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Meghan Belnap

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  1. Like
    Meghan Belnap got a reaction from careerzooom for a blog entry, Best Roof Materials for Energy Efficiency   
    One of the most common requests being heard by real estate agents from across the nation for homes that use energy-efficient materials. Roofing, especially, is a long-term investment and has a large effect on the overall efficiency of your home’s HVAC system. Younger home buyers entering the market tend to be even more environmentally conscious than their predecessors, and they understand the importance of energy efficiency for the sake of the environment as well as your utility bills. Therefore, if you're in the market for a new home or simply looking at replacing your current roof, here are some of the best roof materials that you can use to increase energy efficiency.
    Metal Roofing
    Many homeowners are often surprised to find out that metal is actually one of the best materials to help the home become that much more energy efficient. The biggest reason for this is that the metal material, although it may seem hot to the touch, actively reflects the sun's rays away from your home, thus providing you with a much more comfortable interior. In fact, metal is also a very durable material that can last up to 50 years, thus reducing the need for roof repair or replacement for several decades. Metal roof replacements are definitely a great investment if you are looking for a long-term solution.
    Asphalt Shingles
    When thinking about asphalt roofing, you probably have traditional asphalt shingles in mind. However, many modern shingle manufacturers are creating quality shingles that you can afford on a lower budget. Although they have a relatively shorter lifespan of 25-30 years, they can be a great option for young families and those looking to sell their home in the near future. These types of shingles also do a great job of insulating your roof and preventing that summer heat from entering your home. 
    Tile Roofing 
    If you have ever looked at a tiled roof, one of the first things you will notice are all the gaps between each one of them. These gaps are exactly why going with tile roofing can make your home that much more energy-efficient. This is because, unlike a traditional flat roofing that attempts to reflect or absorb the sun's heat, tile simply allows airflow to move throughout the area and guide the hot air away from your home. As a bonus, tile roofing material can be found in a wide range of colors and styles, thus making it much easier to fit them into your home's current aesthetics. Classic clay tiles go especially well with a southwestern design style, and more cool-toned tiles can be great for a modern design.
     
    As demonstrated above, there are plenty of roofing materials that do a great job at keeping your home feeling comfortable as well as reducing your monthly energy bills. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you are doing your part to minimize the energy usage of your home in order to create a more sustainable society. Additionally, each of these roofing types compliment a variety of styles, so you can find the exact look that you’re going for when designing your home’s exterior and optimizing its curb appeal. To learn more about your options, make sure to get in touch with an experienced roofing company in your area.
  2. Like
    Meghan Belnap got a reaction from newsforshopping for a blog entry, 5 Tips to Making Your Home Environment Friendly   
    Transforming your home into a green home is a lofty and admirable goal. By achieving this goal, you may decrease your carbon footprint on a regular basis, and you may save a tremendous amount of money on energy costs. The good news is that this goal is attainable, and you can walk through these tips at your own pace to gradually improve your home’s impact on the environment.

    Upgrade Your Appliances

    It makes sense to use your outdated appliances for as long as possible. After all, there is some waste associated with making an upgrade before it is necessary. All of your appliances, however, may drain energy unnecessarily. Older appliances may consume much more energy than newer appliances. Now is a great time to assess the condition of your appliances and to explore replacement options. Remember that you can always donate functional appliances to keep them out of a landfill.

    Use Recycled Materials during a Renovation

    When you renovate your home, you understandably will generate a considerable amount of waste. Some of this waste must be tossed out, and using skip bins is a convenient way to contain and remove the waste. Some materials, however, may be recycled on-site or donated to others for their own projects. Always look for ways to reuse materials before tossing them in a waste bin.

    Update Windows and Doors

    If your home’s windows and doors are older, there is a good chance that they are not as energy efficient as they could be. Replacing windows and doors with features that offer more insulation may help you to conserve a tremendous amount of energy. If you determine that now is not the time to update your home in this way, consider resealing the doors and windows annually.

    Add More Insulation

    Insulation in your walls and ceiling will not last forever. It can deteriorate with age, or it may be damaged by pests. Fiberglass insulation can also sink down into the walls so that it does not offer full protection. From time to time, you may need to replace insulation or supplement existing insulation.

    Choose Green Energy

    In many areas, homeowners can choose which provider they want to use for energy. They may also be able to choose the exact type of energy that they want to use, such as pure solar energy or half solar energy and half wind energy. If this is not an option for you, you can install solar panels or wind energy features on your property.

    You can see that it may cost you a small fortune to make your home as environmentally-friendly as possible. Remember that you can progress through these steps at your own pace as time and funds allow.

  3. Like
    Meghan Belnap got a reaction from Oliver Conway for a blog entry, Green Dwelling: 4 Additions To An Environmentally Sound Home   
    Green homes help reduce environmental damage and waste commonly caused by standard home construction and life habits. They also offer homeowners many additional benefits. They can lower utility and grocery bills, improve your home's value and make your overall life better. To reap these benefits and more, consider the following green home additions:

    Composting Room

    Composting bins turn plant-based waste materials from cooking and gardening into nutrient-rich fertilizer. A composting room is an extension of this idea designed to replace the traditional detached "garden shed" with a more efficient setup that allows you easy access to compost and garden supplies throughout the year even during cold weather. Since gases and odors are a byproduct of composting, you only need to run an attached ventilation duct from the enclosed bin to the outside through a wall or the ceiling to make this room work.

    Automatic Systems

    A lot of electricity and water loss occurs because homeowners often forget to turn off manual home systems like indoor and outdoor lights, sprinklers and thermostats. An automatic control system utilizes software and/or sensors to optimize usage. For example, an automatic system with light-detection sensors might turn on outdoor lights at night and then turn them off immediately in the morning or turn off indoor lights that you typically forget to turn off after a certain time at night. 

    Green Roofing

    Homeowners can enjoy flower and vegetable gardens, safeguard the environment and save on heating, cooling and grocery costs without using up nearby land with green roofing. A "green" or "vegetative" roof turns an often unused home area into a garden paradise. The advantages of green roofing go beyond energy efficiency and fresh fruits and vegetables. You also receive greater roof and ceiling leak protection, higher local oxygen contribution and reduced chemical and noise pollution and government tax breaks. 

    Nontoxic Materials

    Many standard home building and furniture materials, such as plastics, formaldehyde-containing fiberboard and adhesives, release toxic gases or break down into toxic dust over time that damage the environment and cause sick buildings syndrome. The "addition" of environmentally-friendly materials that release fewer harmful volatile organic chemicals after the removal of toxic ones can both improve your health and increase the value of your home.

    If your home is not already a green dwelling, it is time to do your part for the environment, yourself and your community. Start with one of these four green additions to improve your world and standard of living.
  4. Like
    Meghan Belnap got a reaction from Killymoon for a blog entry, 5 Eco-friendly Uses for Waste Water   
    According to the UN News Center, one of the world's most pressing issues is meeting water needs. Without changes in water consumption and conservation, the world will find it challenging to meet the water needs of the world's 2050 projected population of 9.6 billion. With extreme drought threatening areas including metropolitan California and southern Somalia, conserving water and reusing water will make what we have go further. Try these tips to make a difference.
    Use a Shower Bucket
    Collect the water that flows before the water heater gets the shower spray ready. You'll end up with plenty of clean, fresh water for another use, like filling your pets' water bowls.
    Cooking Water
    After cooking pasta, place a bowl under the colander and drain the pasta. After it cools, the pasta water you'd usually pour down the drain is perfect for watering indoor plants. The same goes for the water used to wash vegetables. If you find a partially drunk glass of water while gathering the dirty dishes, feed it to a plant.
    Take Baths
    Between 7 to 10 gallons of water goes down the drain in a shower. So, put your feet up in a relaxing bath instead. Reuse your bath water to wash the car, clean bathroom tiles, mop the floor, etc. You can have a plumber install a drain to an indoor or outdoor recycling system.
    Rethink Your Water System
    Reuse your sewage-free waste water to water the lawn, garden or crops. Gray water refers to reusable waste water from bathroom sinks, bath/shower drains and washing machine drains. It's commonly used for landscape irrigation. These systems simply divert your gray water using submersible pumps and pipes, such as those developed by PFC Equipment, Inc. The same systems used on construction sites and at mining operations can help your home or farm save water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there have been no documented cases of human health issues from properly treated recycled water.
    Car Wash
    Park your vehicle near the lawn and shrubs when you wash it. Use soap and water to wash the car, then let the rinse water run onto the lawn. You'll accomplish two tasks at once and the soapy water won't hurt your lawn.
    Let these five simple ways to make your water go further kick start your conservation efforts. Not only will you help the environment, you'll likely see your water bill decrease. These tips may seem small, but if everybody in the world implemented these practices, imagine how much water and money could be saved.
  5. Like
    Meghan Belnap got a reaction from Emeline Browder for a blog entry, Great Green Hope: 6 Positive Impacts of Green Technology   
    Green technology is becoming more on the forefront of everyone's minds as the worry of global warming increases. The many positive impacts of green technology are numerous and can be measured by the attention that green tech has garnered in the past decade. Below we will explore some of the specifics of why some types of tech are better than others.


    Solar Power
    Unlike non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuels, the sun is a renewable energy source that should stick around another 6 billion years according to NASA. Also, the surface of earth receives more sunlight then the power needed to supply the entire world. These are just a couple reasons why solar power is important going forward in turning this planet into a green planet.


    Wind Turbines
    There are many benefits of using wind turbines to produce energy.
    Do not produce carbon dioxide when in use
    Wind is a free fuel, making it the cheapest renewable energy technologies on the market.
    Just one wind turbine can produce enough energy to support over 1,500 homes.

    As you can see, these are just three of the reasons why wind turbines have a positive impact in the green technology movement.


    Reduced Paper Usage
    Because of the technological advances of the 20th century, the need for paper has decreased. Now, more and more people use computers to send letters and write papers. By reducing the need for paper, the demand for deforestation decreases which allows more trees to stay, increasing our natural energy in the world.


    Electric Cars
    Electric cars can decrease the use of fossil fuels as they increase of production of them improve as time goes on. Combining wind turbines to produce energy, electric cars can have a huge positive impact on this planet.


    Recycling Tires
    Recycling tires have many benefits to society. For one, they have a good source of fuel because of the high heating value of a tire. Also, they can be converted into material that makes roads and running tracks as well as playground mulch. You can easily see the benefit to the environment that Eco Green recycled tires has as the need for sand and gravel drops. Because of this reduced demand there will be less mining for those
    materials.


    Better Batteries
    Lithium-ion batteries have more power and less space than other batteries and they produce less energy than other batteries. Phones, laptops, and cars are all moving to lithium-ion batteries to help the environment.


    As you see above, these are just six of many more positive impacts of Green Technology. We all can make a difference by just recycling items that we used daily. If we just do a little bit of work, we can all make this planet greener and better off.
  6. Like
    Meghan Belnap got a reaction from Emeline Browder for a blog entry, Reduced Footprint: Make Your Home More Green With These Updates   
    According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many private homes have reduced their carbon emissions, thereby eliminating the equivalent of emissions from more than 30 million cars each year. With a few home renovations, your home can be more comfortable as well as environmentally friendly and have lower utility bills.

    Find a Green Architect
    It is recommended to ask an architect who has green building credentials to help you renovate your home. They will have ideas and knowledge to take your plan forward in the most environmentally responsible way possible. You can find green architects in your location by searching for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified architects.

    Use Reclaimed Wood
    For your next new floor installation, try reclaimed wood. No trees are cut, and you can request an adhesive backing that is free of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as formaldehyde. You can even find other items that use reclaimed wood like tables and ottomans. This method is not only green but can bring a certain rustic look to your home that non-reclaimed wood cannot.

    Let the Sun Shine In
    Low-E glass or window film keeps heat out and lets sunlight in. Low-E glass has a special coating that is 50 percent more energy efficient than regular glass. It suppresses heat flow, so your air conditioner needs to work less. If changing glass is not an option, consider putting window film. This is less expensive, but serves the same purpose. It also comes in tinted shades to give more privacy.

    Consider Square Footage
    Regina major renovations often include adding a new room. However, being eco-friendly means using few new materials and reducing waste. Rather than adding a new bedroom or making your living room big enough for a Super Bowl party, consider using attic or basement space for extra rooms. When you avoid unnecessary square footage, your footprint can remain the same because you don’t up your heating and air conditioning costs.

    Keep Down the Maintenance
    You can ask your Regina custom home builder about eco-friendly materials that require no maintenance. This means the stone or wood does not need to be repainted, refinished or constantly cleaned. The same goes for landscaping. Permeable pavers keep water runoff in the ground and not down the sewer. Landscaping and driveways can be made from permeable pavers that hold grass or gravel and along with that, water.

    Reducing the carbon footprint of your home doesn’t necessarily mean you need to add expensive features that you can’t really afford such as solar panels or rainwater collection systems. There are many options such as on-demand water heaters and efficient appliances that will have a big impact on making your home greener.
  7. Like
    Meghan Belnap got a reaction from Emeline Browder for a blog entry, 5 Best Practices For Building Inexpensive, Green Homes   
    Home builders need to save money, particularly those buying their home for the first time. Building green homes once was considered to be a luxury but now is affordable. Green home construction has some costs, but many of the green systems put in place save money in home maintenance.

    Communicating with Suppliers
    By working with suppliers, home builders will determine the best products obtainable from the manufacturers. This step will get the homes certified by the National Green Building Standards. Builders might find floor choices that use carpet that had recycled material and padding, hardwood flooring that was engineered and recycled bathroom tile.

    Substitute Materials for Framing and Techniques
    Alternate methods and materials for framing could offer saving time and cost as well as a way of gaining points in green certification. Possibilities might include using trusses and panels. These methods save labor and are efficient resources. These result in less waste material on the building site. Pre-constructed systems can produce better thermal efficiency over buildings that are stick frames. More efficient site framing approaches include ladder blocking that requires less wood and allows more space for insulation and two-stud corners that permits for one fewer studs at the corner, providing for a more completely insulated corner.

    Multiuse Products
    To maintain low production cost while building green, use methods or products that have several green aspects. Once example is the use of cabinets that do not have formaldehyde and are constructed of recycled material, thus acquiring green certification for keeping the quality of the indoor atmosphere and material.

    Efficient Water Use
    Efficient water use benefits the property owner, but does not increase the cost of house construction. Included in this are the long term benefits of low-flow shower heads, toilets and faucets, along with appliances that are rated as water saving. Recently, the supply of these items is more readily available and more inexpensive than the fixtures that do not provide the water savings. Most of these items do not require special orders.

    Affordable Landscaping
    After determining the budget, the homeowner should think about the needs for the landscaping. It does take time for the yard and plants to fill in, and the second year shows the progress. To acquire inexpensive sod, it is best to get estimates from several landscapers, like those at Western Turf Farms Ltd, before deciding on who to supply and lay your sod. The green areas can be maintained more effectively by cutting the lawn at two inches and above so the structure of the root will be stronger and hardier. The grass will also require less frequent lawn treatments.

    New home builders must plan to save costs and build houses that meet green standards. They will find many practices will save costs in maintaining their homes as time passes.
  8. Like
    Meghan Belnap got a reaction from Emeline Browder for a blog entry, Eco-Friendly Home Upgrades that Won't Break the Bank   
    There are many green ideas that will improve your home. There are several ways to make your home more eco-friendly and these can be done without breaking your bank too. There are some affordable and simple project ideas that may be of interest to you. If you are just choosing to make home improvements that will help the overall environment or if you simply have a desire to cut down on fuel costs and make your home more efficient there are definitely some ways that you can upgrade your home and make it eco-friendly.

    Where to Start?
    You can start by determining what your home improvement budget is. Determine the amount of money that you can spend on your projects. Decide if you would like to hire a green-savvy professional or if you would like to tackle your home improvements yourself. You can then prepare your eco-friendly upgrades. Determine what areas you will improve on.

    Simple Solutions
    Here is a list of simple solutions that will be a beginning of your eco-friendly home upgrades. Start with the following ideas:
    Check for drafts that may be coming around your windows and doors. You can lose approximately 20 percent of your energy because it may slip right through these drafts. You can cut your energy bill if you block off any drafts.
    Reflective insulation can use the benefits of the sun. It is a control solar radiation. Reflective insulation may be used to keep your heat from escaping from your home. This can prevent your airflow from going astray.
    Upgrade your windows to be better-insulated and better-sealed. An energy efficient Retro Teck Window will lower your energy costs by a large amount as well as look great.
    A low-impact lawn can be an eco-friendly lawn. If you use native plants as ground cover this will cut costs because there will be less fuel needed for lawn mowers. A smaller amount of grass to mow may allow for the use of a manual mower.
    Hot water heating usage. Approximately one third of your home's energy is used on a water heater. If you improve your water heater's efficiency this will offer your home an effective investment for your upgrade to an eco-friendly home.

    Every homeowner has many options that can be inexpensive. In the long run any upgrades will be cost effective and eco-friendly and will save money on energy costs. Getting your energy consumption under control can not only save you money but it can seriously help the environment. Consider these suggestions if going green is the route that you would like to take.
  9. Like
    Meghan Belnap got a reaction from Emily Scott for a blog entry, 5 Best Practices For Building Inexpensive, Green Homes   
    Home builders need to save money, particularly those buying their home for the first time. Building green homes once was considered to be a luxury but now is affordable. Green home construction has some costs, but many of the green systems put in place save money in home maintenance.

    Communicating with Suppliers
    By working with suppliers, home builders will determine the best products obtainable from the manufacturers. This step will get the homes certified by the National Green Building Standards. Builders might find floor choices that use carpet that had recycled material and padding, hardwood flooring that was engineered and recycled bathroom tile.

    Substitute Materials for Framing and Techniques
    Alternate methods and materials for framing could offer saving time and cost as well as a way of gaining points in green certification. Possibilities might include using trusses and panels. These methods save labor and are efficient resources. These result in less waste material on the building site. Pre-constructed systems can produce better thermal efficiency over buildings that are stick frames. More efficient site framing approaches include ladder blocking that requires less wood and allows more space for insulation and two-stud corners that permits for one fewer studs at the corner, providing for a more completely insulated corner.

    Multiuse Products
    To maintain low production cost while building green, use methods or products that have several green aspects. Once example is the use of cabinets that do not have formaldehyde and are constructed of recycled material, thus acquiring green certification for keeping the quality of the indoor atmosphere and material.

    Efficient Water Use
    Efficient water use benefits the property owner, but does not increase the cost of house construction. Included in this are the long term benefits of low-flow shower heads, toilets and faucets, along with appliances that are rated as water saving. Recently, the supply of these items is more readily available and more inexpensive than the fixtures that do not provide the water savings. Most of these items do not require special orders.

    Affordable Landscaping
    After determining the budget, the homeowner should think about the needs for the landscaping. It does take time for the yard and plants to fill in, and the second year shows the progress. To acquire inexpensive sod, it is best to get estimates from several landscapers, like those at Western Turf Farms Ltd, before deciding on who to supply and lay your sod. The green areas can be maintained more effectively by cutting the lawn at two inches and above so the structure of the root will be stronger and hardier. The grass will also require less frequent lawn treatments.

    New home builders must plan to save costs and build houses that meet green standards. They will find many practices will save costs in maintaining their homes as time passes.
  10. Like
    Meghan Belnap got a reaction from Anne Mehla for a blog entry, 5 Best Practices For Building Inexpensive, Green Homes   
    Home builders need to save money, particularly those buying their home for the first time. Building green homes once was considered to be a luxury but now is affordable. Green home construction has some costs, but many of the green systems put in place save money in home maintenance.

    Communicating with Suppliers
    By working with suppliers, home builders will determine the best products obtainable from the manufacturers. This step will get the homes certified by the National Green Building Standards. Builders might find floor choices that use carpet that had recycled material and padding, hardwood flooring that was engineered and recycled bathroom tile.

    Substitute Materials for Framing and Techniques
    Alternate methods and materials for framing could offer saving time and cost as well as a way of gaining points in green certification. Possibilities might include using trusses and panels. These methods save labor and are efficient resources. These result in less waste material on the building site. Pre-constructed systems can produce better thermal efficiency over buildings that are stick frames. More efficient site framing approaches include ladder blocking that requires less wood and allows more space for insulation and two-stud corners that permits for one fewer studs at the corner, providing for a more completely insulated corner.

    Multiuse Products
    To maintain low production cost while building green, use methods or products that have several green aspects. Once example is the use of cabinets that do not have formaldehyde and are constructed of recycled material, thus acquiring green certification for keeping the quality of the indoor atmosphere and material.

    Efficient Water Use
    Efficient water use benefits the property owner, but does not increase the cost of house construction. Included in this are the long term benefits of low-flow shower heads, toilets and faucets, along with appliances that are rated as water saving. Recently, the supply of these items is more readily available and more inexpensive than the fixtures that do not provide the water savings. Most of these items do not require special orders.

    Affordable Landscaping
    After determining the budget, the homeowner should think about the needs for the landscaping. It does take time for the yard and plants to fill in, and the second year shows the progress. To acquire inexpensive sod, it is best to get estimates from several landscapers, like those at Western Turf Farms Ltd, before deciding on who to supply and lay your sod. The green areas can be maintained more effectively by cutting the lawn at two inches and above so the structure of the root will be stronger and hardier. The grass will also require less frequent lawn treatments.

    New home builders must plan to save costs and build houses that meet green standards. They will find many practices will save costs in maintaining their homes as time passes.
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