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How to apply the principles of sustainable design to your home renovation projects




Adopting sustainable design practices is a key component in fighting climate change. Here’s how the average home¬owner can make their renovation projects greener.

What is sustainable design?
The guiding principle behind sustainable design is that the negative environmental impacts of erecting and maintaining modern buildings can be minimized by implementing certain practices. These include curtailing waste, reducing the consumption of non-renewable resources, conserving water and creating healthy, functional spaces.

Building an energy efficient home with recycled materials is a prime example of how sustainable design methods can be used to construct residential buildings.

How can I apply these principles?
Homeowners who are renovating can implement sustainable design practices in a number of ways. Here are some ideas:

• Flooring options. Reclaimed wood, such as from scaffolds, is a great way to revamp your floors. Plus, they’re pre-seasoned and won’t warp once installed.

• Paint options. Eco-friendly paints, which contain no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a good option. For an even greener choice, seek out retailers who sell recycled paint.

• Surface options. Countertops made from recycled materials are increasingly popular and vastly more sustainable than those made from man-made materials such as engineered stone. Some companies also offer ceramic tiles made from recycled television screens.

• Plumbing options. If updating a bathroom, opt for low-flow toilets, faucets and showers.

• Furniture options. Consider looking for reclaimed furniture, or furniture built from recycled and upcycled materials.

Where can I find sustainable materials?
Most hardware stores carry at least some of these materials. Low-flow fixtures, for instance, are readily available. In addition, there are suppliers and artisans who specialize in offering sustainable and recycled products.

Did you know?
North America produces nearly 600 million tons of construction waste per year, most of which ends up in landfills.

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2020 trends: Why glass partitions deserve a look



If you want to create designated spaces in your home without sacrificing the airiness of open-concept living, glass partitions offer a beautiful compromise.

This type of room divider helps block out noise while continuing to let in plenty of natural light. If you want to create an office space or reading nook in your living area, for example, such partitions are ideal. Alternatively, glass walls can be used to keep strong smells in the kitchen without obstructing sight lines.

From intricately etched panels to industrial steel frames, glass partitions can be incorporated into any style of home and customized to fit any space. Plus, they’re typically made of tempered glass, which means they won’t shatter into sharp pieces if they accidentally break.

To help you make the most of this practical and striking feature, consult an interior designer.

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8 habits that harm the environment



If you want to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, start by ditching habits that generate a lot of pollution. Here are eight things you might be doing that needlessly harm the environment.

1. Flushing or throwing out medication. Prescription drugs can contaminate the water supply and poison wildlife. Always bring unused and expired medication to your local pharmacy for safe disposal.

2. Drinking bottled water. In most places, tap water is just as safe as bottled water and creates substantially less pollution. If necessary, equip your home with a filtration system.

3. Putting old electronics in the garbage. Since these devices contain toxic substances, bring them to a drop-off location in your region to be safely recycled or refurbished.

4. Tossing cigarette butts on the ground. These are a major source of plastic pollution. Before you light up, locate a nearby outdoor receptacle or make sure you have a pocket ashtray on hand.

5. Opting for single-use plastic straws. Refuse them at restaurants and coffee shops. There are plenty of reusable options on the market made of metal, silicone, and bamboo.

6. Removing makeup with single-use products. Since these wipes take years to decompose in landfills, many beauty brands offer alternatives that can be washed and reused.

7. Driving erratically. Rapidly accelerating and slamming on the brakes will cause your car to produce more emissions. Pushing on the pedals gently and driving with smoother transitions will save gas and money.

8. Using harsh chemical cleaners. These corrosive products are a health and environmental hazard. Opt for biodegradable options or discover the cleaning properties of vinegar, lemon, and baking soda.

From taking shorter showers to buying food grown and produced locally, there are countless small lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference.

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Hunting waterfowl: a brief guide to decoys



When it comes to hunting waterfowl, setting up the right decoy spread is crucial to your success. Here’s what you need to know about luring in snow geese, Canada geese, and ducks.

Snow geese
Since these birds tend to move in flocks of hundreds, you’ll need to set upward of 1,000 decoys to attract them. If you’re relying solely on full-body decoys, however, about 200 to 400 should suffice to create a realistic setup.

Canada geese

Early in the season, about 20 to 30 decoys dispersed in groups of five to seven is enough. Once these birds begin to migrate, however, their flocks increase in size and you’ll need closer to 120 decoys. Toward the end of the season, reduce the number of decoys and opt for lifelike, full-body options.

When you hunt ducks, the appropriate number of decoys depends on the body of water where you’re set up. A more expansive area will require a larger decoy spread to look realistic. For example, a dozen decoys will suffice for a pond, but you’ll need several dozen on a large lake.

Remember to check for changes to your regional hunting regulations before the start of each season.

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4 tips for safe online shopping



Many people have turned to online shopping as a way to protect their health and respect social distancing regulations during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are four tips to ensure you’re doing it safely.

1. Learn how to spot a scam. Offers that sound too good to be true, websites that lack a professional design, and requests for banking information when your cart is still empty are all red flags.

2. Confirm the company is legitimate. Check the National Corporation Directory to find out if the company is listed, and visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection website to find out whether any complaints have been filed against it. If it’s not an American business, look for mention of it on other websites and confirm whether it has a good reputation by reading customer reviews.

3. Read the return policies beforehand. Find out whether the company offers exchanges, returns, or reimbursements and under what conditions. This will help you avoid unpleasant surprises if there’s an issue with your purchase. A lack of clearly stated policies is a sign you should shop elsewhere.

4. Double-check before you pay. Make sure the website’s URL begins with “https” and has a closed padlock or unbroken key icon beside it. Confirm the price of each item and the total cost (including taxes and shipping fees) before you enter your credit card information.

Finally, remember that you should never provide unnecessary personal details, such as your social security number when shopping online.

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A look at orthopedic problems in dogs



Orthopedic conditions can affect your dog’s bones, muscles, and joints, and they can range from a minor annoyance to a debilitating injury. If you’re a dog owner, here’s what you need to know.

Among dogs, the four most common orthopedic problems are:

1. Hip or elbow dysplasia

2. Herniated or ruptured disc

3. Luxating (dislocated) patella

4. Cruciate ligament tears

While some breeds are genetically predisposed to them, orthopedic problems can affect any dog, regardless of their type, size, or age.

Bone, muscle, and joint issues can be congenital or idiopathic, meaning they can appear suddenly with no clear cause. In some cases, the problem is the result of a trauma or nutritional deficiency.

There are a number of signs that can indicate your dog has an orthopedic problem. Here are a few to watch for:

• Walking with one paw lifted

• Struggling to stand up or jump

• Difficulty going up stairs or getting into the car

• Limping or stiffness after exercise

• Moaning in pain when picked up or held

You might also notice that one or more of your dog’s paws appear to be paralyzed.

Medication and surgery are the most common treatments recommended by veterinarians to correct or minimize the effects of an orthopedic issue. Often, these interventions will considerably improve the dog’s quality of life.

If you suspect your pet has an orthopedic problem, speak with your veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent further injury and discomfort.

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12 ways to winterproof your property



Winter weather can take a toll on your home’s exterior. However, if you take precautions, you can protect it from getting damaged. Here are 12 essential tasks to complete before the season’s first snowfall.

1. Inspect the roof. Clear off leaves and other debris so you can examine the shingles. Replace any that are damaged or worn out.

2. Clean the window wells. Remove all leaves, sticks, and other debris. Make sure the drains are clear to prevent water from pooling and possibly leaking into your basement.

3. Empty the gutters. Once the trees on your property have shed their leaves, remove all debris from your gutters. Clogs can lead to ice damming and even water damage.

4. Check the foundation. Look for cracks and repair them before winter. Otherwise, water can seep into the concrete and cause more extensive damage when it freezes.

5. Sweep the chimney. Hire a professional to remove soot and creosote from the flue to prevent a fire. Make sure the chimney cap is intact so critters can’t sneak in.

6. Install the vent covers. Keep out cold air and pests by installing covers over the exterior vents for your dryer and range hood. Otherwise, check that the existing ones are in good condition.

7. Close the pool. Clean out the filter, drain the pool about halfway, and disconnect the pump. Remember to remove the ladder before you install the winter cover.

8. Plant the bulbs. Get all your spring bulbs in the ground before it freezes. Remember to cut back perennials.

9. Tidy up the yard. Rake the leaves, clean out the gardens, aerate your lawn and add mulch or compost as needed.

10. Protect the shrubs. Wrap bushes and saplings in burlap or tree wrap, and bring potted plants inside.

11. Prune the trees and hedges. Cut away branches that are close to your home to avoid winter storm damage. This will also help prevent animals from climbing onto your roof.

12. Put away summer items. Clean the grill and disconnect the propane tank before you cover up the barbecue. Drain the sprinkler system and shut off the water supply. Wipe down and store the patio furniture.

Since fall is a busy time for arborists, pool technicians and other professionals, be sure to schedule your service calls sooner rather than later.

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Front Royal
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Feels like: 45°F
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Humidity: 97%
Pressure: 30.2"Hg
UV index: 0
min 43°F

Upcoming Events

all-day WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
Oct 19 – Nov 12 all-day
WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
Please show your support by purchasing fresh fruit for you, your family and friends to enjoy over the holidays! To place your order online, simply click here. Navel, Grapefruit, Juice Oranges — Whole Box $40, Half[...]
10:00 am Ask a Master Gardener @ Warren County Extension Office
Ask a Master Gardener @ Warren County Extension Office
Oct 26 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Ask a Master Gardener @ Warren County Extension Office
Answers to your gardening questions and problems! E-mail questions and pictures to Mondays from 10:00am -1:00pm, April-October (except holidays) Come in or call 540-635-4549  *in-person and phone help available after coronavirus emergency*
1:00 pm Virtual Hiring Event: Helping Vi... @ Online Event
Virtual Hiring Event: Helping Vi... @ Online Event
Oct 29 @ 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Virtual Hiring Event: Helping Virginia get back to work @ Online Event
Dear Job Seeker, We are delighted that you are participating in our Virtual Hiring Event sponsored by the Virginia Employment Commission and the Virginia Career Works Centers. I am mindful that many of the citizens[...]
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Oct 30 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
7:00 pm Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Oct 30 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Love Revival - FREE Monthly Community Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Free Community Dinner for everyone! Come enjoy a hot meal on the last Friday of every month at Love Revival Ministry Center.
10:00 am Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
Oct 31 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
10-11 am: Dog Costume Parade and judging 1-2 pm: Wedding on the Gazebo 4 pm: Children’s Costume Parade with judging and prizes 5 pm: Trick or Treat on Main Street. Merchants and County Businesses will[...]
5:00 pm Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Oct 31 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Bring your best costumes and GLOW throw with us! Trick or treat, throw axes and have an amazing Halloween with SVAXETHROWINGCO! KID friendly! Make your reservation today, spots will fill up fast: Fill out[...]
6:00 pm Annual Meeting of St. Luke Commu... @ Online Event
Annual Meeting of St. Luke Commu... @ Online Event
Nov 4 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Annual Meeting of St. Luke Community Clinic @ Online Event
St. Luke Community Clinic, Inc., of Front Royal, will hold its Annual Meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4, by ZOOM. All members (those who donate $35 annually or volunteer at the clinic) are[...]
6:00 pm Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitt... @ West Oaks Farm Market Event Venue
Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitt... @ West Oaks Farm Market Event Venue
Nov 5 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitting Boy Scouts @ West Oaks Farm Market Event Venue
Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitting Shenandoah Area Council Boy Scouts Fashion, food, cash bar, silent auction, raffle, door prizes, vendors on-site. Sponsored by Anna Quinn Jewelers, Grove’s Winchester Harley Davidson and Firenza Pizza. Showcasing clothing by[...]
all-day Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Nov 7 all-day
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Why should Small Business Saturday just be celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Buy Local – Shop Local – Eat Local – Support Front Royal’s Small Business Community and stay local! Small Business Saturdays –[...]