Make Your Home and Life More Green

Everyone wants to go green these days. Here are some easy ways that you can go green and maybe save a little money at the same time.

Water Bottles

Did you know that buying those cases of bottled water is actually very environmentally unfriendly? In order to produce the billions of liters of bottled water purchased each year, the bottled water industry must use a substantial amount of plastic, energy to make and process the bottles and then a huge amount of fossil fuels in order to get those cases of bottled water to the stores around the country. In addition, chemicals are used in the processing of the water. All of this for a simple bottle of water that probably isn’t even as healthy for you as your tap water. So consider using a faucet or countertop water filter system and getting a good quality, eco-friendly water bottle such as a Nalgene water bottle and then filling it up daily with your filtered tap water. You’ll not only save a load of money, but you’ll also be helping the environment and your health.

Support Local Farms

Did you know that much of the produce in your supermarket was trucked from hundreds or even thousands of miles away? The farther that your food travels, the more energy it costs to get to you and the more chances of it being less fresh and of lower quality. Find out what farms are around you. Is there a dairy down the road that has a little store on the farm? Does your neighbor have an orchard? Perhaps there is a local farmers market? Search out the local farmers in your community and buy from them. Not only are you supporting your local farmers but you are also making a better choice for the environment, especially when you choose organic produce.

Grocery Bag It

When you go to the store, you are always sent home with either paper or plastic bags. You can save the energy it takes to produce those bags by bringing your own bag. Many stores have grocery bags available to purchase and you’ll often get a small credit for using them.

Coffee

Did you know you can choose coffee that is eco-friendly? Consider switching to a brand of coffee that is certified fair trade. Fair trade certified coffee is grown in a sustainable manner but also pays a fair price to the small farmers who grow and pick the coffee beans. Can you help the environment just by switching coffee brands? Yes you can.

Give It Away

Instead of throwing things away, like your old computer, old TV set, beat up couch or outdated clothes and broken jewelry, consider giving it away first. Most local communities have a FreeCycle group where you can list items you are giving away and local people can come and pick them up. Craigslist and the Virtual Dumpster are also good options for giving things away. When you opt to give things away before sending them to the garbage dump, you are giving the item a chance at a second life, thereby you are recycling. Maybe your old clothes can be used by someone less fortunate, maybe your broken jewelry can be used for crafts, maybe your TV set can be fixed and used for a little while longer. By giving things away, you not only get them out of your house, but you are eliminating the need for these items to go to the dump and for the people you are giving them to, you may be eliminating the need for them to buy something new. It’s a win-win all around.

Green Movement in Homes and Buildings

In our countries history there has never been more attention to wanting to build and live more “green”. The idea is to reduce the greenhouse effect on our planet, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and to protect our natural resources for future generations. One of the ways we can all contribute is to consider the products we put in our homes and buildings. Today there are more product choices than ever that save energy, that are sustainable, cost effective, and perform as well if not better other choices.

New Construction

When new buildings are constructed, whether single family homes, multi-family dwellings or commercial buildings, this is the time to consider products that have sustainability features and that will reduce energy consumption. In many cases you have one chance to get it right due to excessive costs of retro fitting the building in the future. One example is wall insulation. For minimal additional cost the R-value of insulation can be increased at time of construction. This additional R-value in the insulation will start providing energy savings on the first day the building is occupied. The additional R-value of the insulation will also provide energy saving benefits for the life of the building for many years to come. Today there are many choices of insulating materials that have sustainable features. Everything from fiberglass, cotton, cellulose, and foam are all offering higher R-values and green components. Insulation is just one example of doing it right at time of construction. Other energy saving and sustainable products that should be considered in new construction include lighting fixtures, HVAC equipment, windows, doors, plumbing fixtures just to name a few.

Weatherization of Existing Buildings and Homes

There are many cost effective ways to weatherize homes and buildings today. For a small investment, in some cases just few dollars, a building or home will start using less energy and be more comfortable immediately. Leaks around doors, windows and other penetrations in the building envelope can contribute up to 40% of energy loss of heating and cooling efforts. Simply by caulking and sealing these leaks it will dramatically reduce energy consumption and increase the comfort of the building. Replacing worn door and window weather-stripping with modern materials designed to withstand extreme temperature changes will have a positive return. In many cases these new products will last much longer than similar products offered a few years ago. There are many other low cost measures that will reduce energy consumption in existing buildings. Low flow plumbing products such are shower heads and faucet aerators are easily installed and cost just a few dollars. Replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient alternatives not only saves energy, but can reduce life cycle costs to user. These are just examples of weatherization measures that save energy, create comfort, and contribute to our national green effort.

Safe Home Security Tips for Promoting Home and Community Safety

Neighborhood security and awareness is just as important for homeowners as it is for condominium or apartment dwellers in suburban homes. You can do a lot to protect yourself from the threat of burglary, robbery and home invasion by simply getting to know your area, your local law enforcement services and others in your neighborhood, building or apartment.
Getting to know your neighbors by introducing yourself to them as well as getting to know building security, maintenance and management personnel if you’re in an apartment can be crucial. Making a simple commitment with neighbors by communicating that you care about living in a safe neighborhood, that you will watch their homes when they’re away, and that you would like them to watch your home is a great start toward promoting neighborhood and community safety and trust.

Talking with your neighbors, which is a simple thing to do, helps promote community interest and security. It helps raise awareness of changes in your neighborhood and encourages people to be alert for suspicious strangers. This simple idea is often overlooked, but it’s a great step toward developing a safe community and preventing crime in your neighborhood.
In addition, use these common sense safety rules developed by Safe Home Security for homeowners:

Safety Rule Number One: Be very prudent about who you allow to enter your home and always confirm their identity every time.
Safety Rule Number Two: If you aren’t expecting a service person, do not let them into your home or apartment.
Safety Rule Number Three: You should know who the regular service people are in your building or in your neighborhood, including mail personnel, lawn maintenance people, etc.
Safety Rule Number Four: You can’t always know outside contractors but you can trust someone who is confirmed by the company they claim as their employer.
Safety Rule Number Five: Use the common sense tools for safety which include peep holes on your door so you can see who’s there before opening it, keeping doors and windows locked, especially when you are away, not opening doors for strangers and of course, having a professionally monitored alarm system, such as those provided by Safe Home Security.
Here’s one final but important tip that we tell all Safe Home Security clients: Never print your entire name on your mailbox. If your name is required on your mailbox for your neighborhood or your building, use only your last name. If you need more than a last name, then use only one initial and a last name. This prevents people from gleaning your name from your mailbox and then acting like they know you at your front door or when meeting you in a parking lot after following you from your home. This also prevents intruders from knowing your gender just by reading it on a mailbox as well, which will help keep you safe from robbery.
Safe Home Security recommends that every resident of every neighborhood take control and be responsible for the safety and security of their community. Start by forming simple informal neighborhood watch programs by suggesting that neighbors watch out for each other’s safety. Remember, a secure home and neighborhood helps in making a happy home.

Planning for Playa Del Carmen Retirement – Homes and Land for Sale

One of the favorite property types for Playa del Carmen retirement has been condos – and this is with good reason. Yet home and land purchases offer a number of advantages in their own way. The following are a few of those advantages.

Playa del Carmen homes for sale are available in a variety of settings and locations. Stand alone villas can be purchased in a complexes which offer maintenance services, pools, and common green areas – some of the main features which attract buyers to apartment-style condominiums.

Single lot homes are also attractive to many retirees who want to take advantage of the area’s warm weather to enjoy year-round gardening. For those who only enjoy their home in Playa del Carmen during the winter, homes, along with larger condos, are attractive for shorter-term rentals, although in this case the location should be considered carefully.

Also, retirees who live in Playa del Carmen often find that they’re suddenly getting a good deal more visits from family members; if these visits are welcome, it’s worth having the space to host everyone. In the case that grandchildren are visiting the yard space of a home can be ideal for the kids.

Playa del Carmen land for sale has very similar advantages as an end result (i.e. you’ll have a single lot home), but is a different concept in the fact that it becomes a personal project. You will be planning your own dream home, the way you want it! For those who like projects, this can be a very rewarding undertaking to enjoy retirement in the home you’ve always wanted.

Buying land and building a home also has the advantage that you can draw out the expenses over time, and not have to come up with the lump sum immediately (i.e. you first pay for the land, you later have the home built, then landscaping, etc.) As opposed to buying on a mortgage, there are no interest charges for the time that you wait.

Land purchases also offer the advantage of overall savings, that is, the total cost of buying land, building, landscaping, furnishing, can be less than the cost of buying completed home, if buyers take the time to find the right price in a good location.