Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday Waste

December 2013

Holiday Waste

The onslaught of holiday throwaways--cards, ribbons, paper, batteries, and so forth-- can be brutal on the environment.
Have a plan in place for getting rid of your old electronics and food and decoration waste this holiday season.
  • E-waste: Gadgets, electronics, and computers are popular holiday gifts. Find a place to recycle or donate your old gear. You can find local e-recyclers online. To prevent identity theft, be certain that your personal data are wiped off devices before you drop them off. Find directions for your device from the manufacturer or search online for step-by-step instructions for each gadget.
     
  • Holiday trees: Check with your city to see if it has a tree recycling event. Or turn to your favorite search engine and type in the name of your city and "Christmas tree recycling" and to find information, dates, and locations.
     
  • Oddball stuff: Before dumping anything in the landfill, figure out if you can donate or recycle it. Some of the strangest things can be recycled, including jeans, wine, and golf balls. For more on quirky things that can be recycled, see, "10 Things You Never Knew Were Recyclable." 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Greenscaping - A Change In Thinking

September 2013

I love my property.  My front, back and side yards are all part of my outdoor living space.  It's very relaxing to walk around or sit in these spaces. 

To smell flowers blooming, to pluck fresh fruit straight from the tree, to walk to my vegetable garden and pick a meal, are all small pleasures of life that I enjoy. Greenscaping is the idea that there is a better purpose for our yards. 

This brochure contains the basic elements of Greenscaping.  http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/Publications/catalog/greenscaping.pdf

Before planting a lawn of grass consider the benefits of choosing plants that give back in fragrant flowers, delicious fruit or nutritious vegetables.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Green Building Gains Momentum

As the market is picking back up, we're seeing more and more new home construction and a flood of new buyers. In fact, recent studies from McGraw-Hill Construction show that one in five homes built in 2012 were considered 'green'.
The benefits of more sustainable homes come in many forms. Living in a high performance home provides a healthier indoor environment for families. Home owners can also expect cost savings due to durability and increased efficiency, and overall a more comfortable place to live. People say you can actually feel the difference when inside a home that's been built with sustainability in mind. 
It certianly doesn't hurt that studies also show home owners looking to sell a high performance home can expect to see a boost in the sales price. Single family homes with a green certification actually sell for about 9% higher than their non-green alternatives. So if you're looking to buy or sell your home soon, take a look at these numbers and studies to gain a clearer perspective on how sustainable features could benefit you and your family. If your home is newer, you may have a good number of efficient features already present! Click here to read more about this important housing shift.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The To-Do About Transit

June 2013

The To-Do About Transit.

 
If you're in the market for a new home, or even if you're reflecting on your current dwelling, chances are you have your list of 'musts.' Recent studies from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the National Associatoin of REALTORS® are refreshing the meaning of the age-old mantra, "location, location, location".

The bottom line is this - homes that are located closer to public transportation tend to maintain their value better than those that are located in other, less walkable areas. Of course, the type of transit available does have an effect on the values as well. Previous research by the APTA has shown that homebuyers are willing to pay a bit more for a property that's located within walking distance of public transit. That's great news if you're looking to sell a home in such a location.

If you're in the market to buy, consider this research to be a tip on how to retain your new property's value in the years to come. Walkability is a very desirable trait to many home buyers, mainly because of the proximity to schools, shops, libraries, restaurants and transportation. View the complete APTA study here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Smog Eating Roof Tiles

Smog Eating Roof Tiles

 
You've probably heard about all sorts of neat green "toys" that are both smart and functional. More and more practical, dual-purpose items are hitting the market as green building continues to pick up speed. 
One such technology is something that any homeowner can use and benefit from daily. If you're looking to upgrade your roof, take a look at a recent post on the Bits and Bytes blog from the National Association of REALTORS® Center for REALTOR Technology® and see what champion of sustainability, Laura Stukel, has to say about this emerging technology. You can also go a bit deeper into this nifty green technology by watching the 3 minute video.
It's simple really. Let's use items that are healthier for us, more durable for the homes we live in, and more responsible for our communities. These concrete roof tiles do just that. And they have an Energy Star rating for added efficiency, which means less money to the utility companies every month! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Greener Laundry (No Dyes Required)

Greener Laundry (No Dyes Required)

 
There are so many simple tips to help people cut back on water use and energy consumption, most of which result in extra money in your wallet. One simple example is right down the hall, or in the basement. Welcome to your laundry room, where efficiency can reign supreme -- if you have a newer washer and dryer. If your washer and dryer have some age to them - more than ten years to be precise - chances are they are actually costing you over $130 extra each year through your utility bills.
The time has come to consider (or at least become familiar with) more efficient options. While it may be a small investment up front, your new, efficient washer and dryer will pay for themselves in no time! ENERGY STAR rated washing machines use about 1/3 of the water a standard machine would use. Plus, the dryer cycles complete faster. And who doesn't love that?
With a couple of rating options available for such machines, it is important to grasp the numbers and figure out what the precise benefits will be for you and your family. This concise blog post offers great insight into the electricity and water used for traditional machines versus the more efficient, labeled machines.