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Green Living Tip: Stay Cool with Less Reliance on Air Conditioning

House choice on white background. Isolated 3D imageOne way to achieve green living is to reduce energy consumption. This may be easier said than done when the temperature and humidity make living conditions hot and uncomfortable. However, cranking the air conditioning shouldn’t be the only answer if you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint.

According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy more than 8 percent of all electricity used in the U.S. is consumed by home air conditioning systems and up to 50 percent of electricity used during warm weather is used for air conditioning.

Using the following tips can reduce your reliance on air conditioning which will benefit the environment and save on energy bills:

  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent or LEDs which will reduce the amount of heat added to your living area and provide increased energy efficiency.
  • Rely on natural lighting and turn off lights as often as possible.
  • Unplug electronic equipment when it is not being used.
  • Keep blinds and shades closed during the day as sunlight entering your home will warm it up. Focus on closing blinds on the south or west facing windows.
  • Cool yourself off with cold water on your hands, head and feet.
  • Use moving air to cool down. A fan uses less energy than air conditioning and can be helpful especially in low-humidity. Although a fan will not actually reduce the air temperature it makes you feel cooler.  Placing a fan in a window can help create a draft in the room especially if the outdoor air is cooler.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather and remove blankets from the bed to keep cool.
  • If it cools down at night open windows and then close them during the day when outside temperatures are higher than inside temperatures.
  • Avoid running appliances that create heat such as a dishwasher, dryer or oven. Wait until evening time. Prepare meals that don’t require the oven like sandwiches and salads or consider grilling outside.

For additional green living tips contact us.


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Starting a Green Movement in Your Multifamily Community

House Plant Photo Spider PlantMany multifamily housing units are doing their part to save electricity, such as adding energy efficient appliances and double-panned windows. Residents enjoy an environmentally cleaner, and often cheaper, place to live. Since the apartment complex is doing a part in keeping the facilities green, how can the residents do their part to meet in the middle? Starting a green movement in the complex and encouraging your neighbors to join you is a great place to start.

 

1. Talk to Your Neighbors

Begin by finding out who is in your community. There may be elderly people who can’t move the recycle bin and thus will not recycle due to their physical limitations. Organize the community to help these neighbors move the bin from their homes to the trash receptacles. A little community help can go a long way.

2. Encourage Small Changes

Some small changes can go a long way in a community. Encourage neighbors to use energy, and money, saving light bulbs in their units. The best bulbs are the compact fluorescent bulbs. Smart power strips are also helpful; they recognize when an appliance is turned off and will stop the stream of electricity streaming through the plug. These small changes will help save residents money and help increase the reputation of the green apartment complex.

3. Introduce Green Projects

Ask your neighbors to go to the farmer’s market with you, or share ways to plant container food on the balconies. If the complex will allow it, consider starting a community garden. Not only does this save money, it saves the environment by reducing the amount of emissions put into the air by the big companies that produce grocery store food. Set up a carpool bulletin board where neighbors can find others who are going to similar destinations. Car pooling is one of the easiest methods for saving money and reducing the number of emissions in the air.

4. Organize Weekly Cleanups

While the apartment complex will care for the grounds, there are other places that can be cared for by the community as a whole. Parks and other recreational areas can be cleaned, and your community name can be put on the project with the permission of management. This will help increase the reputation of the complex for being environmentally friendly. When the residents pay attention and care, others who also care for the environment are more likely to move in.

If you have any other questions about creating a more eco-conscious living space, contact us right away.

http://www.handsonnetwork.org/files/resources/goinggreen.pdf

http://www.worldwatch.org/resources/go_green_save_green


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Decorate Bare Wall Space With Strategy

Kitchen interior.Bare walls are so plain.  There’s nothing to stare at because it’s so bare.  Items on walls are visually pleasing to the eye and give guests a conversation piece.  Adding something brings a wall to life. Wood partners understands these limitations; however not all is lost.

Family photos and mirrors are the first things we think of when we talk about decorating the wall.  Photos and pictures immediately tell a story and take you on a journey.  Thanks to the reflection, mirrors open your room up and make it larger than it actually is.  The frame around the mirror or picture can make a statement.  Bold designs really make something plain pop out.   You are not limited to those choices.

  • Add cubby wall organizers.  Place keys, sunglasses, cell phone, portable music player, remote control, pens, pads, mail and mini calendars here.
  • Multipurpose pieces double as being functional.  It is very decorative, useful and time saving.  Chalkboards and memo boards are examples of this.
  • Clocks will do more than tell time on your wall.  Decorative wall clocks come with its own charm, and it will make your wall elegant.
  • Instead of covering those walls with wallpaper, use wall decals.  These decorative pieces will give off the look of wallpaper without dealing with wallpaper issues (peeling paper, dingy, etc).  It comes right off as easily as you place it on the wall.  There are many colors and patterns to select.  The same wall decals can hide that unappealing backsplash in the kitchen.
  • Tapestry and rugs bring modern style to a wall.  The patterns alone say a lot about the piece.
  • Wreaths are a seasonal accent.  On your wall, it will last year-round.
  • Art panels and screen-print art on the wall make a great conversation piece.
  • Highlight your accolades by hanging diplomas, degrees, awards and other achievements on the wall.
  • Display cases display your collections for you and guests to view.
  • Maps are a great conversation starter.  If you run out of things to talk about, just look on the wall and chat about your travels.  Add a frame around it for hanging.
  • Frame postcards, concert posters and/or concert flyers you collected.  Let the picture, message or color speak for itself.
  • Decorative plates don’t deserve to hide inside kitchen cabinets.  Make it a centerpiece on your wall.  Use adhesive plate hangers to hang it on the wall.

Imagine what you can do when you strategize.  Use those bare walls as a canvas to show off your personality, but be careful.  Decorating your apartment wall isn’t the same as decorating your house.  Property owners have rules so check the lease or ask the owner if you can hang something or decorate the walls.  Contact us for more information. Wood Partners know about apartments and have many tips on their website.


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The Benefits of Apartment Living

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Buying a home can be difficult, as the median annual household income in America is $46,326, making it harder to put a down payment on a mortgage loan, pay property tax and for other living expenses. Not only is it expensive just to purchase a home, but maintaining it and investing in repairs can also be a tremendous cost, which is why you will want to consider searching for apartments for rent.

The Perks of Renting an Apartment

When renting an apartment unit you will feel more at ease, as you will not have to worry about the major expenses of owning your own property such as:

• Lawn care.

• Paying out of pocket for plumbing, electrical and structural damages.

• Homeowners insurance.

Not only will renting save you a tremendous amount of money over the years, but you may also prefer it to buying, as you will have the luxury of:

• On-site maintenance.

• Easy access to your property manager for any concerns.

• Living in a ready-made community.

These features can be very beneficial, as your family can live comfortably without the hassle of having to research and find contractors for repairs. Plus, you will likely feel safe in this type of community as it is easier to gain a connection with your neighbors based on shared living situations.

What You Should Know Before Committing To a Rental Agreement

• Leasing Terms: Many apartment complexes have leasing terms, which require you to live in your apartment unit for a certain period of time. Most leasing terms range from 6, 9 and 12 months. It’s ideal to find a term that you’re comfortable with so that you do not break it. Breaking a lease can come with extra costs and can negatively impact your credit. It is important to know what the specific unit for rent has to offer, as each leasing option can impact the rent price.

• Deposits: Every apartment complex requires you to pay a security deposit. However, you will get your deposit back once you’re ready to move out. Your security deposit may be a smaller amount than what you had paid originally, as some expenses are used to replace cosmetic components, carpeting and any other damages throughout the unit.

Pet rules: Some apartment complexes are more lenient than others when it comes to pet friendly policies. If you have a pet, you will want to keep this in mind when searching for a new apartment unit.

So, if you are ready for a relaxing lifestyle and want to begin searching for your new apartment, contact us and we can help you right away!


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Tips for Sustainable Living

House choice on white background. Isolated 3D imageEven if you live in a green home or apartment community, it is likely that you would be surprised to discover the effect your daily actions have on the environment. For this reason, it is important that each of takes a few steps to lessen our carbon footprint and lower the impact we each have on the environment. To help you to begin creating a sustainable living plan for you and your family, here are a few tips to help get you started.

 

 

Eat Less Meat

I know what you are thinking, “you want me to do what?” However, the fact is that the livestock industry is an extremely high contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. So, while we are not suggesting that you become a vegetarian, it is suggested to try going vegetarian a few times a week. The more people do this, the less of an impact the livestock industry will have on the environment.

 

Use Green Cleaning Agents

Cleaning products are something that many of us feel that we cannot go without due to the fact that we use them to keep our homes sanitary. However, the residue from the use of these products, as well as from their manufacturing process, is bad for the environment. Luckily, there are products you can use that have less of an impact such as cleaning products that are marketed as “green” or “natural”. You can also look up recipes online to make cleaning agents out of ingredients you likely already have in your home such as baking soda and vinegar.

 

Drive More Conservatively

Countless studies have shown the effect that reckless driving can have on a cars fuel efficiency. The faster you drive, and the harder you accelerate and brake, the less mileage you will get out of each tank of gas. Thusly, whenever it is possible, it is best if you speed up and slow down with care, and that you do not drive over the posted speed limits.

 

Incorporating sustainable living tips such as these into your daily life can go a long way in helping the environment. Furthermore, if you do not already live in a green home or community, consider doing so as this can greatly lessen your carbon footprint. Contact us to find out about more tips for sustainable living, as well as to find out about the benefits of living in a green home.