Useful Things Weekly Link Round-Up

5 Ways to Make Your House Appear Cleaner Than It Is
Unexpected visitor on the way? Don’t worry. These 5 tips got you covered.

“5 Tips to Make Your House Appear Cleaner Than It Is”
via Apartment Therapy

Gmail Redesign Brings Less Clutter and Social Interface
Learn about Google’s new look.

“Gmail Redesign Coming in Next Few Days”
via Tech Radar

Bus Checker Wakes You Up When You’re at Your Stop
Now you can take a nap while you travel to and from work, home, or the city. Bus Checker tracks your progress and sends you an alarm when you’re almost there.

“App Wakes You When You Reach Your Bust Stop”
via Gadget Lab

Money Saving Tools for Travelers
Save on baggage fees, travel insurance, and solutions for boredom.

“Money Saving Tools for Travelers”
via Mint

Green Car of the Year
Who will take home top prize?

“Five Finalists for Green Car of the Year Announced”
via EcoGeek

Clean and Odorless Composting

Portland, OR recently joined the growing list of cities like San Francisco, Ottowa, and Minnesota that offer curbside compost pickup. In select neighborhoods, trash pickup will be cut back from weekly to biweekly, while compost/yard debris and recycling will continue to be picked up on a weekly basis.

Response to this new ordinance has been largely favorable in all aspects but one. When the city distributed the plastic, two-gallon pails meant to take weekly food scraps, some Portlanders had their complaints. Many were concerned about the smell and the inevitable congregation of fruit flies.

Whether your city collects compost or you personally are composting, Useful Things has you covered. We offer a stainless steel compost pail that allows you to go green without the odors or the bugs of a cheaper compost container.  The 11×7 pail fits easily under the sink, on the countertop or next to your existing garbage pail, making composting at home a breeze.

The metal compost pail is dishwasher safe in the case something really goes awry, but the built in charcoal filter system will neutralize most odors. The compost pails replacement filters are made of carbon coated nylon. They can be replaced every 4 – 6 months, or as often as needed depending on the unique stench levels of your kitchen compost.

Want more information on composting before starting your own home operation? Check out these helpful websites.

HowToCompost.org

Composting101.com

Recycle Now: Home Composting

Have your own tips on composting? Are you using a Useful Things compost pail to help the environment? Let us know in the comments.

Useful Things Weekly Link Round-Up

How-to Negotiate a Lower Credit Card Rate
Ask and you shall receive? Sometimes, yes.

“How to Negotiate a Lower Credit Card Interest Rate”
via Squawkfox

AeroShot Delivers Caffeine Hit Without Calories or Coffee Breath
Get your daily dose of caffeine without having to brew anything or suffer from coffee breath.

“AeroShot delivers aerosol caffeine hit without the calories or coffee breath”
via Gizmag

YouTube Changes Improve User Experience
YouTube rolled out several small changes, including an end of video mosaic, to improve user experience.

“YouTube Makes Some Changes to Improve User Experience”
via Make Use Of

Chic Way to Keep Your Home Safe From Fire
This fashionable chickadee will let you know if it smells smoke.

“Chickadee Smoke Detector”
via Coolest Gadgets

Manicure Kits For Everyone On Your Shopping List

Christmas is still months away, but that hasn’t stopped the first signs of this holiday from slowly appearing in stores and cropping up in conversation. I’m no statistician, but I’m willing to bet there’s a correlation between the number of those “let’s exchange gifts!” conversations and shoppers’ stress levels. But this year you don’t have to be a grim statistic, because Useful Things has got you covered. We have a wide variety of what’s arguably the most universally necessary gift since socks – manicure sets. We have travel manicure sets, manicure sets for women, men’s manicure sets – it’s all here. With such an astounding variety to choose from, it can be hard to decide which set to give to whom. I’ve created these manicure set friend profiles with that very purpose. You’re welcome!
The Minimalist

This friend has an affinity for organization and modern European furniture. For the person with a place for everything, who keeps everything in its place and makes it look chic, there’s the brushed nickel manicure set. This manicure kit has just the basics – large and small nail clippers, cuticle trimmers, scissors and precision tweezers – in a elegant, durable brushed nickel case.

The Wanderer

When you’re on the road as much as this guy, simpler manicure pedicure sets simply don’t cut it. You need something a little more day-to-day and a little less every-couple-of-weeks. Whether your wanderer travels for work or for play, he’ll appreciate the 10 piece
black leather manicure/shaving kit. This kit includes a shaving kit and pocket knife in addition to the basics.

The Esquire Man

Between debates on the merits and drawbacks of different pant-cuffing techniques, the Esquire Man (named lovingly after the popular magazine of the same name) needs to make sure he looks good. The tan leather manicure set has everything he needs to keep his body well-groomed and his accessories in place. Especially tantalizing items include the shoe horn, shirt stays, and mini eyeglass screwdriver for when his designer tortoise shell frames need some TLC.

The Make-Up Artist

Some ladies keep it light with mascara, eyeliner and maybe a gloss. The make-up artist thinks this is a sad, boring way to live. For the girl you come to with questions about whether your eye shadow should be a ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ hue to best match your skin tone, we have the pink leather manicure set. With this manicure kit, your friend can apply touch ups on the go with several sizes of make up brushes.

Useful Things Weekly Link Round-Up

5 iOS 5 Features that can Save you Time and Energy
Have more time for the important things in life.

“5 New Features of iOS 5 that can Save Time and Boost Productivity”
via Stepcase Lifehack

See Your Roof’s Solar Potential with Easy Rooftop Calculator
This new solar calculator is based on actual geographical information and climate data, giving you an accurate estimate of your roof’s solar potential.

“Easy Rooftop Solar Panel Calculator Sees Your Roofs Solar Potential”
via Clean Technica

Why You Need Renter’s Insurance
Your landlord’s homeowner’s insurance will cover any structural damage, but won’t lift a finger to replace your stuff.

“Why you Need Renter’s Insurance”
via Kiplinger

Google Rolls out Google Wallet Coupon Rewards Program
Users of certain mobile devices will now have access to Google Wallet, a new rewards program app.

“Google Wallet Adds Coupons, Rewards Points, Jamba Juice”
via Engadget

Yellow Mustard Eases Burn Pain
Who knew?

“Relieve Mild Burns with Yellow Mustard”
via Lifehacker