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Heather Levin
Heather Levin is a freelance writer based in Detroit, MI. She's passionately committed to living green, saving money, and helping others do the same in their life.

Xeriscape Landscaping Ideas & Sustainable Gardening Tips to Conserve Water

By Heather Levin

xeriscaping yardDid you know that according to NASA’s investigation of satellite images, the U.S. grows enough residential grass to equal the state of New York? That’s 53,000 square miles…of grass.

The water all this grass requires to stay alive is astronomical. One-third of all residential water use is dumped on the lawn, where it picks up any pesticides and fertilizers you’ve laid down and then trickles down into your local watershed.

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How to Sell on Etsy – Set Up a Shop Selling Jewelry, Crafts, Baby Items, Art & More

By Heather Levin

handmade jewelryIf you’re an artist, jeweler, soap maker, knitter, baker, or you simply have a house full of vintage items, then you might be in a perfect position to start your own business on Etsy.

If you’ve never heard of Etsy, you’re in for a treat. Etsy is a lovely online marketplace designed exclusively for people selling handmade and vintage items. The site allows people from all over the world to sell their homemade goods, and anyone, from stay at home moms to well-respected gallery artists, can create an account to sell their work.

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11 Ways to Reduce and Save Money on Utility Bills

By Heather Levin

utility bills moneyIt is common for many families to stare dejectedly at $200, $300, $400, and sometimes even $500 in utility bills every month. That can be an especially hard pill to swallow when times are tight – especially with gas prices rising.

This issue hits close to home for me as well. My dad lives in Lousiana, and his monthly bill is an astonishing $430 per month. And, that’s living in the Sunny South!

So what can you do to reduce your utility bill without being forced to move? Well, according to Energy Star, half of all the energy we use in our homes goes toward heating and cooling. A significant amount goes towards water as well.

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What is Witch Hazel – 10 Amazing Uses & Benefits

By Heather Levin

witch hazelIf you’ve never heard of witch hazel, you’re in for a treat. Why? Because this natural astringent is not only awesome for your skin, but it has plenty of other amazing uses as well.

First of all, let’s take a closer look at witch hazel itself.

Witch hazel, also known as winterbloom or spotted alder, is actually a flowering shrub common in North America. The leaves, bark, and twigs of witch hazel are high in tannins. Tannins are found in any natural astringent because of their ability to tighten, dry and harden tissues. The witch hazel water you can buy for $2 at any any drugstore is actually a steam distillation of the bark, leaves, and twigs of the shrub itself.

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7 Common Items That Should Never Be Flushed – Prevent Clogged Toilet

By Heather Levin

toilet plunger cloggedThere’s a pretty popular TV commercial that’s been on lately for a well-known toilet maker. In the commercial, a guy sees a very pretty female plumber going into his neighbor’s house to fix a problem. Obsessed with the fact that he want this girl over to fix his pipes, he starts flushing everything he can down his toilet to clog it up.

Diapers, toys, and even entire plants are flushed down the toilet. Miraculously, the thing never clogs. If you’re interested, the video is embedded at the end of this article.

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How to Naturally Wash Your Car and Clean the Interior & Upholstery

By Heather Levin

car wash waterNow that winter is (hopefully) almost over, chances are that your car is looking a bit worse for wear. If yours is anything like mine, there are salt stains on the hood and doors, the windows are grimy, the inside is crusty with salt and sand from winter boots, and there might be quite a bit of trash and clutter scattered around.

I haven’t cleaned my car all winter because it’s simply been too cold here in the Midwest. But now? The sun is out, and the air is just warm enough to haul out the vacuum without risking hypothermia.

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Body Language Explained – What’s Your Body REALLY Saying?

By Heather Levin

body languageSo, you’ve just sat down for a job interview that you’re really nervous about. Unconsciously, you start jiggling your leg just a bit. You tidy your hair, shift in your seat, cross your arms in front of your body and shift your body weight to the right, leaning more on one side.

One look at you and your interviewer is going to know you’re putting up a front. Why?

Because although you might want to present a positive, confident image, your body language is telling everyone that you’re nervous, maybe even scared. Your body language can be the root cause for an unsuccessful job interview.

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Portion Distortion – How to Control Food Portion Sizes & Fix Obesity Statistics in America

By Heather Levin

burger fries drinkYou’ve just walked in to your favorite fast food place. You ordered your standard Value Meal #4: hamburger with cheese, french fries, and drink.

When your order comes out everything looks just as it should be, and you dig in. But if someone from the past had traveled in time from 1965 to eat lunch with you, their mouth would be on the floor after seeing the size of your meal. Why would they be freaking out?

Because the average fast food meal is several times the size it was even a few decades ago.

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6 Ways to Prepare for Rising Gas Prices – $5 Per Gallon Gas Coming Soon?

By Heather Levin

gas pump car moneyIf you missed the NPR feature with former Shell Oil president Jon Hofmeister, then you might not have heard his prediction that we could be facing $5 per gallon gas here in the U.S. The story was also featured on major news outlets like Fox News, CNN and NBC News.

I know, it’s enough to make your eyes glaze over. All of us can still remember how tough it was in 2008, when a gallon of gas hit $4 (at least, it did here in Michigan).

So what’s going to happen if the experts are right, and we really do see $5 per gallon gas?

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7 Amazing Olive Oil Benefits and Uses For Hair, Skin, Face & More

By Heather Levin

olive oil jarI have a ridiculous amount of olive oil in my house. To me, olive oil is like baking soda and vinegar: one of those wonder products I can’t live without.

I use olive oil with abandon in the kitchen (especially since it’s delicious, and healthy for your heart too) but I also use it in several other rooms in the house on a regular basis.

To do what, you ask?

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7 Ways to Maximize Your Commute Time to Work

By Heather Levin

commute book readingAccording to Time Magazine, most Americans spend an hour a day commuting to and from work. When traffic is bad, however, you could end up sitting in the car for much longer. And in some parts of the country, such as West Virginia, New York and California, there are extreme commuters: people who spend three or four hours a day (or more) commuting.

That’s a lot of time. It’s time you could be using to do something to invest in yourself, start a business, or simply relax. Yes, I did just use the word relax when referring to commuting.

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How to Detect, Test For, and Get Rid of Mold In Your Home – Beware of Mold Exposure Symptoms

By Heather Levin

moldy brick wallThanks to the efforts many Americans have been making to tighten up their homes and appliances, homes are more energy efficient than ever. Not only does this movement benefit the environment, but it also benefits people’s pocketbooks as well.

However, there’s one gray lining to this silver cloud: ultra-sealed, environmentally friendly homes are seeing an increase in mold.

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Sick at Work? How to Prevent Germs From Spreading in Your Office Cubicle & Desk

By Heather Levin

germs in cubicleHave you ever given much thought to your cubicle at work? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably “no.” You go to work, do your thing, and then come home.

Well, that desk you sit at and eat at every day is probably one of the germiest, dirtiest things you come into contact with on a regular basis. Think I’m kidding? According to Discovery Health, the average desk contains about 400 times more germs than a toilet seat.

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Top 4 Free Music Listening & Sharing Websites – Save Money Downloading Music

By Heather Levin

woman music downloadsRemember the good ol’ days when you could download any song from any band for free on Napster? Those days are (sadly) gone, which is why I spent $20 in 8 minutes last week on two albums by a band that I accidentally stumbled on and immediately fell in love with (it was the Portland based, folk rock/indie band Horse Feathers, in case you’re wondering).

Now, I don’t regret the purchase. I’ve listened to these two albums obsessively since I bought them. And I love supporting small indie bands. But my monthly budget unfortunately doesn’t allow me to spend $20 every time I find a band I like.

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How to Talk to Your Parents About Making a Family Will

By Heather Levin

reading living willA few weeks ago I was talking to my dad about a friend of his who had recently passed away. The friend hadn’t left a will for his family, which included several children and step-children. As a result, the family was in a tense situation, sorting through possessions and unsure who had a right to what.

Of course, this sad story naturally led me to ask my dad if he had written a will. Suddenly, the conversation came to a screeching halt. The tension inundated the room, and he said he hadn’t gotten to it yet. Then, he quickly changed the subject.

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