These days, most people want to do their bit to help the environment.
Unfortunately, not everyone is willing, or able, to install solar panels on their
roof or implement an in-ground heat recovery system.
Luckily, there are many smaller things you can do that can make a big
difference. Here are some ideas that can help you "go green" easily and
inexpensively.
Get a recycling bin and learn how to use it. Most jurisdictions have a
recycling program. You may be able to get a rebate on your recycling bin or
even get it for free. Keep a list of items that can be recycled on your fridge
door, so that everyone in the family can participate.
Get a kitchen compost bin. Find out if your jurisdiction has a compost
pick-up program. If they do, get a kitchen compost bin. Composting can
reduce landfill waste by as much as 32%.
Use energy-saving light bulbs. Low energy light bulbs have come a long
way in recent years. Their consistent glow and brightness now rival their
incandescent counterparts. By replacing regular 40-watt bulbs with energysaving
8-watt bulbs, you could save nearly 50% of the electricity you used
for lighting. Results may vary by brand.
Shop for local produce. Many grocery stores and supermarkets offer
produce – fruits, vegetables, – that are grown within a 100 mile radius. The
short transportation distance, means significantly less fossil fuel is required
to get the produce delivered to your local store. Keep in mind that some
non-local produce, such as apples in the off-season, often need to be
transported thousands of miles.
Let nature do the work. As an alternative to air conditioning, open windows
and block out the passive heat gain from the sun with curtains. Do the
opposite in winter. Strategically using curtains and windows can lower your
energy bill by as much as 20%.
As you can see, you don't have to do much to have a "greener" home. Just
a few little changes can make a big difference.

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If you're shopping for a new home, you're probably aware that there will be
some costs over and above the purchase price. It makes sense to budget
for these costs so you're not surprised – and unprepared – when you get
the bill.
Most of these costs fall into a category that the real estate industry calls
"closing costs." The most common types include land transfer tax, lawyer’s
fees and disbursements, sales taxes, and for newly-built homes, utility hookups.
You should also consider other expenses you will incur, such as home
insurance and moving expenses.
Of course, if your new home is a condominium, you’ll also have to account
for the monthly condo fees.
Closing costs can vary depending on the type and location of your new
home. A good REALTOR® can help you determine the costs you will incur.

 

If you have questions about this or any other topic, please contact me today.

 

Richard

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