Passive Income in 2021: Our Top 10 Ideas You Need to Try

When some people hear about passive income, they believe it’s too good to be true. But here’s the deal: It is possible to earn money while you sleep, go on vacation, or live your day-to-day life. But to succeed at this, you need to know how to make passive income in 2021.

Here are some of our favorite passive income ideas.

But First, What Is Passive Income?

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to passive income. Some people think it is some sort of magical system that deposits income into their bank account every month without them having to lift a finger. That’s just not true.

If you want to earn passive income in 2021, you will have to invest a little money or work upfront. But after the initial investment, you will watch your upfront work turn into passive income month after month. Just imagine, with a little work in the beginning, you could earn passive income in 2021 and beyond and have the lifestyle you’ve been dreaming about!

Here are 10 ideas to get you started on your passive income in 2021 journey.

Passive Income in 2021: Our Favorite Ideas

Isn’t it exciting to know that you can earn passive income in 2021? The most difficult part will be selecting the right passive income idea for you. Here are some to get you started.

1. Park it and forget it

One of the least labor-intensive passive income ideas is renting out space for others to park in. Especially if you live in a big city or other areas where parking is limited, you can advertise your driveway, empty lot, or even the space in front of your house, and others will pay you to park their car in it.

Websites like JustPark and SpotHero are set up to allow you to advertise your parking space. When someone looks for a parking space, they visit the site to find their ideal parking space. You could end up renting your space for a weekend or sign a long-term contract.

And the only work required on your part is to create the listing!

2. They’re everywhere

When is the last time you used a vending machine? You may have bought a soft drink, an afternoon snack, or a gumball for your kid. Vending machines are everywhere for a reason: People use them.

When you first enter the vending machine business, it requires work. First, you will have to purchase a vending machine and then buy and load the product inside of it. Next, you will have to persuade a business owner to allow you to place the machine on their premises. Many times, they will agree if you offer them a portion of the sales.

But after that, the income you earn is passive except restocking the machine whenever it becomes empty. The vending machine business is a great way to earn passive income in 2021 and for years after that. With a little money and effort on your part, you could soon have vending machines across your city and earn enough passive income to quit your day job!

3. Teach what you know

Today, people like to learn new things by taking online courses from experts. In fact, some people earn thousands of dollars per month by teaching others what they know. The Global Research Report estimates that by 2026, the e-learning market will bring in $375 billion a year.

If you want to use online courses to help earn passive income in 2021, you will have to put in some serious upfront time. It’s estimated that it takes at least a month to properly create a course that people will buy. But once you put in the time, you will earn passive income for everyone who purchases the course.

Of course, you will have to invest some money in this passive income idea as well. For instance, you may have to pay a course developer if you don’t want to create the course yourself, and you will have to pay a monthly fee to places like Teachable or Udemy to host your course.

4. Mi casa es su casa

If you have a spare bedroom or an auxiliary dwelling unit (ADU) in your home, you can rent out the space and make some serious passive income in 2021. Airbnb and Vrbo have revolutionized the way people stay when they are away from home, and homeowners across America are capitalizing on the trend. Here’s what you need to know about this money-making passive income idea.

Guests no longer want to stay in hotels. Instead, they look for experiences provided by homeowners across the nation that make their traveling adventures more personal. For instance, a horse ranchowner may offer a cabin on the land for rent on one of these sites. But don’t worry if you own a home in a suburb — people are paying to stay in these types of rentals as well.

To get started, you should make your room or cottage ready to rent. Decide what you will offer the guests and make it as welcoming as possible. This may include things like purchasing a new ultra-comfortable mattress and new towels. Next, list the accommodation on one of the sites and wait for people to book it.

You can choose to be a hands-on host and provide your guests with breakfast and a friendly face, or you can install a keypad and leave the guests on their own. While this isn’t a purely passive income in 2021 idea, it’s close enough to include in this list and one of the ideas that make you the most amount of income.

5. Real estate the easy way

If you’ve always wanted to be a real estate investor, but you don’t want to spend hours looking for the right property or dealing with bad tenants, you have options. Crowdfunding has come a long way, and one of the best things to emerge from the transition is real estate crowdfunding opportunities. In short, you can invest in real estate in an entirely passive way.

Sites like Fundrise offer want-to-be real estate investors an opportunity to invest in groundbreaking projects, both residential and commercial. And here’s the great news: You can start with as little as $500 as your investment. After you invest, the savvy managers at the company will make the investment and manage the funds which will reap you a quarterly passive income check.

6. Put it on paper

Another great way to earn passive income in 2021 is to self-publish a book. Whether you are an expert about a topic, are passionate about something and want to share that with readers, or like to write fiction, you can create an eBook and sell it to readers on sites like Amazon.

This is another passive income idea that takes some upfront work. Most popular nonfiction books are about 30,000 pages and fiction books tend to run about 55,000 pages, so you will need to spend some time writing, editing, formatting, and publishing the book before you can begin to earn money from it.

If you love the idea of getting passive income from a book but don’t want to write one, you can always hire a ghostwriter to do it for you. Just be sure that you purchase all rights to the book so that you won’t have to share your profits with anyone.

7. Add to that

If you decide to publish a book as a means to passive income in 2021, you can take things a step further and also create an audiobook. As popular as eBooks are, audiobooks are quickly gaining ground as more and more “readers” prefer to hear their books rather than read them. You can cash in on this trend by creating an audiobook from your eBook.

You can record the audiobook yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. Also, sites like ACX allow you to connect with narrators who will record your audiobook for a percentage of the sales. That means you can set up your passive income stream with no upfront costs!

8. It’s a wrap

If you do a lot of driving throughout the day, you can make passive income for driving those miles. Companies like match drivers with national brands. Once you’re matched, the company will place a wrap on your car that advertises the company.

Then, you simply drive your car and are paid by the mile to do so. The website claims that you can earn up to $400 a month for doing what you already do on a daily basis. Talk about easy passive income for 2021!

9. Offer convenience

Another way to use your car for passive income in 2021 is to use a service like Turo and rent out your car when you’re not using it. This is a great opportunity for people who have classic or unusual cars to make a good amount of passive income in 2021. But even if you own an ordinary car, people will be willing to rent it while in town for business or pleasure purposes.

The Turo website says that the average amount that people earn per month is just over $700. And while it will take some effort to keep this passive income side hustle going, it won’t take much. For instance, you will have to spend a few minutes listing your car on the site so potential renters can find it.

You will also need to wash your car before every rental, and arrange for the key exchange. Payment is three days after the rental and Turo takes a small percentage, leaving you 60 to 85 percent of the total fee. The alternative is to let your car sit unused in the driveway when you’re not using it!

10. Face forward

We’ve all heard stories about people uploading a video on YouTube or Rumble and making it big. The thing is, it’s true. If you have something to say that people want to hear, you can make it big. We’re talking about thousands of dollars per month in revenue from that video.

Since we’re talking about passive income, we won’t explore how to create a YouTube channel that builds a large audience. That is definitely not how to make passive income in 2021 because it takes a lot of work! Instead, we’re talking about creating one video that will reach a massive audience and generate loads of passive income.

For instance, when a video goes viral, the creator of that video stands to make a lot of money. This YouTube calculator shows just how much money you stand to make by creating a video that reaches the masses.

If you have a great idea, an opinion that will be popular, or a subject that you think people want to learn about, creating a viral YouTube video may be the best way to earn passive income in 2021.

Passive Income in 2021 Is a Real Possibility

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t earn passive income in 2021. It is entirely possible. You simply need to determine the passive income idea that best fits in with your lifestyle and then pursue it.

Did we forget about any passive income ideas that you want to tell us about? If so, please leave them in the comments section below and share your wisdom with other readers!


How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Your Drain: Pro Tips

As soon as you sit down at the dinner table, it begins. The irritating tiny flies begin swarming around your food, making it almost impossible to enjoy your meal. If this is happening to you, you need to know how to get rid of fruit flies in your drain.

But first, let’s talk about why fruit flies are so intent on living in your drain.

Why Do Fruit Flies Live in Kitchen Sink Drains?

It’s the last place you want to live, but to a fruit fly, a kitchen sink drain is an ideal environment. It’s dark and moist, and that all adds up to a happy place for a fruit fly. But once they’ve moved in, most people will do almost anything to learn how to get rid of fruit flies in your drain.

And here’s the thing: once a fruit fly moves in, it will hide in your sink drain and begin laying eggs. Fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs at a time. Can you imagine sharing your dinner with 500 fruit flies? Obviously, the goal is to keep the fruit flies out of your drain in the first place!

How Do Fruit Flies Get in Your House?

Before we talk about how to get rid of fruit flies in your drain, let’s address the underlying issue: how they get in your house in the first place. And here’s the truth: They have multiple entry points. If you can prevent them from coming into your home, you will reduce their chances of setting up their home in your kitchen drain.

For instance, fruit flies can come into your home on the vegetables you purchase from the farmer’s market or grocery store. Or, even if you have screens on your windows and doors, an adult fruit fly is small enough to fit through the tiny holes.

Finally, anytime you bring live plants into your home, you risk bringing in fruit flies that hide in the leaves and dirt.

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Your Drain: 7 Tips

If you already have fruit flies in your drain, it’s time to take action. Luckily, the tiny insects aren’t difficult to get rid of once you understand how to go about it. If you’re asking how to get rid of fruit flies in your drain, here are 7 things you can do.

1. Look for the culprit

Fruit flies love rotten fruit and vegetables, and if you have any lying around your kitchen, it’s time to throw them out. Once produce begins to go bad, fruit flies are instantly attracted to it. And once even one fruit fly discovers the rotting produce, more will follow.

Throwing out old or rotting produce is the first step in ridding your kitchen drain of fruit flies.

2. Close it off

Since you know that fruit flies love to live in your sink drain, you should do all you can to make it difficult for them to enter it. Start by using a sink stopper to keep them out. Place the stopper over the drain whenever you’re not using it so the pests can’t sneak inside of it.

3. Hide it away

When you leave produce sitting on your countertop, it acts as an invitation to fruit flies. Instead of hanging out a welcome sign, you can make your kitchen less hospitable to fruit flies. Do this by storing all of your produce inside the refrigerator where fruit flies can’t find it.

4. If you must

If you don’t want to store certain produce in the fridge, you can take some steps to eliminate any existing fruit flies. For instance, onions and potatoes can turn to starch or sugar when stored in the fridge.

In this instance, simply wash the produce as soon as you bring it inside to eliminate any fruit flies that hitched a ride on it to enter your home.

5. Set a fruit fly trap

Your second option when learning how to get rid of fruit flies in your drain is to set a fruit fly trap. To do it, fill a small bowl with a combination of apple cider vinegar and dish soap. The apple cider vinegar will attract the flies, and the dish soap will coat their wings, making it impossible for them to fly out of the liquid.

6. Take it out

Having a large kitchen trash can is convenient. After all, most people don’t want to have to walk to the outdoor garbage can bin on a daily basis. But when you’re battling fruit flies (or you want to avoid the problem), it’s a great idea to take your trash outdoor every day.

That way, the trash inside the bin will never have the chance to begin rotting and attracting those pesky fruit flies!

7. Keep it clean

Fruit flies love everything that a clean sink drain doesn’t offer. They love slime, flecks of grease, and an overall area that contains rotting food particles. So, it makes sense that when learning how to keep fruit flies out of your drain that you simply don’t give them what they want.

To keep fruit flies out of your drain, make sure to clean your kitchen often and thoroughly. For instance, not only clean the exposed area on the bottom of your sink but also underneath the rim that lies at the top of your garbage disposal. The more you clean, the less the fruit flies will want to stay.

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Your Drain — and the Stink

If there are two things that go together, it’s fruit flies and stink. Sometimes, you can take all of the steps we’ve listed above and still not rid your sink drain of the fruit flies. In cases like this, it’s time to take some drastic cleaning action.

If you’ve taken all of the steps above and still have fruit flies in your drain along with a stink you can’t get rid of, here are four more hard-core tactics you can take to finally rid yourself of the problem.

The double whammy

Sometimes sink stink comes from the gunk that has hardened and clung to your pipes or the walls of your garbage disposal. To rid your sink drain of the gunk, start by placing water or white vinegar in a pot and bring it to a boil. Then, slowly pour about half of it down the drain.

Here comes the magic part: Once the first part is down the drain, run the cold water in the sink. Then, wait a few minutes, which will give any gunk down there time to solidify. Then, pour in the other half and watch as all the slime goes down the drain.

The power of two

For stubborn sink stinks, you may need to rely on the magic combination of baking soda and vinegar. This dynamic duo has the strength to rid your sink of the smell that attracts fruit flies. Start by pouring some baking soda down your drain.

After letting it sit for a few minutes, add some white vinegar to the mix. Pour it in the drain and watch as the two substances mingle to create a fizzy, bubbling mix. That mix will work to eliminate any crud that has found its way into your sink drain.

Your mixture should consist of one part baking soda and two parts vinegar. After allowing the mixture to sit in your sink drain for about an hour, pour hot water down the drain. This should rid your sink of any lingering food waste.

3. Put on those gloves

If you’ve tried the above methods and fruit flies are still finding their way into your sink drain, it’s time to bump things up a notch. This next method isn’t pretty, but it will remove any lingering scraps that can attract fruit flies.

Put on some rubber gloves because this next method isn’t for the weak-kneed. Place a bucket underneath your sink, and then take off the curved portion of the drainpipe that sits underneath your sink. Allow any excess water or crud to flow into the bucket.

Next, take the P-trap outside and rinse it out with your garden hose. Once it’s clean, bring it back inside and reassemble your drain pipes. You may want to pour some baking soda and vinegar down the drain to get rid of any lingering crud.

Last chance

If you’ve done everything we recommended above and still need to know how to get rid of fruit flies in your drain, you have one more option before calling in the pros. It’s time to think outside the box and look beyond your kitchen sink drain. In fact, it’s time to look outside.

Every house has a drain vent, which is an exterior vent where all indoor drains vent out of. Sometimes that vent becomes clogged, and that can cause the buildup and stink that attracts fruit flies. To determine whether or not this is your issue, you will need to look at that vent.

Using a ladder, climb up on your roof and look to see whether the vent is blocked. If it is, carefully take off the cover and clean it. It is not uncommon for leaves and other debris to block the vent.

Solved: How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Your Drain

Knowing how to get rid of fruit flies in your drain can be a lifesaver when you want to enjoy cooking or eating in the kitchen. Luckily, it’s not difficult to do. Just follow the suggestions in this article, and soon, your kitchen drain will be free of fruit flies.

Did you have another method to help get rid of fruit flies? If so, we would love to hear your suggestions. Please leave them in the comments below!


Spring Pool Care: How to Open a Pool

For pool owners across the globe, spring (or summer in some instances) means one thing: it’s time to take some steps so you can once again begin to enjoy your swimming pool. And luckily, spring pool care is an easy process.

Follow along as we show you the step-by-step process for how to open a pool.

When to Begin Spring Pool Care?

You’re seeing signs of spring, and if you’re like most pool owners, you’re already anticipating that first dive into your pool. As soon as the last frost has gone, it’s time to start thinking about doing a little spring pool care.

For most people, this time comes in spring. But for people who live in colder climates, the safest bet is to prepare your pool for summer as soon as you’re sure there won’t be any last-minute frosts.

What Type of Pool Do You Have?

Before we talk about spring pool care, it’s important to know that when it comes to how to open a pool, the answer depends on which type of pool you own. In this article, we’ll dive into specifics for three types of pools.

  • Inground pool: This traditional pool is situated in the ground.
  • Above-ground pool: An above-ground pool sits above the ground and is supported by specialty posts and foot runners.
  • Saltwater pools: A swimming pool that uses saltwater instead of the traditional freshwater.

Whatever type of pool you have, it’s important to follow guidelines when opening your pool. Here are some spring pool care tips for each type of pool.

Opening an Inground Pool

If you have an inground pool in your backyard, here’s a step-by-step guide you can use to open it.

Step One: Clean and Remove the Pool Cover

Before you can open your swimming pool, you will first have to remove the debris from the top of your pool cover. To do it, use a soft broom to sweep away the bulkier items. Then, use a pool pump to suction up the remaining stuff.

After the debris has been removed, ask a friend to help you remove and fold up the pool cover.

Step Two: Clean the Pool Cover

To make your pool cover last longer, you should clean it before putting it away. Start by unfolding the pool cover in a large area, such as your backyard. Then, use a soft brush and a gentle cleaner such as car washing soap or a pool cover cleaner to scrub away any grime or gunk.

Next, you will need to thoroughly dry the pool cover. You can do this with a towel or by using a leaf blower. Once it’s dry, place the cover in a bag to keep it safe from rodents or other pests that could destroy it while it’s in storage.

This is a great time to take a close look at your pool cover and replace it if needed. Look for any tears, worn areas, or other damage. If you replace it now, you won’t have to worry about doing it when you’re closing your pool for the winter a few months from now.

Step Three: Take a Good Look

The way your pool looks will determine how you proceed with your spring pool care. If the water is a medium to dark green, your best move is to drain the water and start again. That means you will have to acid wash the pool before refilling it.

If the water is light green, you can proceed with the following steps.

Step Four: Remove the Bulky Stuff

It’s inevitable that when you removed the pool cover, some larger chunks of debris fell in the water.

Although you will use the pool skimmer later, for now, you should use it to remove all of the larger pieces of debris from the water. This will make the cleaning you do in future steps much easier.

Step Five: Clear the Pipes

When you closed your pool, you should have blown out the pipes and placed winterizing plugs in them so the water couldn’t enter them and freeze.

Now, it’s time to remove all of the plugs. Once you do, water will flow back into the pipes which causes bubbles to form on top of the water in your pool.

Step Six: Reattach the Entry Points

When the cold weather began to set in, you removed the ladders and chutes from your pool — and now it’s time to reinstall them.

But before you do, take a moment to lubricate the bolts and grease the diving board hinges. It’s a small step that will ensure the longevity of these parts.

Step Seven: Fill It Up

Even though you used a pool cover, chances are that your water levels dropped over the winter. Now, it’s time to fill your pool to the desired water level. Be sure to use a hose filter when doing it so no metal contaminants enter your pool.

If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain in the spring, you may want to add an algaecide to your pool at this point. It will help protect your pool from an algae bloom, which is caused by a lot of rainwater entering the pool.

If your water is clear or you don’t see a lot of rain, you can skip this step.

Step Eight: Get Things Moving

Start by lubricating the O-rings in your pump and pump housing with a good pool gasket lubricant. Be sure to check for cracks in the O-rings, and if you see them, replace it so it doesn’t allow air into the pump.

Then, place the drain plugs into your pump, filter, heater, and chlorinator.

Next, open up the return side valves to give the water that’s drawn into your pump a place to go. If your valve is a multiport model, set it on “waste” and replace the pressure gauge, sight glass, and air bleeder.

Now you should flip on the circuit breaker and turn on the pump. Your pump is primed as soon as you hear water running through it. Be sure to check out your filter to ensure that it doesn’t need washing or replacing. If you use a multiport, you should now switch it to “filter.”

Some people use antifreeze when closing a pool. If you did, it will exit the lines when the valve is set on “waste.” But sometimes some of the antifreeze ends up in the pool. If it does, don’t worry because pool antifreeze is not toxic and will be flushed out during the next filtering cycle.

Step Nine: Sequester Those Metals

While your pool sat stagnant for the winter months, it’s likely that small amounts of metals accumulated in it. Those metals, no matter how small, can cause staining issues in your pool. To prevent this, think about using a metal sequestrant.

Step Ten: Balance Things

Now it’s time to turn your attention to balancing your pool water. First, test and adjust the water alkalinity. Next, test your pool’s pH, and if necessary, add the chemicals to adjust it. Finally, you should test the calcium hardness and take whatever steps are necessary to bring it into balance.

Here is a guide as to what your chemical levels should look like:

  • Chlorine: 1.0 – 3.0 ppm. After shocking your pool, these levels will read higher.
  • pH: 7.4 – 7.6. Use sodium bicarbonate to raise the pH or sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid to lower it.
  • Calcium: 200 – 400. You will likely have to add calcium chloride to raise levels if your water is soft.
  • Alkalinity (stabilizes pH level): 80 – 140 ppm. To increase it add sodium carbonite, to decrease it, add sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid.

Step Eleven: Clean Things Up

Your next step is to clean your pool by first brushing it and then manually vacuuming it.

When you brush your pool, you will unsettle any algae that are forming, and that will help with the next step.

Vacuuming your pool will remove any smaller debris that fell in when you removed the pool cover.

Step Twelve: It’s Time for a Shock

Now it’s time to completely kill off any bacteria, spores, and algae from your pool so the water is crispy clean. To do this, you will need to shock the pool.

Many people double shock a pool when attending to spring pool care duties. To double shock your pool, you should use two pounds of chlorine shock (if you use a chlorine pool system) for every 10,000 gallons of water in your pool.

It’s important to remember to use gloves, eye protection, and sufficient clothing when shocking a pool. The chemicals are toxic and can burn your skin, so it makes sense to protect it.

And if it is windy outside, wait to do the job until the wind dies down and there is no chance of it blowing the chemicals onto you.

Step Thirteen: Mix Everything Up

Your final step in the process is to turn on your filtration system and allow it to mix everything up. It will mix up any remaining debris, dead algae spores, and the shock. Let the filtration system run for 24 hours before jumping in and enjoying your pool.

Now that you know how to open an inground pool, let’s talk about how to open an above ground pool.

Opening an Above Ground Pool

When opening an above ground pool, you will largely use the directions above, with two exceptions. the first exception is that you will need to check your pool liner for leaks and damage after you remove the pool cover.

Signs of leaks include standing water around your pool, low water levels, loose tiles or structural damage, and visible rips and tears in the liner. If you realize that the cold, winter months damaged your liner, you will have to repair or replace it before moving on to the next steps.

Another step you will have to add to the process is tending to your deck fittings. Most above ground pools have some sort of decking that surround them, and many of the accessories such as ladders and slides are attached to the deck rather than the pool.

When reattaching these types of equipment, be sure to firmly secure the deck fittings so they are safe throughout the swimming season.

Opening a Saltwater Pool

Opening a saltwater pool is much the same as opening an inground pool, but because the pool uses saltwater, there are some differences.

To start, after you have cleaned and started the filtration system, it’s time to connect the saltwater generator. If you use an inline generator, connect it after the filter system but before the pool return. If you use a drop-in, remove the top ledge of the pool and insert the generator.

Next, after vacuuming the pool, it’s time to check the salt level because the expected water loss will affect it. Using a saltwater test kit, you should test the water and adjust it as needed.

Do the same with the alkaline and pH levels and adjust them using chemicals designed for saltwater pools. Now it’s time to test the chlorine stabilizer of the pool and adjust it with a saltwater stabilizer as necessary.

When shocking a saltwater pool, you should use a pound of saltwater oxidizing shock for every 5,000 gallons of water in your pool.

Spring Pool Care is Key When Opening Your Swimming Pool

It’s that time of year again to relax in your pool and enjoy those poolside cookouts with your family and friends. But before you take your first dive into the pool, you will need to practice a little spring pool care to ensure that the water is swimmable and safe.

Do you have any other spring pool tips that we missed? We would love to hear about them in the comments below!


Sink Stinks and What to Do About Them to Stop the Stench

Whether you use a garbage disposal or a sink strainer, you’ve probably dealt with sink stinks. A smelly drain is enough to ruin your desire to cook — or even eat! — in your kitchen, so it’s important to get rid of the smell as quickly as you can.

Luckily, the problem is easily solved. Whether you have a garbage disposal or not, here are some DIY methods that will help you get rid of the stink.

What Causes Sink Stinks?

When you clean your house, chances are that you don’t even think about cleaning your sink drain. The truth is that a kitchen sink drain is one of the dirtiest places in your house.

That’s because every time you put something down the drain, it can stick to the garbage disposal blades, the sidewalls, or even to your pipes.

And all that stuck and hardened food grows bacteria. And guess what? Bacteria stinks. In fact, that’s the number one reason your sink stinks.

So, what can you do about a stinky sink drain? Let us count the ways. Here are some great ways you get rid of those sink drain smells—whether you have a garbage disposal or not.

How to Get of Sink Stinks When You Have a Garbage Disposal

Cleaning your sink drain is easier done when you have a garbage disposal because it affords you more options. Here are five ways to rid your sink of stinks when you have one of these handy pieces of equipment.

1. A sink full of water may do the trick

One of the easiest ways to get rid of sink stinks is to put a stopper in the sink drain and then fill it with hot water. As it’s filling, add some liquid dish detergent to form a soapy mixture. Once the sink is full, remove the stopper and turn on the garbage disposal.

The reason this may work better than simply running water down the drain and pouring in some dish soap is that when you empty an entire sink full of water into the disposal, it fills up the garbage disposal. And if that’s the source of your sink stinks, it will wash it away.

2. Grab the lemons

If that doesn’t work, you will have to grab some other odor-eliminating items from your kitchen and give it another whirl. To do this next step, grab some ice, lemon peels, and some coarse salt.

The idea behind this method is to clean the blades on your garbage disposal because sometimes, a stinky kitchen drain is caused by crud that’s attached to the blades.

To perform this method, put a handful of ice cubes and coarse salt down the drain and turn on the garbage disposal. This should rid the blades of any stuck-on substances.

Then, throw a few lemon peels down the drain and run the garbage disposal again to completely rid it of any lingering odors.

Not only will this method help clean the sludge off of your garbage disposal blades, but it will leave your kitchen smelling fresh and lemony. Who doesn’t want that?

3. Lemons a different way

If you love the idea of your kitchen sink smelling like lemons instead of sink stinks, you can make the job easier by pre-preparing some lemon and vinegar ice cubes and using them to rid your sink of the smell.

Start with some ice trays (we recommend these cute green lemon-shaped silicone ice cube trays!) and then add cut up some lemon wedges and add one to each cube.

Next, pour vinegar over the lemon wedges and put the ice cube tray in the freezer overnight. The next morning, put a couple of the ice cubes down the drain and turn on the garbage disposal.

It’s easy and the result will be well worth the overnight wait!

4. No baking soda? No problem

If you don’t have baking soda or vinegar lying around the house, you can use other methods to rid your sink of the stink. Start by pouring eight tablespoons of Borax down the drain and follow it up with a handful of ice cubes.

Then, turn on the garbage disposal and allow the abrasiveness of the ice cubes to mix with the cleaning power of the Borax to wash away all the stink.

5. The flange could be the culprit

This method of cleaning requires a bit of elbow grease but is well worth it.

The sink flange — that round area located at the top of the garbage disposal where it meets the sink drain — can easily become caked with crud and stinky bacteria. When it does, it will emit an odor that you will recognize as the sink stinks.

When gunk collects around the sink flange, it can’t simply be rinsed away with water. Instead, it requires scrubbing — and that’s where you come in.

Start by unplugging the garbage disposal from underneath the sink. As an alternative, you can cut the power to the disposal from the breaker box.

Next, put a few drops of liquid dish soap on a cleaning bush and lower it into the sink drain. Your goal is to scrub the sink flange with the brush as thoroughly as you can. After you’ve scrubbed it, run the hot water to rinse away any gunk you removed with the brush.

To make your kitchen smell good again, you can throw some lemon peels in the garbage disposal afterward to completely remove the sink stinks you’ve been living with.

If none of these tricks work, you may have to resort to more drastic measures to get your garbage disposal clean.

How to Get Rid of Sink Stinks When You Don’t Have a Garbage Disposal

Even if you don’t have a garbage disposal, you could still have sink stinks when running water in your kitchen sink or even when the dishwasher runs.

Here are six ways to get rid of sink stinks when you don’t have a garbage disposal.

1. Boil it

If your kitchen drain stinks and you don’t have a garbage disposal to clean, you can always try the boiling water trick.

To do it, simply boil some water and take it directly off the stove and pour it down the sink drain. This will remove any sludge from your pipes or release any out-of-sight food that’s hardened.

You can also use this as a preventative measure. Every time you boil water—whether it’s for your morning coffee or nightly tea, pour it down the drain to prevent any gunk from sticking to your pipes.

2. The trio

For an effective way to rid your drain of sink stinks, gather together one cup of baking soda, two cups of vinegar, and some hot, boiling water.

Start by putting the baking soda down the sink drain, then add the vinegar. Let it sit and bubble for a few minutes and then pour the hot water down the drain.

Other people put the vinegar in the microwave before putting it down the drain. The thing is this: the hotter the water and vinegar, the more bacteria it will kill. And to rid your kitchen of sink stinks, you have to kill whatever bacteria is causing the smell.

3. Ramp it up

If you love the idea of the tried and true baking soda and vinegar trick, but your sink stinks too much, try adding some coarse salt to the mixture.

The idea behind this is that the salt adds just enough abrasiveness to lodge free any stinky bacteria. You will carry out this method a little differently.

Start by pouring 1/2 cup of course salt, 1/2 cup of baking soda, and one cup of vinegar down the drain. Put the stopper on and allow it to sit for 30 seconds. Then, pour at least one kettle of hot, boiling water down the drain and wash away all those sink stinks.

4. Lemons for the disposal-less!

If you love the thought of your kitchen smelling like lemons but don’t have a garbage disposal to chop up the peels, take heart. You can also use lemons as a way to combat sink stinks. It may cost more, but the delicious smell will likely be well worth it.

Start by juicing some fresh lemons or buying some lemon juice. Then pour some baking soda down your stinky sink drain followed by the lemon juice. The combination of lemon juice and baking soda will bubble just like it does with baking soda and vinegar.

After you allow the mixture to sit in your sink drain until it bubbles, pour some hot, boiling water down the drain. Now your kitchen should smell like a fresh lemon instead of the stinky crud that caused the problem!

5. Do it the fancy way

If your sink stinks and you want to replace that icky smell with the scent of roses, citrus, mint, or any other smell, you can use a combination of baking soda, essential oils, and hot, boiling water. Just think: you can create a custom smell for your kitchen?

Wait until you’re ready to go to bed for the night before starting this process. First, pour some baking soda down the drain, and then add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Let the mixture sit in your sink overnight.

The next morning, boil a kettle full of water and then pour the hot liquid down the drain. What a way to start the morning: no more sink stinks but instead the luxurious smell of the scent of your choice!

6. Coffee pot vinegar

You know you have to clean your coffee pot with vinegar every now and then to keep that coffee flowing and the parts clean. But don’t you feel wasteful when you throw out the vinegar at the end of the cleaning cycle?

Here’s the great news: you can use that vinegar to keep the sink stinks out of your drain.

After you’ve cleaned your coffee pot, pour the hot vinegar down the drain. Doing this every time you clean your coffee pot should help to keep those ugly sink stinks at bay!

When All Else Fails

Whether you have a garbage disposal or not, this last method is what you should resort to when all else fails. In other words, if you’ve tried some of the above methods and are still dealing with sink sinks, it’s time for drastic measures.

Your final step is to clean the P-trap and cleanse it of all the grunge that has likely collected there. But beware—this is a dirty job!

Start by disconnecting the power to the garbage disposal and turning off the water to sink. Then, place a bucket underneath the sink and use a wrench to unscrew the P-trap. Place a rubber pipe plug in the open end of the main drain pipe.

Now, run hot water and allow it to fill the sink to just above the level of the drain. Pour some powdered oxygen bleach into the sink and allow it to sit and help disintegrate the concealed crud for about an hour. After an hour, remove the pipe plug and you should see the sludge fill the bucket.

Reinstall the P-trap and then run hot water in your sink. The sink stinks should be gone!

Call in the Pros

If you’ve attempted all of the DIY methods and your sink still stinks, it may be time to call in the professionals. Every house has a plumbing vent, and that vent runs out of the top of your roof. Sometimes it can become clogged, which can cause a smelly sink.

Either climb to the roof and investigate the vent yourself or call in a professional to do it for you. If a clog is the reason for your sink stinks, the smell will go away as soon as the clog is cleared.

Solved: How to Get Rid of Sink Stinks

When your sink stinks, it can cause you to avoid your kitchen because the smell can be difficult to take. But by following the tips listed above, your sink will be smelling fresh again in no time.

Do you have any sink stinks remedies that we didn’t mention? If so, please leave them in the comments below!


How to Grow Garlic: When to Plant, When to Harvest, and How to Store

When prepping, you know you need to store things like beans, potatoes, rice, and meat, but what about the things that will add some flavor to your life in the event things go sideways? Garlic is easy to grow and store — and it’s flavorful. Do you want to know how to grow garlic?

Let’s find out how to grow and store garlic, no matter where you live.

Why Learn How to Grow Garlic for Prepping?

In addition to the flavor value that garlic will add to your meals, it also packs some nutrients you will need when eating a pared-down menu. For instance, garlic contains vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, manganese, potassium, selenium, and zinc.

Some studies even show that garlic can help reduce sick time with common colds and even reduce high blood pressure — something good to have around when other options may not be available.

Finally, when you learn how to grow garlic, it will help in your garden. Garlic has natural pesticide and fungicide properties that will defend your other plants, such as lettuce, against pests. And if pests do get in your garden, you can whip up a batch of garlic pepper tea spray to drive them out quickly.

Which Type of Garlic Should You Plant?

When choosing which types of garlic to plant, you will find many choices. But there are two categories of garlic: softneck and hardneck. The type you plant will depend on the area you live in.

Softneck garlic is hardy and lasts longer than hardneck garlic, which is ideal for a prepping situation. The garlic stems die down completely as the garlic matures, and people typically use these flexible stems to braid the garlic for storage.

Hardneck garlic is a great choice for people living in a cold climate. In warmer climates, they may refuse to produce or will split as the temperature warms up. The stems also die down, but a stiff middle shaft remains, making it impossible to brain this type of garlic.

How to Grow Garlic from Kitchen Scraps?

You can purchase garlic starts from your local nursery, but the truth is, you don’t have to. Instead, if you purchase organic garlic from your grocery store, you can separate the gloves and grow garlic from scrapes. Just follow the instructions below whether you purchase cloves from a nursery or the grocery store.

When to Plant Garlic

The time of year you should plant garlic depends on where you live. If you live in a warm climate, plan on planting your garden in the spring. But if you live in a cold climate, the fall is the best time for planting garlic.

How to plant garlic in the fall

Although garlic won’t begin to come up in your garden until spring, it is best planted in the fall if you live in a warm climate. Specifically, you should wait to plant garlic until after the autumnal equinox, which is in late September — roughly six to eight weeks before the ground freezes. That will allow it to get a head start and then begin maturing during the long daylight hours of summer.

While this is generally a good time to plant garlic, it would be smart to check with your local extension office to determine the best time to plant garlic in your area.

How to plant garlic in the spring

If you live in a cold climate, spring is the best time to plant your garlic. That’s because garlic may not survive outside in very cold or freezing temperatures. As soon as you can work the ground, likely in February or March, you can plant the garlic.

How to Plant Garlic

If you’re looking for something easy to grow in your prepper garden, garlic is it. To plant garlic, you will use the garlic bulbs and plant them in the dirt. Then, each bulb will grow into a new garlic head. Be sure to plant the largest garlic bulbs so your new garlic head will be robust and healthy.

How to Plant Garlic Bulbs

When planting garlic, you have two choices of how to do it. Either way works as well, but people typically prefer one way over the other. You can either simply plant the garlic bulbs or soak them first.

Soak the garlic bulbs

If you want to give your garlic bulbs a kick start before planting them, you can soak them. To soak garlic cloves, create a mixture of one tablespoon of organic fish fertilizer, one tablespoon of baking soda, and a gallon of water. This concoction will act as a preventative measure against fungal diseases that can affect garlic.

Soaking your garlic will also jumpstart the growing process by giving the bulb extra energy. After soaking them for 15 minutes to a few hours, drop them in a jar filled with 70 percent Isopropyl rubbing alcohol, vodka, or hydrogen peroxide. That will kill any mites hiding in the garlic, so they don’t wreak havoc on it next spring.

Drain the garlic, and be sure to plant it within an hour after soaking it.

Plant them without soaking

You don’t have to soak your garlic. If you want to skip this step, start by separating the cloves from the main bulb. Then, peel off the papery thin skin that covers each bulb on your garlic. If you don’t peel off the outer layer, it could cause the bulb to rot because it will hold too much moisture.

How to Plant Garlic Cloves

Whether you buy garlic cloves from your local nursery or the grocery store, it will come in a large head that consists of many cloves. It’s necessary to separate them carefully to plant the cloves, ensuring that the papery skin stays intact.

Then, you can either soak them as we described above or plant them as they are in the ground.

How to Prepare the Soil for Garlic

When learning how to grow garlic, you can either plant it directly in the ground, a pot, or another type of container. If you plan to plant your garlic in a container, you should fill it with a combination of good quality potting soil and manure.

On the other hand, if you want to plant the garlic directly in the soil, pick a spot that gets full sun. Make sure the soil drains well. You can do this by using a hoe and working the soil at least four inches deep. Add compost to the soil to ensure the garlic will grow to its full potential.

How Deep to Plant Garlic

To grow the best garden for prepping, you should plant the garlic about two inches deep. Dig down the soil to about four inches, which will provide plenty of room for your garlic head to grow. For the best results, plant your garlic cloves four inches apart so they will have enough room to spread out while growing.

Your garlic clove will have a flat side, which is where the roots will form, and a pointy side. When putting the clove in the dirt, you should insert the flat side into the soil and the pointy side nearest the top of the soil. Once you put it in the soil, cover it up so that no part of the clove is showing.

How to Mulch Garlic

If you are planting garlic in the fall, you will want to wait for the green sprigs to come up and then surround them with mulch. After you have a hard freeze that kills the shoots, cover the entire container or bed with mulch. The mulch will ensure the cloves continue to gain strength and grow during the colder months. Once the soil warms up in the spring, you can remove the mulch.

How to Fertilize Garlic

To ensure that your garlic grows big and healthy, you can add some fish emulsion to the soil around it. Simply dilute it according to the instructions on the package and add it to the container or bed. One application should last through the season, but if the shoots turn yellow at any time, add some more.

How to Prune Garlic

As the garlic begins to flourish in the spring, you will see garlic scapes begin to grow in abundance. While it may be tempting to let them grow, you shouldn’t. Left unchecked, the scapes will take the energy that the garlic bulb needs to grow big and healthy.

Here’s a hard lesson when learning how to grow garlic: You will have to cut off the scapes as you see them grow. Remember, garlic scapes are delicious and add a burst of flavor to soups, salads, and stir-fried vegetables. You can also dehydrate them and add them to your store of preserved goods.

How to Water Garlic

If you plant garlic in the spring, you should water it every three to five days or whenever the soil becomes dry. If you grow garlic in the winter, you will not need to water it once you cover the top of the bed or container with mulch. Once the spring arrives, you can begin watering it as needed.

How to Harvest Garlic

You will know your garlic is ready to harvest once the tops of the garlic plants turn yellow, fall over, and die. It will be in July or August. But if you wait too late to harvest your garlic, you run the risk of it shriveling up underground. And if you harvest it too early, it will be impossible to cure.

To remove it from the ground or a container, use a spade to loosen the dirt around the garlic head. Then, holding onto the stem, gently pull the garlic out of the ground. Brush away the dirt that sticks to the bulb.

How to Cure Garlic

You will need to cure the garlic before taking it indoors and eating it. That will allow it to store for a longer time, as the skin will dry out and the bulb will get firmer. To cure garlic, store it in a dry, cool place.

People store garlic in three ways. You can cut off the stem and cure the bulbs in a storage bin that provides good air circulation. You can also leave the stems attached if you grew softneck and braid the stems to form a group of bulbs. Hang them in a cool place that is dry with air circulation.

Finally, you can hang the bulbs upside down in a shaded area in the warmth, leaving the stems attached.

How to Store Garlic

The first thing you need to know about storing garlic is that you shouldn’t clean it before storing it. It will have more dirt on it than the garlic bulbs in the grocery store, but that’s okay. The dirt will ensure that it lasts longer in your prepper cabinet.

To keep garlic good, find a storage location that is between 55 and 70 degrees. The areas should have good air circulation and only moderate humidity. The area should be dark, and no sunlight should be present.

Do not store garlic in a refrigerator because it will cause it to sprout. Also, avoid putting the garlic in plastic bags because they will cause the garlic to rot.

Of course, if you want to preserve the garlic for years, you can dehydrate it or freeze-dry it.

Keep Some Garlic for the Next Planting Season

Finally, choose a few large and healthy bulbs and set them aside for next year’s planting. Simply set them aside in your storage area and mark them, so you will know where to find them once the planting season rolls around.

Answered: How to Grow Garlic

Most preppers are pretty well versed in the staples needed to sustain life in case of an emergency. But adding flavorful and healthy plants like garlic will add some variety to your storage area and ensure that your food provides the essential nutrients that lead to health.


Winterizing Houseplants and Container Gardens: What to Do with All These Plants!

Winterizing houseplants and container gardens is vital if you want them to survive the colder months.

When it’s sunny and hot outside, it can do wonders for your houseplants to put them outdoors. It livens them up and gives them all the nutrients that can only come from the sun. Likewise, if you grow container gardens, the best place for them is outdoors in the sunshine.

But what happens when the weather turns cold? What to do with all these plants?

After all, most plants that grow in containers won’t survive outdoors once winter hits. That’s why winterizing houseplants and container gardens is so important.

Let’s learn how to winterize houseplants and container gardens so you can enjoy them again year after year.

Know Your Hardiness Zone

Before we talk about winterizing houseplants and container gardens, it’s important to understand what hardiness zone you live in.

When you know your zone, you can look at charts and maps to determine what your freeze dates are. That will tell you when to begin planning to winterize your plants.

Winterizing Houseplants and Container Gardens: What Are Your Options?

Winterizing houseplants and container gardens doesn’t look the same for every gardener.

How you do it will depend on whether you plan to bring the entire pot inside, replant it in the ground, or shelter it from the elements.

Here are the steps you should take for each method.

Bring the plant indoors

If the plant isn’t too heavy, you can bring the plant inside of your home until the frigid weather passes. Here’s how to do it.

A few months before you plan to bring the plants indoors, you need to begin a pest control regimen. This will kill and prevent pests from clinging to the plant and traveling with it indoors.

Fertilome Triple Action: Insecticide, Fungicide, and Miticide is a product that is designed for this use. When using it, be sure to spray all parts of the plant, including the soil, to kill any bugs in the pot.

If you prefer to use something organic, Greenive Neem Oil will also kill the bugs but without the harsh chemicals.

Whichever method you choose to use, you will need to dilute the product according to the directions and then fill a spray bottle, like the Chapin 20000 Garden Sprayer, with the mixture.

Ready the plant

Once the temperatures outside reach about 50 degrees, it’s time to move the plants indoors. But before you do, you will need to check that the plant is healthy enough to stay potted in its current pot.

If your plants have any of these indicators, you will have to repot them:

  • After watering, the plant quickly wilts
  • The soil in the pot dries out quickly
  • Roots are visible on the surface of the soil
  • The new growth on the plant has smaller leaves

If you have to repot the plant, use a new pot that is two-inches wider or less than the old pot.

Also, be sure to use a potting mix that will allow for good drainage and optimum growth. One such mix is Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil with Control.

It is made for indoor plants and includes a slow-release fertilizer that will help your plant continue to grow and stay healthy.

Set it up for success

Now that your plant is happily sitting in a new pot, it’s time to remove any spindly stems or old foliage. This will give your plant proper airflow and help encourage growth.

Spray your plant again with the Fertilome Triple Action: Insecticide, Fungicide, and Miticide for good measure.

If you used a different potting mix that doesn’t include a good fertilizer, you will need to add some to the pot. Nature’s Source Plant Food is a good choice because it can be used for both indoor and outdoor plants.

Place the plant next to a window or other areas where it gets plenty of sunshine or use grow lights. Your plant should continue to thrive and grow until it’s time to take it back outside.

Winterize container plants so they remain outdoors

You may not have room inside your house, especially if you are winterizing a container garden. Or, some people may not have a sunny window where the plants can sit.

In that case, winterizing potted houseplants and container gardens and leaving them outdoors may be right for you.

If you plan to use this method, make sure you use the rights pots. That’s because some pots, like untreated terra cotta, can crack under the strain of freezing temperatures. To prevent pots from breaking, use plastic pots.

Here are steps to protecting your plants outdoors while the winter rages on around them.

Take a second look at your plants

Not all container plants can be safely winterized and left outdoors. To determine whether yours can, you need to know your hardiness zone and the zone of the plant.

For the best results, the plants should be rated two hardiness zones colder than your area.

For instance, if you live in hardiness zone seven, the plant should be rated for hardiness zone five for the best chance of survival.

Find a snuggle spot

Containers alone won’t protect your plants from the cold, but submerging the container in the dirt will give them that extra layer of warmth.

Start by finding an area of your lawn or garden that is protected from the elements as much as possible. Then, dig a hole that is a little deeper than the container.

Next, spread a layer of gravel in the bottom of the hole. This is important because, at certain temperatures, the soil in the pot will freeze.

Then, as spring arrives, that soil will begin to thaw. But because it will thaw sooner than the ground underneath it, you must provide a way for the water to drain — and the gravel will do just that.

Backfill the hole with the surrounding dirt, ensuring that the pot is a little lower than the surrounding dirt. Then, add mulch such as leaves or straw to the top of the dirt.

What happens in spring?

Once spring — and spring rains — come, it’s time to move the plant back to its warm-weather spot.

That’s because once the ground begins to thaw and the rains begin, the pot will soak in water if it’s not moved.

By now, the plant will be sprouting new growth and be ready for warmth again in a nice, sunny spot.

Winterize houseplants and container gardens by sheltering them

Sometimes, you can give your plants shelter and prevent the cold temperatures from killing them.

The idea behind this method is to create a space that provides warmth for the plants, despite the raging cold around them.

But don’t look for a sunny spot—the idea is to stop the swing between temperature ranges as that will kill your plants. Instead, look for a sheltered, shady spot.

Here is how to shelter your plants during the winter.

Huddle up

By cluttering your potted plants together against the wall of your home, you will accomplish two things.

First, the wall will act as a wind barrier, which will help keep the temperatures from dropping. Next, the clustered plants will each radiate heat keeping the others warm.

Add some heat

Now that your plants are gathered together, it’s time to add some additional warmth. Start by covering the pots with straw, leaves, or another layer of warmth.

Take an extra step by placing each pot inside of a larger one and filling the gap between the pots with soil or mulch. Doing this will reduce the temperature swings and give your plants a better chance of survival.

Build a silo

If you want an extra layer of protection, you can build a silo around the pots with stakes and chicken wire. Then, fill the silo with leaves, hay, or other mulch so that it covers the pots.

You can also use agricultural fabric to add some warmth. This extra heat is a great way to ensure your plants will last through the winter.

You can also put the clustered plants in an unheated greenhouse or hoop house to give them that extra layer of warmth.

Winterizing houseplants: A note about annuals

If you’re like most gardeners, you buy annuals for their beautiful bright flowers. But once fall rolls around, you throw them away and buy replacements once the weather warms up.

But what if we told you that it’s possible to winterize houseplants and container gardens that are made up of annuals?

It’s true.

By bringing your annuals indoors, you can keep them alive. Then, once spring comes around again, you can place them outdoors again to enjoy them for another season.

Here are the steps to bring your annuals indoors so they will be ready to beautify your yard again once the chance of a frost disappears.

Know your annuals

Annuals come in five types: cool-season annuals, warm-season annuals, tender annuals, half-hardy annuals, and hardy annuals.

The only type of annual you can safely winterize and leave outdoors is a hardy annual. The remaining types need to be brought indoors.

Prepare the containers

Your first step is to purchase enough containers to hold the annuals. These containers should be a minimum of a half-inch in diameter and should have drainage holes.

Instead of filling the containers with native soil, fill them with potting soil, perlite, and sphagnum moss.

Mosser Lee Long Fibered Sphagnum Moss is a great choice because it has a high rate of water retention, which will reduce your watering time.

Dig them up

Now it’s time to dig up the beautiful plants that have graced your garden during warmer months.

To do so, use a spade to dig a hole a few inches deep around the plant. Then, use the spade to carefully lift up the plant.

Plant them in a container, three inches apart. The number of containers you will need depends on how many annuals you plan to bring indoors.

Once the annuals are firmly planted in the pots, spread a two-inch layer of mulch around them and water the plants. Place them in a sunny spot near a window.

After the last frost of the year, you can replant the annuals in your garden.

Winterizing Houseplants and Container Gardens: It’s Your Move!

Now that you understand the methods of winterizing houseplants and container gardens, there is no reason to allow your plants to die off during the cold, winter months.

Instead, you can take some precautions that will help them get through the cold winter months. Then, once the weather warms up again, your plants will be ready to make your home beautiful again!

Do you have any tips of your own for winterizing houseplants and container gardens? Share them with us in the comments.


Eco Christmas Tree 101: Best Practices for Live and Cut Trees

There is nothing like the smell of a Christmas tree. Once you bring it into the home, a Christmas tree will bring holiday joy when you add lights, decorations, and a beautiful star to top off the awesomeness. But to get the most out of the experience, you will need to learn how to take care of your Christmas tree.

And that’s true whether you purchase a cut tree or a live one.

Here’s what you need to know.

What Kind of Christmas Tree Should You Buy?

If you want a fresh tree, you have a couple of choices. You can purchase a cut tree and place it in a Christmas tree stand once you bring it into your home. The way you care for a cut tree is different from how you care for a live tree.

If you prefer to buy a live tree, it will typically come in a small pot with dirt. You will care for this type of tree much the same way you would care for a potted plant. And stayed tuned, because, in a bit, we’ll show you how to plant your live tree in your yard.

How to Care for a Cut Christmas Tree

Taking care of a cut Christmas tree is simple, but these few steps will go a long way in ensuring that your tree stays fresh and doesn’t dry out. Start by acclimating the tree before bringing it into your home.

This is important because if you carry the tree from the cold retail store environment into your heated home, it could stress the tree and cause it to dry out.

And a dry Christmas tree could be a safety hazard. (Not to mention all the pine needles you will have to sweep on a daily basis!)

Place the tree in an unheated area of your home such as the garage or outdoor storage shed for one to two days before bringing it in the home. Next, cut about an inch off the base of the tree. Doing so will allow the Christmas tree to absorb more water.

Finally, fill the Christmas tree stand with water and secure the tree inside of it. Every week or so, check the water level to ensure that it hasn’t evaporated. Be sure to place the tree in an out-of-the-way spot so no one trips over the lighting plug or accidentally knocks over the tree.

How to Care for a Live Christmas Tree

Whether your live Christmas tree is small or large determines how you will care for it. If your tree is small, it is likely planted in a container with soil. In this case, you should check the soil every few days, and if it’s dry, water it.

If your Christmas tree is live, it likely has a root ball attached to it and is not planted in a container. This type of tree should be held up by a Christmas tree stand just as a cut tree is. The difference is that the root ball, as long as it stays moist, will keep the tree alive.

No matter which type of tree you have, it’s important to keep it moist so that it doesn’t become dry. Also, just as with a cut tree, place the live tree out of the way and far away from any heating devices or fireplaces. Be sure to turn off the lights on the tree before going to bed.

How to Plant a Live Christmas Tree

If you plan to plant your Christmas tree in your yard after Christmas, you will have to take some steps beforehand to ensure success. For starters, you should look for a Christmas tree with a root ball. If the root ball has already been cut from the tree, it cannot be planted.

Next, look for a smaller tree. Smaller Christmas trees have a better chance of taking root and thriving when you plant them. Once you find the tree, let it sit outdoors in the cold until you are ready to bring it indoors. The reason for this is that the tree is in dormancy when it is cold, and it needs to be in this state when it is planted.

Once you bring the tree to the heated indoors, it will begin to come out of its dormancy stage. That means the most you can keep the tree indoors for one to one-and-a-half weeks. Any longer than that will reduce the chances of a successful planting because the tree might not adapt to the outdoor conditions again.

Take the tree outdoors and allow it to sit in the cold for about a week so it will go back into dormancy. Then, dig a hole. Take the burlap covering off the root ball and plant the tree in the hole. Backfill it with dirt, cover the area with some good, organic mulch, and water the tree.

You should wait until spring to fertilize your newly planted Christmas tree.

How to Properly Dispose of a Christmas Tree

If you bought a cut Christmas tree, you will have to dispose of it once you take down the tree.

You have several options when it comes to disposing of your Christmas tree. But before you make plans, you should remove all of the decorations, lighting, tree skirt, and anything else you used to adorn the tree.

Next, place a plastic bag over the tree before you haul it out of the house. Because the tree is likely drier than when you brought it into the house, the needles will fall off in mass. A plastic bag will reduce the number of needles on your floor.

After you’ve taken the wrapped Christmas tree outdoors, it’s time to clean up inside. Don’t use a vacuum cleaner to pick up the pine needles because they can clog your machine. Instead, use a broom and dustbin to gather the needles.

Finally, check for water damage on your floor where the Christmas tree stood. You were good to ensure the stand didn’t go dry, but now you will need to ensure that water didn’t overflow on your floor. Mop us any standing water and dry the area.

Now, it’s time to figure out how to dispose of the Christmas tree. Here are your options.

Recycle the tree

Trees are natural materials, which makes them perfect for recycling. Depending on where you live, you could contact the city or town mulch center, the forest department, or even the fire department. Check your local area to determine which organization accepts Christmas trees for recycling purposes.

Also, you can choose to recycle the tree yourself. Start by standing the tree up in your yard and allowing the birds to make a home in it. Then, as the pine needles begin to fall off and the tree becomes bare, you can put it through a wood chipper and use the chips to mulch your garden.

Another way to recycle the tree yourself is to cut it up and sink the larger branches and trunk areas in a pond. The fish will use the tree as a natural habitat. Eventually, the tree will decompose, but before it does, it will provide some wildlife with a safe place to live.

Get crafty

You can also use parts of the Christmas tree for crafts for now or next year. For instance, one way you can recycle part of the tree is to look for branches that aren’t yet dried out and use them to make wreaths and other pretty decorations. After all, Christmas decorations are often enjoyed well beyond the New Year!

You can also cut off the trunk in circles and use them for Christmas decorations next year. Simply cut the trunk so that you have circles and cut a hole in the top of each one. Now, you have a blank slate you can use to make unique decorations for next year’s Christmas tree.

Leave it out for pick up

Some municipalities offer to pick up Christmas trees from local residents. Call your city or town and ask if they provide these services. If so, you will leave your Christmas tree at the curb, and on a prearranged day, the city truck will pick it up.

Put it in the bin

If your city doesn’t provide pick up for Christmas trees, you can reduce the tree into manageable parts that will fit in your waste bin. Start by removing pine needles from the branches. Then, carefully cut off the bare branches into small pieces.

After you’ve removed all of the branches, cut the trunk into pieces that will fit inside your trash can. If your city offers recycling trashcans, be sure to place the cut-up tree into the one reserved for organic matter. Try to cut the pieces as small as possible to make the job of emptying it easier for the workers.

Call a nonprofit

Many nonprofits, such as the Boy Scouts, offer Christmas tree pick up services. While the service is free, many people offer a small “thank you” to the nonprofit for the service.

By using one of these organizations for your Christmas tree pickup, you can get rid of your tree and donate to your favorite cause in one swoop.

Christmas Tree Care Is Easy Once You Know How

Buying, decorating, and disposing of a Christmas tree involves a lot, but luckily, the entire process is easy. If you understand all of the factors before you purchase your tree, you can make better choices about which type of tree best suits your family.

Do you have a favorite? Let us know why in the comments below!


11 Green Gifts Inspiration for This Holiday Season

Do you have a crunchy friend? You know, the type of person you could never present with a gift made of plastic or non-recycled goods? If so, take heart because we’ve put together an incredible list of green gifts for those eco-friendly loved ones who are oh so difficult to buy for.

Luckily, we compiled a list for you, so all you have to do is pick and buy. Check out a few of our favorite green gifts.

Green Gifts for Gardeners

When you are buying gifts for gardeners, you need a gift that will meet their eco-friendly sensibilities. We’ve searched far and wide for the best gardening green gifts, so you don’t have to. Here are 11 great green gifts that will make them profusely thank you from their little green heart.

1. Grow up

Ask any gardener what their worst nightmare is, and you will likely hear that it’s a lack of space. After all, gardeners love to experiment by using crop rotation, making DIY pest preventatives from things they have in the kitchen, and growing new types of seeds every year to expand their horticultural palate. But when they run out of land, all that fun can be quickly be put on hold.

Enter the Mr. Stacky 5-Tier Strawberry and Herb Garden Planter. Its unique upward design allows gardeners to grow their herbs, strawberries, and smaller plants vertically, saving a lot of room on the ground. The planter comes in black, hunter green, stone, and terra cotta, and its round design will allow anyone to grow an impressive number of plants in a small space.

2. Grow inside

Not everyone who is a gardener at heart has an outdoor space to grow their own food or herbs. And that’s where the world of hydroponics comes in. Growing food in hydroponic systems is an art, and it takes a lot of knowledge to get it right.

That’s why our next green gifts pick is an excellent step-by-step that explains the process in detail. If the crunchy gardener in your life is someone who has it in them to build their own hydroponics system, this book is just what they need to get started.

DIY Hydroponic Gardens: How to Design and Build an Inexpensive System for Growing Plants in Water” is an affordable gift that will delight your out-of-the-box gardener.

3. Don’t throw that away!

Ahh, the crunchy heart. After they’ve cooked a good meal and are cleaning up, they don’t just throw out the food waste as other people do. Instead, they save it all and throw it in the compost pile at the end of the day — or week. But that can present some unique challenges.

For starters, all those food scraps can cause one big stinky mess if left on the counter for too long. Also, fruit flies will appear if you don’t take the waste outdoor promptly. But making the trip to the outdoor compost pile a few times a day is no one’s idea of a good time.

And that’s where the Third Rock Compost Bin comes in. This study countertop compost bin is constructed with a dual-layer of powder-coated carbon steel and includes a charcoal filter to keep the smells inside. Using it is easy: Just throw the kitchen scraps inside and take it outside to the compost pile once it’s full.

4. Mix things up

Anyone who has ever tended to a compost pile knows how difficult it can be to turn the compost so that it stays hot and produces the black gold that makes gardens thrive. That’s why we choose the FCMP Tumbling Composter as one of our green gifts that will make crunchy gardeners green with envy.

This tumbling composter holds 37 gallons of material and comes with a handy handle that allows the user to simply turn it and mix up the compost inside. And because the composter is enclosed, it prevents pests like rodents and raccoons from setting up house inside the compost pile.

The manufacturer claims you can create compost within two weeks in the right conditions.

Even better is its dual components. Because there are two chambers, it’s possible to start one section with compost and once it’s near-complete, start a new one in the second chamber. No more waiting to add compost to a near-complete pile!

Your friends and family will love this green gift. It’s BPA free, made with 100 percent post-consumer recycled polypropylene, and is UV inhibited.

5. Start them out right

Any gardener with environmental concerns knows that all those plastic seed starting pots aren’t a good thing. But when you need to start a seed, you need something to plant it in. That’s why so many green gardeners resort to trying to fold pieces of newspaper into a make-shift pot — it doesn’t always work well.

But now there is another option. The Esschert Design Secrets du Potager Paper Pot Maker is an inventive solution to the problem. The design, which is wood, helps gardeners carefully create paper pots from old newspapers.

To use it, your friend or family member will simply use the tool to create paper pots that won’t fail. And when the seedling is ready to plant, you can place it in the ground because the newspaper will rot away. That will add those much sought after worms to the soil.

Speaking of garden worms…

6. Yes, they really want this

Worm farms are a green gift that most crunchy gardeners would be thrilled to receive. Good soil requires rich compost material, and worm waste is one of the best out there. But instead of waiting for worms to find a garden and begin enriching the soil, many gardeners create worm farms that do the work.

The Worm Factory is a four-tier worm farm (it’s expandable up to eight trays) that allows gardeners to collect the rich worm castings from their own yard. It comes with an accessory kit that includes bedding materials, a quick start guide, and an 80-page information book with DVD instructions. If your friend wants to grow worms for their garden, this is the perfect green gift.

If you want to really thrill them, include a packet of Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm Red Wigglers to help them get started right away.

7. Don’t get carried away

What does a gardener do when they reap a huge harvest of fruits, vegetables, and herbs? They carry it to the kitchen, of course. But some gardeners are luckier than others and are able to carry their harvest in style. That’s the focus of our next pick for our green gifts guide.

The Maine Garden Hod is an exquisitely beautiful harvest basket made from food-grade, PVC-coated wire, pine end caps, and a steam-bent solid oak handle. The harvest basket looks as natural as the food your gardener will carry in it.

And if the recipient likes their things to do double duty, the harvest basket can double as a magazine rack, toy box, or a pantry bin. Talk about good for the environment! The harvest basket is 18-inches long, 11-inches wide, and just over 6-inches deep.

8. Write the right way

If your crunchy friend is a lover of words, you are going to be excited about our next pick. The Honeycomb Decomposition Book is a new take on the old composition books. This eco-friendly journal is better looking — and it’s better for the environment.

Made with 100 percent recycled paper and printed with soy ink, this journal is everything crunchy. It features a bee honeycomb on the cover and back page, and the inside consists of 80 sheets (160 pages) of college-ruled paper. The journal measures 7.5-inches by 9.9 inches and has a made in the USA stamp on it.

9. Encourage them to be hands-on

When you’re digging around in the dirt, it’s nice to have breathable and flexible gloves. Better yet, those gloves would be good for the environment. That’s a win-win for the gift giver and the recipient.

These eco-friendly Bamboo Gardening Gloves by Kamojo fit the bill. The gloves are unisex and ideal for both men and women. They are a nature-friendly natural latex coating and bamboo, which decomposes once you discard them.

Compare this to typical garden gloves made from nitrite or polyurethane. Gardening gloves that can take decades to decompose in the landfill. The gloves are thicker than most and have a nonslip grip that allows gardeners to carry wet or heavy objects without risk of losing their grip.

10. Get your bee on

No matter if your gardener grows vegetables, fruits, herbs, or flowers, they need bees to help pollinate their crops. And one of the best green gifts you can give a gardener is a place for those bees to set up their home. That way, the garden will be full of pollinating bees that will the garden produce a bigger harvest.

The Mason Bee House by the Cestari Store is a wonderful example of eco-friendliness and usefulness in the garden.

The bee house tubes are smooth bamboo, so the bee’s wings aren’t injured when climbing in and out of the tube. And the product is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), which means it comes from responsibly managed forests.

This bee nester is a great addition to any garden. It offers 75 different tubes of all sizes to attract various types of bees — over 140 species. And the tubes are four-inches long, so the bees will have plenty of room to lay their eggs.

Just think: You can give your crunchy friend a green gift that helps support the dwindling bee population and helps pollinate their garden!

Up the happiness factor by including a bottle of Donaldson Farms Mason Bee House Attractant. When sprayed on the bee house, it will attract beneficial bees to it, so they set up house earlier, which means the bees will get to work faster in the garden!

11. It’s a wrap

Now that you’ve seen all the green gifts you can choose from, it will be easy to make a choice that the recipient will love. But you don’t’ want to just hand them the gift, do you? No, you’ll want to wrap it up in something special.

This is where our final suggestion comes in. The Gift Wrap That Grows and Blooms Colorful Wild Flowers by Triumph Plant is the perfect ending to our list. This unique wrapping paper contains hundreds of wildflowers seeded directly into the paper.

You can plant it in the garden for future blooms. Just imagine: Your friend can unwrap their green gifts and then plant the wrapping paper to see a display of beauty in the garden a few weeks later.

Really, it does a crunchy soul well, doesn’t it?

Did You Find the Green Gifts for the People on Your List?

Isn’t it great to know that there are plenty of options for the people on your list who are a little on the crunchy side? Most eco-concerned people have gardens, and that means you’ll find a plethora of gifts that appeal to their natural nature.

Did we miss any green gifts that you know about? If so, please tell us about them in the comment below!


Thoughtful Gifts for Singers: Our Top 16 Picks of the Year

Do you have a singer in your life? If so, you may be wondering how to find gifts for them that they will truly appreciate. Here’s the great news: finding gifts for singers isn’t difficult.

In fact, you can pick up some great gifts for singers—and some for only a song!

Here are some of the greatest gifts for singers you’ll find for this holiday season.

16 Gifts for Singers That Will Have Them Singing

Singers are a special group of people. They not only have a talent that many people wish they had, but they also have a knack for bringing harmony to the room.

If you’re looking for gifts for singers to make the singer in your life croon, check out these selections.

1. Here’s my card

Singers need contacts to make it in the business, and handing out cards is part of that process. But musicians are creatives so their cardholders should reflect that creativity.

That’s why we recommend the Cassette Business Card Case/Holder by Unic Goods.

This unique case is shaped like a cassette tape, making it one of the most unique gifts for singers. It is made with walnut or oak wood, and the front designs are made with an anti-scratch ink.

Custom engraving is available for this product on the front or back of it. You can engrave the singer’s name, initials, logo, quotes, or images. The product is priced right and includes free shipping.

2. Did you hear that?

Headphones to singers are as common as a hammer is to a carpenter. That’s why these Bellaa Headphone Bookends are perfect gifts for singers.

After all, what singer doesn’t want to hold up their books with a pair of headphones? The headphones are six inches tall and are made from oil-rubbed polyresin.

3. Bringer the singer (this)

Songwriting is a huge part of being a successful singer. It can be difficult to find just the right words when writing a song because some of the words need to rhyme to make the song sound good.

Another one of our great gifts for singers is the Essential Songwriter’s Rhyming Dictionary by Keven Mitchell.

The book lists 15,000 of the most commonly used words in music. Talk about a great way to make the songwriting process easier!

4. Get the song out of their head

Singers love to write songs and that makes a songwriter’s journal one of the most perfect gifts for singers. But not just any old journal will do.

The Songwriter’s Journal by Elizabeth Evans goes a step above many others. This songwriter’s journal offers room for 72 songs and includes tips, prompts, and words of wisdom to inspire the singer.

The journal includes lined pages for writing lyrics, staffed pages for the music, and fret diagrams. It also features a back pocket that holds notes, business cards, and anything else the singer wants to store there.

The journal measures 6 1/4 inches wide by 8 1/4 inches high.

5. A true pro

The equipment a singer uses will affect the quality of their voice. That’s why giving them professional recording studio equipment can help boost their career.

The ZINGYOU Condenser Microphone Bundle comes with a BM-800 microphone, a shock mount, pop filter, a microphone adjustable suspension scissor arm stand, an anti-wind foam cap, a power cable, and a sound card.

The kit is ideal for both vocals and instruments and comes with a 1-year warranty, a 30-day replacement service, 7 days to return it (for any reason), and detailed instructions for assembly.

6. Tell it like it is

Does the singer in your life know how great they are? If not, the 3DRose Black Text Two-Tone Mug with the words, “Best Singer Ever” on it will let them know how you feel!

This mug comes in black and white and holds 10.88 ounces. The mug measures 4 by 3 by 3.8 inches and when drinking from it, the singer will know that you appreciate their natural talent!

7. Snowball chance of success

Every singer needs a microphone, and one of the best gifts for singers is one that will make their voice ring true.

The Snowball microphone is an iconic microphone for a reason: it delivers excellent sound. It’s a classic studio-quality USB microphone that your singer will use to belt out their songs.

The microphone plugs into a Mac or PC and beautifully records vocals and instruments.

8. Stay here

Does your singer tour the U.S. (or the world) and need a place to stay at night? If so, one of the greatest gifts for singers is a free hotel stay.

You can book a hotel for the singer in the city or town where they are performing and eliminate the need for them to have to worry about the details.

Just imagine, when they walk off the stage, they will feel comfort in knowing that you’ve taken care of the hotel room!

9. Can I have one of those?

Does your singer love to bake? If so, these musical cookie cutters by R & M International may be one of the best gifts for singers you can find.

The six-piece set comes with a piano-shaped cutter, three musical notes, a G-clef, a guitar, and a violin. The cookie cutters are made with tinplated steel and range from 3.5 inches to 5 inches.

And remember, even if your singer isn’t a baker, they can use the cookie cutters on sandwiches, craft clay, and many other things!

10. It’s a wrap

Another one of the best gifts for singers is the Musical Notes Print Infinity Loop Scarf by Lina & Lily.

The scarf is made with 100 percent polyester but feels like a cotton-like gauze fabric. It is breathable, lightweight, and super soft. And the non-scratch fabric will make wearing it ultra-comfortable.

The scarf measures 35 inches by 70 inches. It can be worn as a single loop, or they can double loop it to make the scarf appear fuller. This is a great gift for the fashionable singer in your life!

11. Open the door to music

Everyone carries keys, but the singer in your life can carry a keychain that speaks to the importance of music in their life.

The Music Keychain by Infinity Collection is the ideal gift for the singer in your life. The keychain features three aspects.

The largest charm is a silver circle with the words, “Where words fail, music speaks” on it. Next to that is a beautiful silver microphone. Finally, a tiny silver musical note completes the set.

The keychain measures 3 by 3 by 0.4 inches and comes packaged in a velvet jewelry bag to make the presentation even more special.

12. Surrounded by music

The Music Note Necklace by Quan Jewelry Store is a statement piece that makes a great gift for singers. The necklace features jumbled looking music notes and will catch the attention of anyone who sees it.

It is constructed of pure pewter and is handmade. That makes the necklace hypoallergenic, which means it won’t rust or tarnish — and it will last a long time.

The necklace is packaged on a card that includes a quote that says, “Music is Life, that’s why our hearts have beats!”

13. Are they on key?

The MetroPitch by the KLIQ Music Gears Store is one of the most useful gifts for singers you will find. It comes in four colors: black, gold, red, and blue.

It is a three-in-one device that features a tuner, a metronome, and a tone generator. But it won’t take up a lot of room: it is small enough to fit in the singer’s pocket and comes with a handy carrying case.

The tuner has various modes and transportation settings as well as pitch calibration. It also has a range of A0 to C8. The metronome has a range of 30 to 250 beats per minute.

It features a variety of beats and rhythm patterns and a tap tempo. The JOG dial makes it easy to dial in the desired tempo. It also allows the singer to select their pitch in the tone generator.

The MetroPitch comes with a three-year manufacturer’s guarantee. It claims that if the equipment breaks, they will replace it or refund 100 percent of your money—no questions asked!

14. Protect their voice

A singer’s voice is the most important asset they have, and one way to protect them is with a personal humidifier.

A humidifier puts moisture in the air and singers can use it on planes, in gigs, in the studio, or anyplace else they need their voice to be in tip-top shape.

One great choice is the Cool Mist Personal Mini Humidifier by Fancii.  This white, battery-powered mini humidifier measures 5 by 4 by 1.5 inches.

To use it, the singer can use a standard water bottle and place it in the tank. The mini-humidifier operates at only 15 decibels, which is quiet enough to not interfere with a performance.

And the unit is cordless, which means it can be set up anyplace. The singer can set an automatic timer on the unit. They will be able to set it at two, four, six, and eight-hour intervals.

Finally, when the water runs out, the humidifier will automatically shut off.

15. Make a record of it

If you’re looking for usual gifts for singers, a record bowl can’t be beaten. The Motown Label Vinyl Record Bowl can be made with any original Motown singer or group.

The item is handmade and measures nine inches wide and three inches tall. The bowl is made from a vinyl record and is perfect for the Motown singer in your life!

16. Add in some fun

We couldn’t give you a list of gifts for singers without including a karaoke machine. After all, singers are all about music—and that extends to their personal lives.

For instance, when a singer has friends over or throws a party, don’t you think they need a machine that will allow their guests to belt out some tunes?

The Moukey Karaoke Machine is the perfect gift for singers because it is designed for singers and their friends and families.

In addition to a karaoke machine, it also operates as a music player, PA system, and an FM radio.

The PA speaker system has a 540 Watt 10-inch subwoofer as well as 3-inch tweeters. It also has a built-in wireless connection for wireless audio streaming.

The system features noise reduction and anti-interference so that the sound is clear and loud.

To make it even more fun to use, the speakers change color in tune with the beats of the music. If the singer prefers a more muted scene, they can turn off the colorful speaker lights.

The system operates with Bluetooth, a USB card, and a rechargeable battery that is powerful enough to get through any night of fun.

The great thing about this gift for singers is that the singer can use it to have fun with friends or as a way to practice their art.

Did You Find the Best Gifts for Singers?

Buying gifts for the talented singer in your life doesn’t have to be difficult. Instead, take a look at our list and pick out the gift you think they would most appreciate. There’s something there for every singer!

Do you know of any gifts for singers that we didn’t include in our list? If so, we would love to hear about them! Please leave your ideas in the comments below.


12 SUP Tips: Paddleboarding During Winter Weather

When you think of SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding), you likely imagine warm sunny days and just-right water temperatures. But what if we told you that paddleboarding during winter can be just as enjoyable but in a different way?

It’s true, paddleboarding during the winter provides a different look at the world through a paddleboarder’s eyes. But that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

Why Go Paddleboarding During Winter?

Let’s be real: You love paddleboarding because there’s nothing like being in the water as the sun beats down on you. You get to see lush landscaping all around as you paddle through the water.

As a paddleboarder, it’s easy to get stuck in the warm month’s box. Here are two great reasons why you should consider winter paddleboarding.

You’re not competing for water space

Think about all the times you’ve had to dodge swimmers and other obstacles while summer paddleboarding. Then, imagine a cool, serene lake or other body water where you’re the only person there.

Seashores and lakes bustle with activity during the warmer months. But when you paddleboard during the winter, you will enjoy a quiet, serene landscape. And who doesn’t love a little quiet time once in a while?

You will see the other side of nature

Sure, a beach filled with colorful umbrellas and people sunbathing up and down the coastline is a great scene. But so is a deserted beach with magnificent snowy landscapes all around it. When paddleboarding during winter, you will get to see and enjoy the cooler side of nature.

Winter Paddleboarding Destinations

Before we give you tips for paddleboarding during winter, we first want to show you some of your options. You can paddleboard during the winter someplace local to you or take a trip to one of these breathtaking locations.

Lake Blindsee, Austria

If you’re looking for a fairytale-type location, this is it. You will have to carry your paddleboard down a mountain to get to the lake, so you might consider using an inflatable paddleboard for this trip. The trip down is about 30 minutes. Once you arrive at the lake, white mountain peaks surround you, snow-laden trees, and a sky so blue it doesn’t look real.

Austria, here we come!

Lago di Braies, Italy

Lago di Braies, also known as Pragser Wildsee, is known for its magnificent views. That’s why you’ll find loads of stunning photos of the area on Instagram. But be aware that the freezing temperatures in this area can cause this beautiful lake to freeze, especially once the sun goes down.

It’s important to look for moving water when paddleboarding during winter on this lake! Once you’re off the water at this pristine lake, you take a five-minute walk into town for a hot drink.

Lake Walchensee, Germany

If you’re looking for snow-covered mountain peaks and clear, glassy water, Lake Walchensee in Germany might be the perfect spot for you. A small village surrounds it with plenty of places to find a warm place to sit and enjoy a meal after your adventure.

Reviewers on Trip Advisor say it’s one of the most beautiful spots they’ve seen.

12 Paddleboarding During the Winter Tips

When paddleboarding during winter, planning is an important part of staying safe and having a successful trip. Here are 12 tips that help ensure that your winter paddleboarding trip is the best it can be.

1. Don’t be a wanderer

During the summer months, it’s fun to venture out on a lake and explore. But when paddleboarding in the winter, you need a plan. Your visibility may be lower, and all that snow and ice make areas of the landscape hard to differentiate.

Set up your route before you take to the water and know the areas where you will be paddling into the wind and where ice is more likely to form. You can even use a GPS app to help plan your route.

2. Stay close

During the summer, you can venture out to any part of the water that you want. But when hypothermia is a possibility, it’s wise to stay close to the shore. By staying no more than 15 feet from the shore, you will ensure that you can make it back to the ground if a problem should arise.

3. Use that leash

It’s easy to become too confident and think that you don’t need to use a SUP leash in the summer months, and while most experts would argue that’s not true, it’s more important than ever when paddleboarding during the winter.

Your leash is what ensures that you stay close to your board, and the truth is, you never know what can happen when riding. During the winter months, being in cold water can cause hypothermia. So, it only makes sense that you have a 10-foot lifeline to your floating device.

4. Add this just in case

When paddleboarding in winter, falling in the water is far worse than in the summer months. That’s why it’s a great idea to wear a lifejacket. When you fall into very cold or freezing water, it can be difficult to swim.

In other words, a lifejacket could help you make it to shore when everything else goes wrong.

5. Can you hear me now?

When paddleboarding in the winter, it’s important that you have access to a cell phone while you’re out on the water. If you get into trouble, you need to be able to call someone to come and rescue you. To keep your cellphone safe and away from the water, pack it in a waterproof bag, and clip it to your clothes.

You can find bags with double seals to ensure that even if your phone does go into the drink, it will stay dry and functioning.

6. Dress the part

If you’re going flat water riding, the chances of falling into the water while riding on flat waters are slim. That means you can dress like you would if you were doing something athletic during cooler weather.

For instance, wear layers and make sure your base layer can wick moisture. On top of that, add some additional layers that will protect you from the wind and cold.

You will also need to protect your lower extremities from the cold. To do this, wear fleece leggings or waterproof pants to stay dry.

Don’t forget to wear a thin pair of gloves with a grip to keep your hands warm. A pair of wet socks and neoprene booties will keep your feet nice and dry. Also, wearing some sort of hat will help your body retain some heat. A fleece beanie is a great option.

Remember that cotton absorbs water quickly and becomes heavy, so you should avoid wearing it while paddleboarding in winter. Choose thin clothing that you can easily layer.

7. Go a step beyond if necessary

Depending on where you are paddleboarding in the winter, you may need to level up your clothing and opt for some of the best cold weather SUP gear.

For example, if you plan to surf or do whitewater riding, you might need another layer of protection from the elements. The same is true if you plan to spend time in the water.

You can either wear a wetsuit or a drysuit to give you this added layer of protection. Here are the differences between the two.


Wetsuits allow water between the suit and your body, but it heats that water, keeping you warm. If you plan to spend a little time in the water or if there is a chance that you will fall into the water, a wetsuit may be enough protection for you.


A drysuit will give you more protection from the cold water because it’s waterproof. That is a great option if you plan to paddleboard in areas where you will spend more time in the water. Keep in mind that whitewater riding will get you wet regardless of whether or not you fall in the water.

Remember, you don’t need to wear a wetsuit or a drysuit. It’s entirely up to you and whether or not you think it’s necessary for your trip.

8. Check with the boss

Before paddleboarding in the winter, it’s a good idea to look at the weather forecast. The ideal forecast includes calm winds with no chance of precipitation. If the forecast calls for wind, you can still go out, but be sure to ride the section of your route that goes against the wind first.

It will take up the most energy, so you won’t want to save it for last when you’re already tired.

Remember that during the winter, the weather can change quickly. If you know a storm is coming, don’t try to beat it and get your board in the water. The last thing you need to be paddleboarding in the winter months in the middle of a lake as a severe storm hits.

It could cause you to drift off course or fall into freezing water. And lower visibility could make it difficult for others to see or find you if you get into trouble.

9. Avoid the sharp stuff

When paddleboarding in winter, you will have to be on alert for ice in the water. Not only will it damage your board, but it could cause you to fall in the water. And you need to pay attention to ice in other ways, too.

If you see some calm water in the middle of a lake, don’t walk over ice to get there. And if you are maneuvering through large sections of ice, sit down on your board. Standing up could cause you to fall in the water if you accidentally bump into a large piece.

10. Stick to a curfew

When you’re out on the water during the cold winter months, the last thing you want is for the sun to go down before you’re back on the shore. In the winter months, it gets dark much earlier than it does during the summer months.

To prevent getting stuck on the water after dark, start by checking the local forecast for the sunset time. Then, plan on being on the shore at least 30 minutes before that.

11. Don’t be a loner

Paddleboarding in the winter is not a solo sport. Even in the summer, paddleboarders should always pair up with a partner before taking to the water. But in the cold winter months, it’s even more critical.

If it’s impossible to take along a partner, be sure to let someone know where you are. They should also know where you plan to launch from and approximately how long you plan to stay on the water.

And when you finish your ride, let them know that you are off the water so they can relax, knowing you’re safe!

12. Finish strong

It’s a great idea to pack a kit to use after you get off the water. You can include a warm (and dry!) towel, shirt or sweater, a pair of pants, socks, shoes, and a jacket. Also, include a thermos full of hot coffee or soup and a snack so you can replenish your energy after a long day on the water.

Are You Ready for Paddleboarding During Winter?

Paddleboarding during winter months does have its unique challenges, but it can also provide you with a thrill that warm weather paddleboarding can’t. Just imagine gliding across a lake with the white mountain peaks as your audience.

Or hiking down a mountain trail, drinking hot tea from a thermos, and then setting off on a paddleboarding adventure few others have taken.

To ensure that you stay safe and enjoy your winter paddleboarding trip, be sure to plan ahead and follow the safety rules more closely than you normally would.

Do you have any SUP tips for paddleboarding during the winter? Or maybe you’d like to share the details of your own adventures? Please, share them in the comments below!