Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Water Conservation-Part 1

This post is courtesy of HWA Home Waranty.

Water is becoming more precious than gold! Droughts in our country and around the
world have people and nations fighting over it, and it’s getting more and more expensive.
We need to conserve it, and the payoffs are a lower water bill and enough of this precious
resource for everyone. Here are some good ideas to start your conservation program.
Teach everyone in the family.

• Instruct your entire family to turn the water off while brushing their teeth.

• Don’t let water run while washing dishes, fill the sinks for wash and rinse.

• Do not use your toilet as a garbage can for trash like tissues, cigarette butts, etc.

• Check for leaks. In your toilet’s tank, drop in a small amount of food coloring.
Wait 30 minutes or so and if some color appears in your toilet bowl, you have a
leak that needs to be repaired right away. Replacements parts are easy to install.

• When replacing toilets, buy low flush. You’ll save anywhere from 2-4 gallons of
water per flush. If your toilet was built before 1992, it is highly likely you have a
much less efficient toilet.

• Use water meter to check for water leaks. Check the meter and stop water use in
your home for two hours. Check the meter after. If there is no change, then you
have no leaks. If there is a change, look at toilets, sinks, and pipes for leaks to fix.
A small leak in a faucet can use up to 20 gallons of water a day!

• Replacing your clothes washer can save a lot of water. ENERGY STAR washers
use 35-50% less water and 50% less energy per load.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Going Native

This post is courtesy of HWA Home Warranty.

There are 20,000 plant species native to North America playing enormously important
roles in our ecosystems. Learning about and growing them in your yard can be fun and
educational for the whole family. And here are some benefits of going native:

• Decrease the amount of water and fertilizer you need to maintain your landscapes
• Reduce long-term landscape maintenance when native plants are properly planted
and established
• Protect water quality by controlling soil erosion and moderating floods and
• Add beauty to your landscape and preserve our natural heritage
• Provide food and habitat for native wildlife
• Help slow down the spread of fire because native plants stay greener longer
• Create a potentially important genetic resource for future food crops or other
plant-related products
• Create a natural balance keeping species in check, and allowing species to thrive,
preventing local imbalances.

What is a Native Plant?

These are plants that evolved naturally in a particular area before humans. They’ve
adapted well to the soil, moisture and weather conditions of that region.
Native plants have the most interesting flowers and foliage with shrubs and trees
providing many shapes, heights, and textures in your yard. Many of them even provide
beauty in the winter through their bark colors, textures and seed pods.
There are many resources on the Web and books written on this subject to get you and
your family started. Wow the neighbors with the beauty you create and the knowledge
you gain through going native!
You can source native plants through the North American Native Plant Society at
www.nanps.org and other great sites on the Web.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Clean Air with Decorative House Plants

This post is coutesy of HWA Home Warranty.

Called living air purifiers, houseplants remove toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and more, which many indoor air filters do not. The plant actually absorbs the toxic gases in your home’s air and exchanges carbon dioxide with oxygen, keeping the air from getting sick. Indoor air purifiers with an activated carbon filter do the same, but not HEPA or ionizing filters.

Formaldehyde is a common, but toxic gas, coming from many sources inside your home from carpeting to plastic items, wood furniture and more. Various common house plants will reduce formaldehyde gas.
These include fig trees, aloe vera, ficus, the spider plant, and more.
NASA did extensive studies on plants and which ones were better than others for removing certain pollutants; here is a good list of additional houseplants that you can use to help improve your home’s air quality:

Philodendrons, Gerbera Daisies, Chrysanthemums, Chinese Evergreen, Aloe Vera, Golden Pothos, Ficus, Common English Ivy, Mauna Loa, Cornstalk, Warneck and Red Edged Dracaena, Bamboo or Reed Palm.

Many houseplants are from tropical regions and normally grow in lower light under larger plants in that climate, so they need some light, but not always as much. You may have plenty of spots in your home to accommodate them.

Mix a variety of these and other houseplants to absorb varying degrees and types of pollutants. Some of the plants listed above are good, purifying houseplants but are poisonous to children and pets. Place them OUT of their reach.


Good Morning All,

Your Eco-Friendly Angel here wishing you many energy efficient days to come. This blog is the kick off of the GREEN section of the"All Things Real Estate" blog.

Subscribe to this blog and get tips on how to make your life GREEN and energy efficient, and to "All Things Real Estate" at http://angelsbrown.blogspot.com/ and get all the latest real estate news, tips, ideas, and information.