The Insiders: Advice from local businesses

The articles below are sponsored by local businesses.

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    The lines between the outdoors and indoors are being blurred. Homeowners build extensive outdoor living spaces so they can relax on weather-re…

    Single-use plastic coffee pods are bad for the environment. If you toss the capsules into the trash, they end up in landfills, where they eventually release toxins that pollute land and oceans and kill marine life. One thing you can do to help the planet is to use eco-friendly coffee pod alternatives.

     It’s frustrating when you stain, tear, or damage clothes—especially your favorite pieces. Tossing them out and replacing them with new ones is an easy solution. However, sending more unwanted goods to the landfill is not the best choice for the environment. Instead of ditching damaged clothing, follow these tips to repair stained or ripped clothes and help reduce waste.

     

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      Foliage and football might be two things people instantly associate with fall, but there's more to this beloved season than brightly colored l…

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      Watching waves roll into a sandy shore against a backdrop of the deep blue ocean or the vast Great Lakes is breathtaking. Seeing trash clutter and pollute those pristine coastlines reminds us of our detrimental effect on earth's natural wonders. We share a responsibility to keep these treasures clean and beautiful for other creatures and our future generations.

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      Watching waves roll into a sandy shore against a backdrop of the deep blue ocean or the vast Great Lakes is breathtaking. Seeing trash clutter and pollute those pristine coastlines reminds us of our detrimental effect on earth's natural wonders. We share a responsibility to keep these treasures clean and beautiful for other creatures and our future generations.

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        Perennials can add color and vibrancy to any garden. One of the more desirable components of perennials is that they come back year after year…

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          Homeowners choose plants for their properties based on a number of variables. Some may be into growing their own foods, while others desire their gardens to be an awe-inspiring mélange of bright colors and alluring scents. There's no wrong reason to plant a fresh garden, but some plants offer extra benefits, such as repelling insects.

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            Homeowners enjoy gardening for many different reasons. In addition to adding beauty to a property, gardens can offset grocery costs by yielding tasty produce. They also offer important habitats and food sources for both insects and animals.

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              New plants can add much to a landscape. Whether they're replacing plants that are no longer thriving or being added to supplement an existing landscape, new plants are an affordable way to give a home's exterior a whole new look.

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                The final weeks of winter, and even the first few weeks of spring, are still chilly in many parts of the world. Despite those last vestiges of winter chills, late winter is a great time to begin preparing gardens for the coming planting season.

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                  As the seasons change, so, too, do the conditions outside. And those conditions affect indoor houseplants much like they do lawns, gardens and trees. So it's vital that people with houseplants do not overlook the need to keep houseplants going strong as fall gives way to winter.

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                    Fall leaves are lots of fun, unless you’re the one that has to rake them. The good news is you don’t have to rake them this year.

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                      It can be easy to forget that the big trees in your yard are plants just like your more fragile roses and flowers that need frequent care.

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                        While owning a second home is the dream of many retirees, there are significant costs to consider before you sip that mai tai, breathe in the crisp, evergreen air, or pick your granddaughter up from school each afternoon.

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                          Is your backyard an open space you feel that's too exposed and offers no sense of privacy or seclusion? A fence isn't the only solution. In many cases, planting tall grass or dense foliage can create an enclosed atmosphere while beautifying your property.

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                            While you should welcome some insects to your gardens — remember those pollinators? — there are other pests that are less welcome. Among those are the scourge of the summer months, the mosquito.

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                              You can pack your gardens with plants that are edible to more than just bees and butterflies. With a little work, you can make your yard beautiful both outdoors and on your dinner plate.

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                                Many considerations need to be made on the path towards retirement, especially in the final years leading up to it. Because retirement is as much a lifestyle decision as it is a financial decision, you’ll want to make sure you prepare for both.

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                                  Spring is the time to plant summer-blooming bulbs, such as dahlias, gladiolas, lilies, caladiums, and elephant ears. Store bulbs in a cool, dry place until all danger of frost has passed, then it's time to plant.

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                                    Are you waiting for a sign to get your financial house in order? Well, consider this it. Procrastination is an unfriendly foe that can make saving and investing much more difficult than they have to be.

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                                      This year, in addition to the holiday blues, other factors are at play: social distancing and voluntary quarantine because of the COVID-19 pandemic. People who normally would venture outside to socialize during the holiday season might feel hesitant or not do it at all to prevent exposure to the virus. In those instances, friends and loved ones can mitigate feelings of isolation in various ways.

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                                        Gifting is a wonderful gesture and very common this time of year, but there are many financial issues to consider. Be sure to talk to your estate planning attorney, tax professional and financial adviser to ensure your strategy is a sound one.

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                                          Most people associate poinsettias with the holidays, but their elegance and signature vibrant colors make people want to preserve their plants beyond New Year’s Day. That’s possible with the right care, experts say.

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                                            Halloween celebrations will be different in 2020. The global pandemic has made activities riskier than usual. Here are some fun ways to celebrate a holiday that might feature limited in-person interaction with other costumed ghouls and goblins.

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                                              Even those who may venture outside to socialize, particularly around the holiday season, may be hesitant or unable to do so to help prevent the spread of the virus. In these instances, friends and loved ones can mitigate feelings of isolation in various ways.

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                                                Fall lawn care differs from spring and summer lawn care, even if the weather of summer lingers into autumn. Homeowners who want their lawns to thrive year-round can take advantage of the welcoming weather of fall to address any existing or potential issues.