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BrookeChaplan

3 New Home Features That Make Being Eco Conscious Easy.jpg

If you are purchasing a new home, there are several eco-friendly features that you should consider investigating. Transforming your home into something that is both environmentally friendly and comfortable can be easy if you consider incorporating these features.

 

Consider eco-conscious landscaping

Landscaping is one part of a home that is almost always possible to change. However, when looking for a new home, it’s good to look for eco-friendly landscaping that is both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally conscious. Instead of traditional flowers, there might be drought resistant plants, or native plants, that do not require a large amount of water. It’s also becoming more common to see landscaping choices like rocks and woodchips that take the place of some or all of the grass in a yard and cut down on water usage. These are both great starts on eco-conscious landscaping, but the most valuable thing to look for in your next home’s landscape is an updated irrigation system. Good irrigation systems use less water, cover only what needs to be watered, and are often programmable.  

 

Install Solar Panels

Many new homes have incorporated solar paneling on top of the house. Solar panels allow the house to receive a certain percentage of its energy from the sun. There are many companies that can install solar paneling which can not only enhance the resale value of your home but also help to cut down on energy costs. Buying a house already equipped with solar panels is one way to go, but you can also look for a home that has a strong electrical system that could accommodate the electrical needs of a solar panel system. In addition to checking out the house, you may want to check out what kinds of benefits you may get from the city for having solar power for your home.

 

Eco-Friendly Windows and Natural Lighting

One of the best things homeowners will upgrade in their home is the windows. Windows are a great investment because they add value to the home and pay for themselves by saving money on heating and air conditioning. These particular windows are also great for the interior of the home because they block UV rays from fading or damaging upholstery and carpet. Eco-friendly windows will also help to regulate temperatures in your home during both hot and cold weather. In addition to eco-friendly windows, you may want to consider a design that incorporates more natural light throughout the house. Windows and skylights are a great way to fill a home with light without spending any money on electricity. Any of these things are a great thing to look for when buying a new home because they can help you save money in the long-term.

 

While you may be able to find homes with great eco-friendly features, sometimes you’ll have to make those upgrades yourself. Either way, it’s a good idea to consult a real estate agent like those at Mark Fox Company to get details on any of the homes you’re interested in. Research all of your options and you will find that creating an eco-conscious house can be easier than you think.

BrookeChaplan

Long road to work 3 ways to make your commute eco-conscious.jpg

Car manufacturers, auto repair shops and drivers take major steps to protect the environment. Commuters realize that they can do more by being more conscious about driving. The first step is to find out at least a few ways to improve the daily commute to work.

 

Carpool

Carpooling is the most effective way to remain conscious of the environment. The reality is that many people need to get to work, but few people want to give up their vehicles for good. Instead of selling your car altogether, leave it at home and join a carpool. Get four people to carpool in one car and eliminate three whole cars on the road. If a carpool isn’t a great option, you might try taking the bus.

 

Being environmentally friendly is the main reason to carpool, but the other reason is to avoid heavy traffic. If more people carpooled on the way to work, there would be very few or no traffic jams. With fewer cars on the road, there are fewer accidents and drivers drive straight through without stopping. If you take the bus, many cities have a dedicated bus lane that can cut through traffic with ease. It’s definitely worth considering.

 

Get a Regular Checkup

If you have a bad transmission, the car leaks oil from underneath. If you have a bad engine, the car releases too much exhaust gas. It only takes a simple annual checkup to prevent the problems of your car from interacting with the environment. According to Young Automotive Group, it is crucial to work with certified technicians who know the most important maintenance duties to do. Check your air filter for clogs that may cause the engine to overheat. Prolong the lifespan of your engine to avoid having to replace different parts of your car.

 

Track Your Routes

Drivers are known to waste fuel when they do not know where they are going. Many people use GPS devices on their cars or phones, so they choose the quickest and shortest paths to where they need to go. If your career relies on driving, you need this kind of guidance system to save money on fuel and reduce the volume of emissions you release into the air. The less you drive, the smaller the carbon footprints you leave in the world.

 

Millions of cars crowd the streets and roads all over the world. If half of those drivers gave up cars, the effects are guaranteed to change the environment for the better. If half of those drivers carpooled, the effects would be similar. The change starts with you and your daily commute to work.

BrookeChaplan

3 Green Materials That Help Your Landscape.jpg

The right landscape can greatly improve both the curb appeal and market value of a home. From landscaping arrangements that feature native plants or sophisticated irrigation systems that may reduce upkeep and maintenance costs to outdoor lighting options that may improve the appearance of an outdoor area after dark, there are numerous ways to improve the look and feel of an outdoor space. The following three resources can make a welcome addition to any lawn or landscape.

 

Xeriscaping With Native Plants and Soil

The potential water conservation that xeriscaping makes possible may result in lower utility bills and less demanding maintenance and upkeep efforts. Maintaining an attractive landscape may prove to be an uphill battle for those who utilize trees, shrubs and other outdoor plants that may have trouble adapting to a new climate. Soils that provide the right composition and pH balance and plants that are able to thrive with very little moisture may allow property owners to design the perfect outdoor landscape while ensuring water usage is less likely to place some strain on household budgets. If you’re unsure which materials to use to maintain these plants, consult a company like Bourget Bros. Building Materials and see what they recommend.

 

Automated Irrigation Systems

Automated systems offer a number of advantages. More precise control over watering and irrigation schedules and the means to ensure that lawn maintenance can be performed with greater ease and convenience can both make a considerable difference. These systems can be especially valuable during hot summer months for homeowners who lack the time or opportunity to water during the early morning or late-evening hours. Features like water-flow sensors can also ensure that lawns and landscaped areas are less likely to be over-watered, an issue which may cause excessive soil erosion or cause harm to plants.

 

Recycled and Repurposed Materials

Brick, stone, and even glass are all popular choices for homeowners seeking to utilize recycled materials to create hardscaped areas. Hardscaping offers a simple and effective way to redirect water flow, limit soil erosion or to create a more distinctive landscaping layout or design. Repurposing used and salvaged materials offer a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable option for home and property owners who may be working with a fixed budget or that wish to create a greener home.

 

For many property owners and households, lawn and landscape irrigation often represents a sizable portion of utility usage each month. Materials, plants, and installations that allow for superior water conservation efforts make it easier than ever to create and maintain a green home. A few well-chosen landscaping upgrades or additions may result in greater savings than many property owners might expect.

BrookeChaplan

3 ways companies are reducing their environmental impact.jpg

A new UN study concludes that the future of companies around the globe will depend on their ability to cope with the coming consequences of climate change. Food, mining, transport, finance, and tourism industries especially will be impacted by extreme weather, the rising cost of natural resources, and a reduction in biodiversity. Companies that haven't put emphasis on reducing their environmental impact should do so now. Here are three important ways companies can get started.

 

Smart Houses, Smart Business

"Smart" homes are a new trend in technology and should be applied to more commercial enterprises. A smart building is equipped with interconnected, Wi-Fi-enabled devices that can work together to reduce energy demands. Sensors and pre-programmed devices can automatically perform important steps like turning off lights when there's no activity, turning off printers and computers at the end of the workday, or turning down AC at night or on weekends. These are small things that busy humans often forget, but automating them throughout a large facility can lead to substantial energy reduction - and cost savings - over time.

 

A "Green" Culture

A company can also reduce its environmental impact by implementing and encouraging environmentally friendly practices with its staff. This can include reducing paper use, using recycled products and materials, using permanent cups and utensils rather than disposable ones, and encouraging plants for better atmosphere and air quality. You can also find technology from companies like Stephenson Environmental Management Australia to monitor and control air contaminants. This makes for a healthier, more productive workforce while eliminating pollutants.

 

Renewable energy infrastructures

Businesses can save more money over the long term and reduce their environmental impact by integrating renewable energy sources wherever possible. Solar and wind farms can generate enough power to meet office needs. They could even be over-sized to create surplus power that can be sold back to the grid under Australia's feed-in tariffs, thus reducing the energy needs of the surrounding community. Excess solar energy could also be used to charge batteries at night that could power a data center for hours during the day.

 

Public response is almost invariably favorable toward environmentally conscious companies, thus adding to company brand and appeal. There are some initial costs to adopting green technologies and products, but it makes perfect business sense over the long term. And as the UN study suggests, companies that "go green" sooner will benefit more later.

BrookeChaplan

house.jpg

As the seasons change from fall to winter, temperatures turn from comfortable to chilly. Depending on your location, temperatures can drop down drastically and create one frigid situation. So, how do you beat the cold? Most people would reach to turn on space heaters or dial up that thermostat. But, chances are good that your heating sources are consuming astonishing amounts of energy. Before heading over to the thermostat, there are several ways to tame the cold weather without wasting all that energy!

Use Natural Heating Sources

A simple way to be green in the winter months is to let some sun into your home by keeping the curtains open during the day! The heat from the sun can help keep your house warm without running the furnace all day.

Turn Down Your Thermostat

Energy officials recommend keeping your thermostat at around 68 degrees during the winter months. If 68 degrees just isn’t cutting it, try wearing sweaters, socks, or blankets around the house to bridge the gap. Also, try to avoid changing the thermostat throughout the day. Keeping the temperature consistent reduces energy consumption, and wear and tear on your heating system.

Check Your Windows

Considering that cold air can enter your home through tiny openings in your windows, it’s a good idea to take measures to make your windows work for you, not against you.

For one, you could have your windows replaced. Windows can make all the difference by keeping warm air in and the cold air out. There are experts out there, like Statewide Energy Solutions, which specialize in energy efficient window and door installation.

You could also seal your existing windows using caulking or weather stripping. Caulking is especially helpful for small gaps in windows. Weather stripping is used more for sealing moving pieces like large windows and doors.

Keeping Up Your Heating Systems

A simple yet practical solution to being energy efficient is to just maintain the upkeep of your heating and air system! Replacing the filters, cleaning your ducts, and having your system serviced will help cut down on your heating costs. It’s always a good idea to make sure everything is serviced and up to date to avoid any issues during those cold winter months!

In short, there are many ways to be efficient during the winter months. By checking your windows, using natural heat, and keeping your central heating up to par, your whole family benefits as you have made conscious energy saving efforts! Remember, you can be warm without being wasteful!

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