the best chains they can to do a lot of different things with. Some of the chains get turned into those awesome little bottle openers I talked about a few posts ago. Others get turned into these frames. The ones that aren’t up to snuff in terms of quality are either tossed or donated to local schools that teach bike maintenance. Either way, every effort possible has been made to do something with these chains other than just dump them off.

The thing that is really great about this piece is that it invokes a certain “steampunk-esque” feel to just about any living arrangement. The patterns of the chain are delicate, and they contrast with the brute strength of the steel chain, making for a very interesting melding of form and function. This is also great for the frame since it means that it is very abrasion resistant, meaning you won’t have to worry about messing the frame up until it’s busted beyond repair.

There are a lot of great ways to make your home much more eco-friendly without really going to that much trouble. The simplest ways are always the best ways, and it doesn’t get a whole lot simpler than just intercepting something on its way to the dump.

Vinyl Record Bowls: Blasphemy or Awesomemy?

vinyl record

There are a lot of different things that people do to turn old, useless junk into something usable. Not only is this great for the environment, but it is also a great way to create useful, kitschy stuff for around your home that says something about you. Sort of like the Vinyl Record bowl by Modern Artisans. For the music lover in your life, this is a great way to give a great eco-friendly gift that says something about them.

Or go ahead and buy it for yourself. I’m sure you’ve earned it. Whatever you do, there’s no doubt that you’ll be impressed by this thing. I’m not entirely sure how they force it to keep its “vinyl” look despite being warped like this, but it’s still pretty cool despite that. That’s really the great thing about these bowls that makes them really stand out. They still “look” like vinyl records, just warped into a bowl. It’s like you’re really eating off of a record of Buddy Hackett’s greatest hits… and maybe you are.

The bowls come in a number of genres as well. So if you’re a metalhead at heart, you can eat your mead and gruel off of an old UFO. If I could find a Rush album among the mix of bowls these guys sell, I can just about guarantee I would get it. It’s cool that you get that much control over what the bowl looks like, and it’s another way that a music lover can really tailor these bowls to say something about who they are and the role of music in his or her life.

Either way, it’s a great way to reuse something that would just go in a heap of trash outside the city limits anyway. As has been said time and time again, reusing is always better than buying new, and generally better than recycling. In fact, it’s the ULTIMATE form of recycling in that you’re cutting out the middle man and just using the thing itself instead of just the material.

Buying Recycled Products: Awesome Eco

recycling symbol

I’m a huge fan of recycling glass for a number of reasons. Mostly, it’s because I’m a huge fan of going barefoot and nothing ruins your day more than some carelessly strewn glass interacting with your foot. However, it’s also because it’s one of the most widely used materials on Earth, and it often simply winds up being dumped into a junkyard once people are done with it. This is especially true with windshields, windows for buildings, and stuff like that.

This is why I love these recycled beer glasses so much. First, I love me some beer. Second, they are made out of 100% recycled glass. They even retain some of the hues that was imbued within the glass originally to keep out sun glare. Don’t worry, there are no harsh chemicals in the glass that could leech into your drink, but it does give them a really interesting look. Each one of these glasses is completely hand made, and no two of them look identical. Since I’ve never understood this obsession that some people have with all of their stuff looking the exact same, this is really great for me. It gives your kitchen some character when you have stuff in it that varies a little. Maybe that’s just me.

This is the time of year when you can make bad decisions or good decisions in epic proportions. At no other time of year do people spend so much money all at once. Due to this, it’s important that we all dedicate our purchases during this time of year to the most responsible items we can. It’s important to take advantage of the massive saturation provided by the temporary acceptance of “shopaholism” that happens during the Christmas season. Things like this are a great way to do that.

There are a lot of different products out there that are made out of entirely recycled materials. Since the best way to be environmentally conscious is to recycle/reduce/reuse, these really are the top of the line in terms of eco-friendly gifts. There will be more of these types of gifts coming up in future posts.

Portable Solar-Powered Insect Killer

solar powered insect killer

Created by Gotcha, the Solar Powered Insect Killer is a simple and portable little device that would be perfect for any outdoor activities. Sitting around outside when the mosquitoes are out is perhaps one of the most uncomfortable things imaginable. Plus, since there is no need for batteries or to keep the device plugged in, you can take it anywhere. As long as it has been left in the direct sunlight for several hours, the fully charged unit will continue to operate for about 5 hours. That means up to 5 hours of enjoying the night, comfortable and insect-free.

This Solar Powered Insect Killer works by attracting the insects and bugs to the extra bright LEDs. And just like the classic insect killer, the bugs are drawn closer and closer to the light until they are zapped by the high voltage grid that surrounds it. All the power for the LED light and the high voltage grid is created by the two mounted solar panels and stored in a rechargeable battery. For even more convenience, the unit switches from solar powered to running off the battery automatically when the sun goes down, so you don’t even need to think about it. The special LED light attracts mosquitos, midges, and biting flies into a high voltage grid. The pests are killed instantly. The built-in handle and included stand make the Solar Powered Insect Killer an easy and portable device that will greatly improve people’s enjoyment of the outdoors.