Environment

Keeping Your Home Green

Australian builders going green, read the headline, and it got me thinking about the cost of not just building ‘green’, but of converting to green in our existing homes. Being able to list your house as a ‘green’ home must still be a novelty these days. One reason is that it can be expensive to switch to green, but there are reasonable contributions that the average family can easily make toward green living.

Of course, people go green for different reasons; for some of them it is just a common sense solution to allergies suffered in the family. But why do other people choose to put themselves through this hassle. It is not money, we know that much; going green usually costs more, not less.

Many people seem to object to the idea that their home contains more chemicals than homes used to. What is more, we are paying for that privilege! It is strange to think that Vinyl linoleum gives off toxic gasses, but it is a fact. True linoleum does not, although it can be more difficult to find. (It is often a fact that the newer replacement product also brought with it toxicity.)

Another way of helping the environment is to follow your municipalities outline for re-cycling. Private re-cycle depots in your area will often pick up where the government leaves off. The trick is to get it organized at the home base with different containers that are easily accessed.

When you decorate the home, if you want to think green, use paint that has either no, or low, VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds). Also if you plan on re-sealing sealing wood doors or floors etc, latex has no pollution factor to worry about.

If you decide to remodel, you will find many appliances on the market that will help you to go green. Most appliance companies now offer at least one green choice. Both washing machines and dish washers offer cycles which operate with less water. There are also toilets with the same feature, and all of these options will give you cheaper bills to pay, both on hydro and on water consumption.

If your remodeling or green choices are extending into your kitchen then when choosing a new stove or other kitchen appliance, look for the Energy Star rating. Many of these appliances are designed with a healthy environment in mind, and the stainless steel look of them will bring your kitchen up to the minute!

Switching into a green frame of mind can sometimes have a gradual escalation. Soon you may find yourself buying environment friendly soap powders and cleaners and then you can feel even more virtuous!

Environment

Steps to Organize Your Home and Get Rid of Clutter

A pact, according to Dictionary.com is “a formal agreement…such as one between nations.”

Well, I want you to have A-Pact with your clutter. Although this turns into more of a battle (that you win)…it’s a great way to remember the steps to organization.

Here’s what it means and how it works …

A–>ASK

Ask yourself what you want out of the room or area you’re going to organize. What are the goals of the room? What are you shooting for by getting organized?

And the thing is, you want to dig a little deep into how you want to benefit. This will help you get motivated and work towards the final goal.

For instance, if you’re going to start the process of organizing paperwork in your home office, the question is “why do I want to organize this space?”

The answer could be “I don’t ever want to have a late bill again” or “I want to find any document in less than two minutes.”

Once you’ve answered the question, then move onto step 2…

P—>PILE

What you do in this step is pile “like” items together.

In your closet, you make a pile of all your shirts.

Another pile of all your pants…

Or let’s say we’re in your home office (or wherever you do keep paperwork.)

Start with your file drawer, or grab a pile if that’s what you’ve got for a “filing system.”

Put each piece of paper in “like” files. For example, all the insurance paperwork will go together. All of your 401K paperwork goes in another. All medical expenses from the present year in another.

A—>ANALYZE

Next you go through the piles and break them down even more, this time into two piles of “treasure” or “trash.”

I like to assign each category with treasure or trash so there’s no in between. No room for “I’m going to decide on this later.”

No, decide right there and then if it’s either staying or going.

No in between.

Now the thing is, the trash doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to the garbage.

That step comes next… and remember the saying, one man’s trash (or junk) is another man’s treasure.

next…

C—>CASH-IN

This is where you go through the “trash” and break it down once more, deciding what can be donated, what can be sold, and what’s going to the dumpster.

Next step is where you get organized…

T—>TIDY UP!

This is where, once you’ve gotten all the “trash” out of the area, you organize the items you’ve decided to keep.

Tidy up, put it back in an ordered, organized fashion.

When you’re organizing, always keep like items together whether on a shelf, in drawers or in any other type of storage you’re using.

Have items you use more frequently be more accessible and within reach, too.

So there you go…

Have A-PACT with your clutter today, okay?

Environment

Outdoor Trash Bins and Cans

For any hotel or resort owner, you know how important it is to have the proper receptacles where you need them. To keep your resort looking nice, and to make sure guests are happy, choose outdoor trash cans and bins that hide litter and do not create an eyesore.

One important thing to remember when purchasing outdoor trash cans and bins is their location on the property. If you are purchasing a large bin, make sure it fits and won’t be blocking any public areas. Also remember to place trash cans for litter in convenient locations so they are easy for guests to access. People are more likely to use trash can if they can get to them. And this way, it is more likely that the property will remain cleaner and litter-free.

Ash cans are another important item to help keep litter off the ground. Save hours of sweeping and picking up trash by placing ash cans in typical locations near doors and seating areas.

There are numerous models of trash cans, bins, and ash cans available. Different materials are used for different outdoor spaces. Choose from heavy duty recycled lumber, treated wood, or metal. Trash cans and bins also use the best design to be attractive as well as function.

Stone or concrete outdoor trash cans are another great option. Stone materials are very durable and will stand up to weathering. They can come in designs ranging from simple to very elegant. Choose to match the style of your property.