Archive for the 'Movin Green Lifestyle' Category
Seems I have been green longer than I care to admit. Ever since I was a kid, like 40, there I said it, years ago. My mom is from Germany and they have always recycled and reused as part of their culture for years before we showed up.
We never wasted anything, brown grocery bags, they were our trash bag, when they changed to the plastic kind, ditto. If we ever got food in those plastic containers, we reused them to save leftovers. We always found at least a second use for everything. Thanks Mom, who knew you were so cool??
We had those grocery bags that you took to the grocery store way back when. However, when I went to the grocery store we would never use them back then, they weren’t so cool. None of my friends did it , you know what I am talking about. Now it is the THE thing.
Fast forward to today, I am the recycle police in my office. Actually, I am pretty obnoxious about it and making sure others follow the green rules as well. Living in Montgomery County Maryland, it is pretty easy to recycle. They provide residents with recycle bins for paper and plastic and we have free pick up once a week.
I was showing a condo in a high rise in Bethesda and there was a representative from the county speaking to the building manager. He was telling, actually insisting, the manager that they need to have the paper recycle bin next to the mailbox area in the lobby so the residence could automatically throw away their junk mail/paper right there in the lobby.
If you are a business in Montgomery County, MD it is mandatory that you have recycle bins for paper and plastic. I swear I will pull regular paper I find in the trash can and put it in the bin. My assistant thinks I am a nut. Too bad, I have my convictions.
I was looking for a marketing idea for a “Pop by”. If you are a Buffini student you will know what a pop by is. For those of you who are not, a pop by is when you have an item of value to drop off to your past client. One day I had an “Aha Moment” for a great pop by idea and it was a very green one that I thought I would share with you.
I was in Whole Foodsand they had the reusable grocery bags. You know the ones I wouldn’t be caught dead with when I was younger? Well there they were, .99cents each. I bought 150 of them for my pop bys.
So what I did was group the bags in twos and made a postcard that said the bags were from me. I tied them together with a ribbon with the note that said they were a way to pay it forward to our Mother Earth. Then drove around to my past clients homes and dropped them off. Some of my folks were home and it was fun to see them too.
I will tell you that I got the most calls and emails from those bags. I still need to do another run to more of my clients and will because I had such a great response from the bags.
The good news is that you spend some green and everyone is happy to help Mother Earth breath a little easier.
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This January 1, 2009 a home energy audit will be required to be conducted in conjunction with a home inspection when selling a home in Montgomery county Maryland. Bill 31-07 was passed in April 2008 by the Montgomery County Council.
The Bill states;
“If a home inspection is completed in Connection with the sale of a single family home, the home inspection must include a home energy audit conducted by a qualified home energy performance rater”.
A home energy audit means that someone certified in the home energy field will test the home with the appropriate equipment to test the home’s efficiency and determine the steps, if any, that need to be taken to improve the home’s energy rating.
I have searched through the State of Maryland’s website and Montgomery County Website for more information. I found where they estimate that a home energy audit would run from about $350 to $700. This will include Town homes, I am not clear if condos will be included in this legislation or not.
It is also not clear to me if the purchaser is going to pay for this like a home inspection or if the seller is going to be responsible for the inspection prior to contract? The other issue that is unclear to me is if the seller will have to re-mediate the items the home energy rater finds deficient with the home?
In addition the seller will be required to provide the purchaser with the home’s energy bills for the 12 previous months – prior to signing the contract of sale – and any energy improvements that the seller has done to the property. If the seller did not occupy the property for the 12 months prior to the contract of sale, Pepco will give the average electric bill for the previous 12 months.
We are awaiting new forms and updates on how this legislation will be enforced at the beginning of the year. I will keep everyone abreast as I receive the information.
UPDATE TO THIS POST!! This was legislation that was on the books to be passed for 2009. Homeowners are not required to have home energy audits. However, the new legislation requires that home owners provide potential purchasers an list of the kilowatts or energy cosumption that is used for each month and the amount in dollars of that usage.
This is for all utilities except water consumption.
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When I was a kid I can remember my Mom hanging the laundry out to dry on a nice sunny afternoon. She always said the sun made things smell better. I just thought that was what everyone did. Then, the next thing I knew we had an electric dryer delivered to our house and boy we thought we were we something.
After the dryer came, the clothes were never hung out to dry on the clothes line. Sure, we had the drying rack thingamajig for delicate clothes, but never did our unmentionables go back outside. Then it seemed that you weren’t supposed to do that . . . Yards were for patios, pools and fancy landscaping.
Nowadays not only are you not supposed to hang your wears out for all of the neighbors to see, the Home owners associations in our area even state that this is a violation of the covenants. However, yesterday when I was showing houses I could see down in the next door neighbor’s yard a Clothesline. It was full too, with a full load of laundry. It was behind the fence so no one could see anything. It had been so long since I had seen laundry hung out on a clothes line it really stood out to me. It was kind of neat to be reminded of those old days being outside helping Mom.
Since being green is so en vogue this got me to think that maybe we should start hanging our unmentionables out for our neighbor to enjoy again to save energy. When you think about it, the dryer is one the most expensive appliances we run in our households. By considering this new chore we could not only save money, we could help save the planet.
Next we might consider hand washing our clothes again . . . Nah, we don’t want get too crazy with ourselves.
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