Innovative solutions for creating healthy, efficient, eco-friendly homes

January 2003

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Now You Can Paint With Plastic

Now You Can Paint Your Plastic If you've ever tried to touch-up your faded plastic resin lawn furniture or wanted to change the color of a planter or mailbox, you were almost certainly disappointed. Those items had to be sanded and primed first, and even then the finish coat often peeled off in sheets.

Stop Guessing About Filter Changes

Even the most attentive homeowner could use a little help remembering to perform routine maintenance and upkeep. Changing the A/C and furnace filters, for instance, are important tasks that can easily slip your mind. But if you attach the FilterTone dirty-filter alarm to your air filters, you'll hear a pleasant tone when it's time for a change. As dirt builds up in air filters, it produces an increase in pressure that triggers the tone.

Japanese Toilets Flush With Features

The Japanese high-tech market does not just focus on autos, robotics and electronics; they make some pretty darn fancy toilets, too. Many Pacific Rim toilets have more buttons and control panels than TV sets, and heated seats have become the norm.

Keeping a Healthy Oil Tank

1. Legs are solid and level 2. No rust, weeps, wet spots or excessive denting 3. No drips or signs of leakage around the filter or valves 4. Oil lines are encased in a protective tubing. 5. Nothing in danger of falling from above (i.e., snow or ice) 6. Vent is open and not clogged by anything 7. Overfill whistle is unobstructed and audible when filling the tank 8.

Water Instead of Wires

No electricity under the sink? No problem - and no call to the electrician is necessary. Homeowners who want a food-waste disposer without the hassle or expense of installing electricity under the sink can opt for HydroMaid, a water-powered food-waste disposer. "About half of homes in the United States do not have electricity under the sink," says Ron Turner, head of customer service for HydroMaid. HydroMaid, which was originally designed for use on nuclear submarines, became available to consumers three years ago.

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