As a National Association of Realtors (NAR) Green Designee, I’m committed to helping buyers and sellers make informed real estate choices that are healthy for the environment. As part of this widely-acclaimed program, I’ve undergone professional training to help identify cost-effective methods for creating and maintaining environmentally-friendly homes. I take great pride in helping my clients make decisions based on sustainable green building practices and energy efficiency. Green homes are not just good for the environment, they’re great for people! Let me help you learn more about green building, managing your home’s carbon footprint, finding green home contractors and more.
Certified EcoBrokers® is the premier green designation for real estate professionals. Founded in 2002, this program is the largest green real estate training program in the world, with the goal of educating real estate professionals in tools, resources and basic knowledge to help consumers make informed decisions when building or buying a green home. I’m proud to offer my clients this background and to help them learn more about energy-saving methods, sustainable energy sources, environmentally-friendly materials, indoor air quality, green financing and much more.
Certified EcoBrokers® is the premier green designation for real estate professionals. An EcoBroker is a truly dedicated real estate professional who has taken additional energy and environmental training geared towards meeting the needs of buyers, sellers and clients. These real estate professionals assist clients in their pursuit of properties that provide affordability, comfort and a healthier environment, all the while reducing carbon footprints. EcoBroker has thousands of members in all 50 states and internationally.
Living Green - Tips for Conservation
Some points to consider in your daily life.
- Don't let the water run when brushing your teeth
- Use a timer for taking showers
- When waiting for water to heat up, collect it and save it to water the plants
- Use a power strip for appliances and office equipment and turn off when not in use
- Turn off lights when exiting a room, office or conference room
- Air dry clothes instead of using a dryer
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes
- Set thermostat as low as possible in the winter and as high as possible in the summer
- Clean filters and furnaces once a month
- Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators often, make sure they're not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes
- Turn off kitchen, bath and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing
- During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter the home
- In warmer climates, close curtains & blinds on south and west-facing windows during the day
- Keep all south-facing glass clean
- Don't place lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat
- Close curtains and blinds at night, open them during the day
- Place the faucet lever on the kitchen or bath room sink in the cold position when using small amounts of water; placing the lever in the hot position uses energy to heat the water even though it may never reach the faucet
- Use a covered kettle or pan to boil water, it's faster and uses less energy
- Use old office paper as scratch paper
- Turn off computers, and the power strips they are plugged into every night
- Make sure monitors are set to go into "sleep mode" within 15 minutes or suspended usage
- Unplug small appliances that are used infrequently to avoid electricity "bleed"
- Make it your policy to purchase recycled office supplies when possible
- Consider low carbon furniture (recycled wood, also known as reclaimed wood) minimizes carbon emissions
- Pack lunch in rcyclable or reusable containers/bags substitutes
- Use reusable water containers rather than plastic bottles
Many of these suggestions were taken from the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Energy Savers Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home http://www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/
What is LEED certification?
In the United States and in a number of other countries around the world, LEED certification is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability. Achieving LEED certification is the best way for you to demonstrate that your building project is truly "green."
The LEED green building rating system -- developed and administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, a Washington D.C.-based, nonprofit coalition of building industry leaders -- is designed to promote design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the negative environmental impacts of buildings and improving occupant health and well-being.
What are the benefits of LEED certification?
LEED certification, which includes a rigorous third-party commissioning process, offers compelling proof to you, your clients, your peers and the public at large that you've achieved your environmental goals and your building is performing as designed. Getting certified allows you take advantage of a growing number of state and local government incentives, and can help boost press interest in your project.
The LEED rating system offers four certification levels for new construction -- Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum -- that correspond to the number of credits accrued in five green design categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. LEED standards cover new commercial construction and major renovation projects, interiors projects and existing building operations. Standards are under development to cover commercial "core & shell" construction, new home construction and neighborhood developments.
How does one achieve LEED certification?
The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED website provides tools for building professionals, including:
• Information on the LEED certification process.
LEED documents, such as checklists and reference guides. Standards are now available or in development for the following
• project types:
o New commercial construction and major renovation projects (LEED-NC)
o Existing building operations (LEED-EB)
o Commercial interiors projects (LEED-CI)
o Core and shell projects (LEED-CS)
o Homes (LEED-H)
o Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND)
• A list of LEED-certified projects
• A directory of LEED-accredited professionals
• Information on LEED training workshops
• A calendar of green building industry conferences
Hire LEED-accredited professionals. Thousands of architects, consultants, engineers, product marketers, environmentalists and other building industry professionals around the country have a demonstrated knowledge of green building and the LEED rating system and process -- and can assist you in meeting your LEED goal. These professionals can suggest ways to earn LEED credits without extra cost, identify means of offsetting certain expenses with savings in other areas and spot opportunities for synergies in your project.
GREEN and SAVE Green Articles
I hope the articles below on Green topics might be of interest to you.
These suggestions are in no particular order, and while not one on its own is groundbreaking, executed in accord, these tips will definitely save you a lot of money in not all that much time.
The kitchen can be a very active and demanding space, supporting many different functions and acting as a meeting place for the family. This means that the kitchen is ripe for efficiency upgrades, from lighting to plumbing and anywhere in between, and can serve as the starting point for turning your home into a green, sustainable entity.
It might seem strange, but most Americans spend a plurality of their lives in their bedroom. With so much time in one room, it makes sense to expect this room to be one of the cleanest and healthiest rooms in the house. However, this is largely not the case.
The biggest culprit of unsustainability in the bathroom comes from excessive water usage, but in dichotomous ways. To truly make your bathroom greener, it is vital to manage the water coming in through the pipes, as well as water that flows out, whether it be through non-low flush toilets, or through the vapor from hot water.
There has been a lot of talk recently of building sustainably, but not much has been said about what that means. Utilizing sustainable building technologies means creating a safer work environment by using less chemicals, but it also means paying less of utility bills and making do with the supplies which are not at threat of being depleted.
The field of personal care products continues to grow as we as consumers constantly increase our demands for smooth-, shiny-, silky-, supple-, and softness. Be it our hair or our heels, we love products that promise to give us that newborn baby freshness. But what cost are we willing to pay in order to achieve these perfect standards?
In recent months, there have been plenty of stories about tainted food and paint in the United States harming people whose only crime is trusting the food inspectors in the government. While one would hope that the attention called to these problems would result in them being fixed, or at least ameliorated, it is always better to do something yourself.
Spring has sprung, and with warmer weather and the nice green buds on trees comes a budding generation of green Americans, better prepared than any generation that came before it to face the sustainability challenges of the near future. To teach students how to be more sustainable and to respect the environment, here are a few things to do at school:
Solar panels are a serious investment for any homeowner. The price of a few panels for your roof may be expensive, but panels are becoming more and more affordable.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is making tax credits available for various home improvements, and allows 30% of all your certified installations up to $1,500. With that in mind, it could be helpful to get in depth on what to look for when considering windows. In replacing windows or reconditioning them, there are a few key terms to know before proceeding;
Finding a New Way to Farm - Eat Locally Grown Food
How food arrives at the supermarket or the local restaurant is largely a mystery to most consumers. It is taken for granted that upon arrival at the supermarket, everything on your list will be on a shelf somewhere in the 20 or so aisled store. But the constant supply of beef, chicken, pork, and farm raised fish to market has a direct effect on our planet and our health.
EcoFriendly Labels to Look For
When purchasing food it is important to consider the source, and also the means by which it was brought to market. To ensure that the food you buy is organic, safe, and processed in environmentally sustainable ways, look for either the USDA Organic label, or the Fair Trade label.
The Federal Housing Administration has recently expanded on its previous loan program, known as the Section 203(k) rehabilitation loan program. The new "Streamlined (k)" Limited Repair Program seeks to broaden the scope of the loans by making them available to more people, as well as opening the loans up to new products and energy efficient technologies.
Americans are not the healthiest eaters, by far. We actually account for more obese citizens than any other nation in the world, but who could blame us? As the decades have rolled on, advertisers have become more savvy and persuasive, offering products that tempt us with jazzy graphics and fun prizes. The Fast Food industry has done very well over the years, but has directly
As tough economic times persist, many Americans have looked to the green movement for both ways to save money, as well as ways to find work. Green collar jobs are one of the fastest growing sectors in the United States, and over the next 20 years, the field may be responsible for roughly 10% of new jobs.
According to recent reports about the dinners held at the White House, an interesting trend is emerging. It seems that the Obamas are making a concerted effort to bring organic and locally grown food into the kitchen.
On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. All told, the bill calls for the spending of $787 billion dollars over the next number of years on the expansion of unemployment benefits and other social welfare programs, and domestic spending on health care, education, and infrastructure, which includes the entire energy sector.
The bill sets aside $5 billion for the weatherizing of modest-income homes, but you have to know how to get that money.
President Barack Obama signed the historical American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 into law less than a month ago. The ARRA allots $3.1 billion for the State Energy Program to help citizens and businesses to save energy. That $3.1 billion allows for $300 million in funds for state matching grants for consumer rebates on higher-tier energy efficient appliances.
The state of Pennsylvania has wasted no time in implementing their own version of this state-by-states stimulus by enacting the Keystone Home Energy-Efficiency Loan and Rebate Program (HELP).
Window and Door manufacturing giant JELD-WEN has just released some of the homeowner trends they foresee in 2009, and apparently, it is a whole new world out there. This year’s trends will be unlike those in recent memory as housing prices are plummeting and homeowners are looking to save both money and their time. Style and decoration considerations have been largely thrown out the window as homeowners look to more practical goals, such as increasing their homes value, lowering their stress, and considering the environment within the home.
As the weather warms and the winter cold is shook loose, it may be time to start gearing up for a little rest and relaxation. When planning a trip, one should definitely consider the price attached for travel and hotels, but something that is often overlooked is the impact that trips have on the environment. Whether it is the fuel needed to transport you and your family to exotic destinations or the carbon footprint one leaves at their destination, there are plenty of ways to get out there for some fun and sun without breaking the Eco-Bank.
Table sugar, artificial sugar substitutes, honey, and the ubiquitous pound-packing culprit, high fructose corn syrup are common sweeteners that are tempting to the taste buds, but packed with calories and can be tough on the stomach and waistline. Well, rest easy sugar-lovers, there’s a new sweetener in town.
Hot water heaters use a lot of energy. In order for a home to continuously have water at a high enough temperature, the water heater must work constantly to keep the water at whatever temperature the heater is set to. This is akin to keeping a boiling pot of water on the stove all day just in case you may want spaghetti later. It just doesn’t make sense.
In the United States, there are plenty of kinds of toilets and restrooms, however there is largely only one flushing method, and it’s costing us all a great amount of water. Older toilets use about 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush, but it doesn’t need to be that way.
There are plenty of efficient models out there, but to be sure about what you’re getting into, focus on getting either a low flush toilet, or a dual-flush toilet, which has two settings.
Wind power has been touted as one of the future sources of American energy by every forward thinking politician out there. If you listened to a stump speech by any candidate for any position in the United State government in the past election, you would have been read a laundry list of long-forgotten fuel sources that would not leave Americans dependent on nations and peoples that are not friendly with us at the moment. The list included solar energy, wind, geothermal, nuclear, oil, gas, coal, and hydroelectric.
Most people use their car every day. Whether it is to get to and from work, to pick up the kids from school, or to run some errands, we often take our vehicles for granted. But with something used so heavily, shouldn't we consider trying to make it as efficient as possible? Listed below are a few tips that will help to conserve gas, increase your mileage and reduce your emissions.
Biomass is an organic matter that can be used to make fuels, chemicals and other products, as well as provide heat or electricity. For example, wood is one of the oldest and most commonly used examples of biomass. Burning it produces heat to give us warmth.
Other sources include plants, aquatic plants, animal waste, organic compounds from municipal and industrial waste, which can be used to produce fuels and chemicals, as well as power. Biomass resources can be replenished through cultivation of energy crops such as fast growing trees and grasses.
The housing market is not too pretty these days…but that's only if you own. As anyone with a vested interest in property knows by now, home prices from just one year ago have dropped dramatically, and in some cases in half. If you are unencumbered by a home of your own, it may be time to check out a pretty cheap property while the housing market stays quasi-dormant.
Did you know that using Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) in any light fixture that you use for more than two or three hours a day can save you hundreds of dollars on your household electric bill over the course of a decade?
The air we breathe in our homes can impact the way we live. Many people forgot that air pollution also occurs indoors. The fact is indoor air quality is usually much worse than the air outside. If your home is not properly ventilated it prevents the flow of outdoor air that helps dilute harmful emissions and carry them out of the home. Both high temperature and humidity levels can increase the concentrations of some pollutants. The effects of poor indoor air quality include some respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer.
Professor Kelly Cobb from the University of Delaware is once again helping the Philadelphia community in multiple ways by introducing a new “Green” method of clothing design. This time she is working to ensure that consumers are satisfied with their finished product. This type of fashion designing is called “Participatory Design,” which means that those who will be wearing the finished product help in the creation process.
President Barack Obama signed the historic American Recovery and Reinvestment Act this past Tuesday, turning the roughly $800 billion bill into a law. This means that there will be an influx of a large amount of money into the economy in the very near future. In order to understand how this affects the average homeowner, it is vital to look into the details of what this plan seeks to do on that front.
More to come soon....