If you’re anything like me, you love spending time outdoors when the weather is warm. My mom and I have a flower farm where we raise garden roses. I spent the majority of the winter pruning roses in 40 degree weather, which wasn’t much fun! With spring-like weather upon us, I must say working in the yard is much more bearable.
It’s no secret yard work can be tough. You want to ensure you have the right tools to ensure you do the job properly and without putting too much strain on your body! Another thing that’s important to me is making sure that the products I use are good for the environment.
This week, The Money Pit co-host and home improvement expert, Tom Kraeutler joined me for an interview to share simple ways we can make our outdoor living spaces look their best all while being as green as possible. He dished on an amazing new appliance that will tell you how much energy you’re using, a simple way you can mow your lawn easily and effortlessly, his favorite pressure washer, and a green cleaning product that you can use on everything from your refrigerator to your clothing!
Please be sure to watch the video below for more details, and so you can watch Tom Kraeutler demonstrate how to use the products he mentioned. I made sure and transcribed the interview, so you can read it at your convenience.
Tom Kraeutler Shares 4 Best Green Spring Home Improvement Tips
Watch home improvement expert, Tom Kraeutler share his four best green spring home improvement tips and products with journalist and blogger, Candace Rose Anderson of the website Candie Anderson.
How To Mow Your Lawn Easily and Effortlessly This Season
Candie Anderson: Winter 2018-2019 was tough on many people across the country, especially on their homes and yards. Can you share any fast fix-ups and where we should start?
Tom Kraeutler: “Let’s start by talking about your lawn, Candace. Right now they’re getting green and beautiful. We love that but pretty soon you’re going to have to yank out the gas powered mowers which are heavy and hard to use and a lot of hassle. I have a better option!
This is brand new from RYOBI. It’s the 40 volt lithium SMART-TREK mower (please see video above). It has an intelligent brushless mower. It uses a 40 volt 6 Ah battery. It starts with a push of a button. It’s very quiet and certainly none of the gas or fumes associated with a normal gas powered mower or the maintenance.
Some of the features include SMART-TREK. SMART-TREK is a self-propelled technology that matches your pace, so it makes mowing as easy as taking a walk. You don’t have to keep up with the mower, the mower keeps up with you.
You have the bagger design which is fantastic. It’s so easy to lift it off the mower and drop it right back on to use it. The other thing I love is this entire mower is very large and takes up a lot of floor space, and it all collapses down because of the telescopic handles. You can store it horizontally or vertically between cuts or between seasons.”
How To Be Green Without Breaking The Bank
Candie Anderson: We all want to be mindful of the environment. Is it possible to be green without breaking the bank?
Tom Kraeutler: “If you think about it, most of us have over a dozen cleaning products in the house between the bath, the kitchen and the laundry and so on. I’m going to suggest you replace those with one – Simple Green. It’s a simple cleaner that works on hundreds of surfaces. It doesn’t hurt you, it doesn’t hurt the environment. It’s non-toxic and biodegradable, and can handle tough dirt and grime without harsh chemicals.
I love the fact that it’s sold as a concentrate. This gallon bottle of Simple Green – you can dilute this with water to make 10 gallons of all-purpose cleaner or 30 gallons for surfaces like counter tops and cabinets and doors. It’s a cleaner and degreaser concentrate; safe for use on virtually any washable surface from walls and floors to furniture, upholstery and even clothing. You do not need to buy multiple cleaning products. It even deodorizes. It comes in original, as well as lavender and lemon.”
How To Be Green And Cut Down On Electric Bills
Tom Kraeutler: “Now if you want to be green and cut down on high electric bills, the Sense Home Energy Monitor is the single best way I have found in my home to reduce my electric bill. It’s like a fitness tracker for your house. It tells you what’s on and what’s off; how much energy it’s using in real-time. It installs very easily in your home’s electric panel and then it goes to work to identify many individual devices by their energy signatures. I think of that as a fingerprint. It can tell the difference between say a refrigerator and your microwave oven, your furnace and your air conditioning and so on.
If you’ve ever wondered where your energy guzzlers are, Sense can tell you by day, by week, by month including the cost to operate every appliance. You can set goals and make your house efficient, safer and even spot unusual activity like a refrigerator that never shuts off or a sump pump that’s always running because you had a broken water heater. You can figure out basically where it is and what it’s doing with the Sense Home Energy Montior. It’s available on Amazon and at GetSense.com.”
Candie Anderson: How about time of the day? One of the energy companies where I live is increasing the energy costs between 5 – 8 pm.
Tom Kraeutler: “That’s another great example of what Sense can do. In my house for example I was showing one of my friends this morning – I had coffee at 5:15 this morning. I know that because it told me what time I had the coffee, how much power I was using and what it cost. You can do trend reports and figure out for many appliances exactly what power it’s using and when it’s using it. With that information you can curtail those hours when energy is more expensive because you have the tiered plans. You use less of it later when it’s less expensive. It’s nice to have that level of technology and information to make those decisions with. You’ll really be amazed at the technology and the functions of this particular product.”
How To Make Your Yard Look Its Best
Candie Anderson: With spring-like weather upon us in Northern California, we all want to spend as much time as possible outside. How can we make our outdoor living spaces look their best?
Tom Kraeutler: “One tool does it all for me, and that’s the pressure washer. I love pressure washers, they’re fun to use and they do a great job. This is brand new from Greenworks, it’s the 2300 PSI brushless pressure washer. It’s electric. It combines power and technology, convenience for very effective cleaning. It has some cool technology – first it’s called smartflow, it’s a water pressure sensing technology. It adjusts the amount of water based on the job so you have just the perfect amount of water you need at up to 2.3 gallons per minute. It also has a 25 foot kink resistant hose that is not going to wear out and has jet flow technology which responds again to the job at hand by delivering up to 50% more power. That’s going to help you reach more areas and rinse more. The brushless motor technology gives you added torque and tenacity, so that really helps you take on those tough jobs (please watch the video above to see how it functions).”
Where To Find More Information
Candie Anderson: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Tom Kraeutler: “If you go to our website MoneyPit.com, we’ve got posts on all of these products. We’ve got lots of tips and advice on spring home improvement projects – things you might want to think about doing right now to be ready for the season ahead – everything from planting gardens to replacing roofs.”
Discover more interviews in our interview section: https://candieanderson.com/celebrity_interviews