Archive for the ‘Going Green in Your Brooklyn Home’ Category

What is the Best Way to Save Money by Going Green at Home?

Thursday, February 28th, 2019
Going green at home
There are lots of things you can do when you want to go green. Choose a few from this list and start reaping the benefits of going green at home.

What comes to mind when you hear the words, “Going green” – St. Patrick’s Day, spring, being eco-friendly, money? Going green is about being good stewards of what we are given, and there’s certainly more to going green than just recycling. Let’s talk about going green at home and how we can be good stewards of what we have in and around Brooklyn.

What is a Green Home?

A green home is a structure built from recycled, sustainable, natural materials which do not emit toxins into the air inside your home. It also uses energy efficiently. But it can mean living a green lifestyle, too.

How to Be Green to Save Green

In order to achieve energy-efficiency status at home, you must:

  1. Use Energy Efficiently in your Home

  • Use energy-efficient appliances
  • Seal your home well
  • Properly insulate your home
  • Control the use of electricity, water, and fuel in your home

 

  1. Live a Green Lifestyle

  • Reduce the number of items you purchase each month
  • Reuse items for the same or different purpose
  • Recycle everything that can be or at least try to purchase items built with recycled stuff
  • Refuse excess. Start saying no and skip the need to reuse or recycle altogether.

 

Going Green at Home without Blowing Your Budget

You can save quite a bit of green by using less energy and water in your home. And over time, this adds up to huge savings. There are lots of doable suggestions, and I mean lots, for going green at home. I recommend choosing just three for starters and building from there. Here are some going green at home tips that won’t blow your budget:

 

  1. Reduce Pollution

  • Walk, bike, carpool, and use public transportation whenever you can. It will save you money, reduce pollution, keep you fit, and save energy.
  • Get your car serviced regularly. A car in need of a tune-up is a gas guzzler.
  • Drive the speed limit.
  • Run all your errands for one week in one trip.

 

  1. Use Reusable Containers and Stainless Steel Straws
  • Commit to using reusable containers and stainless steel straws instead of drinking bottled water and using plastic straws. Refilling a safe stainless steel water bottle with your own filtered tap water saves money and resources.
  • Bring your own reusable coffee mug to your favorite coffee shop.
  • When getting take out, bring your own food containers. You can even bring your own food containers to a restaurant to put your leftovers in.

 

  1. Cut Back on Water Usage

  • Take shorter showers
  • Install low-flow showerheads
  • Buy and use an energy-efficient dishwasher. They use less water than traditional dishwashing. Hallelujah! If you don’t have an energy-efficient dishwasher to use, switch up the way you wash your dishes so that the faucet runs for less time.
  • Only run your washer or dryer with a full load. And only wash truly dirty clothes.
  • If you have a lawn, ditch it. Grass demands a great deal of water and time to maintain.
  • Plant plants that are native to your soil. They require less care and water.
  • Collect rainwater. This conserves water because you can use the water from the rain barrel to water your garden, lawn, and houseplants or wash your bike or car.
  • Fix leaky toilets, faucets, and tanks. This could save up to 600 gallons of water in a month.
  • Put a bag or bottle filled with pebbles and water inside your toilet tank. Displacing the water in your toilet tank uses less water every time you flush. It saves about 5 to 10 gallons of water per day.
  • Always turn off the water in the sink when brushing your teeth or shaving. You could save up to 4 gallons of water per minute.

 

  1. Use Less Electricity

  • Don’t leave fans or lights on when you leave a room or leave home. Turn them off when not in use.
  • Always use free sunshine during the day. Don’t turn on your lights for as long as you can. Pull back the curtains or blinds and let the sun shine in.
  • If you’re going out of town, consider turning off your refrigerator.
  • Turn off all electronic gadgets at night. Many electronics consume energy even when they’re not actively “on.” This is called phantom energy because when they’re on standby mode, they are still using electricity. Always unplug chargers, microwaves, and computers, etc when not in use, or invest in “smart” surge protectors. They disable power when electronics aren’t in use.
  • Replace CFL and incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. It’s hard to beat the value offered by modern LEDs. Their prices get more affordable every day, and they last decades longer.
  • Buy properly sized appliances that fit your needs and save energy. Large appliances guzzle energy and require more space for installation.
  • Switch one appliance to an energy-efficient model. Look for the “energy star” label. If you’re buying a refrigerator, don’t buy one below 4 Energy Stars.
  • Line dry your laundry, inside or outside instead of using a dryer.
  • Consider using renewable energy sources such as a small solar power plant on your roof or a small wind turbine in your backyard.

 

  1. Responsibly Recycle E-Waste

  • Recycle your e-waste through a verified recycler. E-waste can contain all kinds of pollutants, including lead, mercury, beryllium, polyvinyl chloride, and flame-retardants. A verified recycler can break down an item into reusable or recyclable pieces. Toxic materials are appropriately handled. Look for recyclers on the EPA’s website.

 

  1. Eat Less Meat

  • Believe it or not, meat has a big impact on the environment. A study led by Gidon Eshel of Bard College suggests that meat has a bigger impact on our carbon footprint than cars do! Being a vegetarian isn’t for everyone, but you could try eating one meatless day each week. You’d save a little on your grocery bill by doing so.

 

  1. Buy Secondhand and Repurpose Items

  • Donate to and shop at thrift stores.  You’ll support your local economy, save money, and prolong the life of a perfectly usable item that may have otherwise gone to the landfill.
  • Before buying anything new, check your local Craigslist or Freecycle. Repurposing can be fun.

 

  1. Compost

  • Invest in your own backyard compost or see if Brooklyn has a compost program in your neighborhood. Many are cheap or even free to join. Composting reduces waste that is sent to landfills and transforms organic wastes into nutrient-dense soil for your garden beds.

 

  1. Streamline Your Mailbox

 

  1. Reduce Your Paper Towel Consumption

  • Use dishtowels for drying hands while cooking or washing up.
  • Consider using cloth napkins at dinnertime.
  • Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen. Make rags out of old towels and t-shirts.

 

  1. Other Green Choices

  • Invest in home items like natural-fill and organic cotton bedding.
  • Cook with pans covered with lids. This saves energy and money and emits fewer gases into the air.
  • Buy non-chlorine-based bleach and detergents in your home.
  • Replace chemical cleaners, most of your bathroom cabinet, air fresheners, and even some personal care items with essential oils. Make your own household cleaners.
  • Avoid plastic bags. Instead, carry your groceries in reusable bags.
  • Reuse jars in your kitchen. Store bulk items in them. Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage.
  • Stop using disposable bags. Order reusable bags such as Flip & Tumble or make your own.
  • Paint with no-VOC paint. VOC paint emits harmful gases into the air and affects your health and surroundings negatively.
  • Reuse scrap paper for drawing, coloring, or calculating math.
  • Reuse toilet paper rolls to grow seedlings or stuff with dryer lint to make fire starters.
  • Plant an herb garden.
  • Eat local, organic Support your local economy and shop at your farmer’s market. Support local restaurants that use food derived less than 100 miles away. Learn more about the benefits of eating locally.
  • Research whether you can sign up for green power from your utility company.
  • Conduct a quick energy audit of your home.
  • Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
  • Wash your laundry in cold water instead of hot.
  • Switch to cloth diapers or at least do a combination with disposables. Using one cloth diaper per day means 365 fewer disposables in the landfill each year.
  • Switch to shade-grown coffee with the “Fair Trade” label.

 

Going Green at Home Intentionally

Going green at home is just good economics. But it takes thought and effort. You must commit to being eco-wise to reap the benefits of good stewardship – saving money, energy, and passing on these important values to the next generation.

Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext.206. Or email him at [email protected] for help with going green in Brooklyn.


 

Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

 Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

Make Your Brooklyn Home Stand Out with Ceramic Tile

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
Charles D’Alessandro your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

If you’re looking for ways to update your Brooklyn home, consider ceramic tile. There are myriad ways to implement tile for a new look.

Ceramic tile is the ideal material to use where water is an issue—think the kitchen, bathroom and plant room. It’s also the best option where fire is an issue—again the kitchen, fireplace and woodstove. For a durable and classic look, consider these possibilities for ceramic tile in your Brooklyn home:

  • Flooring. Compared to wood, tile is affordable and more durable. Compared to carpet, tile is hypo-allergenic and more durable. Compared to vinyl, tile is classic and more durable.
  • Countertops. If your kitchen countertops have seen better days, you can get a whole new, custom look with ceramic tile.
  • Entire bathroom. From the floor to the walls, ceramic tile can withstand the water and steam of the bathroom environment.
  • Hearth. Ceramic tile around the fireplace or woodstove equals peace of mind.
  • Windowsills. If you have houseplants, you know how easy it is to ruin the woodwork of a windowsill. Tile is a much more forgiving material to host your plants and their watery needs.
  • Backsplash. A backsplash is installed wherever you need to protect a section of wall. Above the kitchen or bathroom sink, ceramic tile will protect your wall from water damage. Another place you can install a backsplash is behind the stove, where food and grease splash up. With ceramic tile, clean up is easy and a backsplash will add stunning interest to your décor.

In today’s buyer’s market, you need to make sure your Brooklyn  home stands out from the rest. For more tips on how to get your home sold, contact me Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected]

Show Your Brooklyn Home Some TLC this Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

iStock_000016321998XSmallWithin the walls of your house, you’ve probably raised a family, made future plans and created years of memories. Take time this month to be thankful for everything your Brooklyn home has given you if you just Show Your Brooklyn Home Some TLC this Thanksgiving .

With Christmas right around the corner, I know it’s hard to justify spending a lot of money on your Brooklyn home. Below are a few easy and affordable green projects for you to do this Thanksgiving holiday — and they’ll start paying off immediately!

Buy compact florescent light bulbs. You don’t have to do this all at once. As your light bulbs burn out, replace them with these energy savers for around $3 a piece. They last about ten times longer than incandescent light bulbs and can save you close to $40 over their lifetime.

  • Use faucet aerators. These only cost about $10 and are incredibly easy to install. Just unscrew your faucet nozzle or showerhead and slip the aerator in. It can cut your water bill in half by making the water squeeze through tiny holes, which makes it feel like there is more pressure. You’ll also reduce water heating bills because the less hot water you use, the less you’ll have to heat.
  • Put in ceiling fans. If you don’t have these in your house, then you’re missing out on a huge energy-saver. Starting around $50, ceiling fans push hot air down and help equalize each room’s temperature — just switch the blade rotation for summer and pull cool air up.
  • Replace your old toilet. Older toilets can dispense almost 3.5 gallons per flush, while modern low-flow toilets dispense as little as 1 gallon. If you’re in for more of a handyman challenge, you can purchase these for as low as $150. The more people you have in your house, the more savings you’ll see.

Not only will your Brooklyn home and finances thank you for the green upgrades, but the environment will too.

If you’d like more green ideas you can implement this Thanksgiving break, please call me at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected].

What to do with those Outdated Items in your Brooklyn Home

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

What to do with those Outdated Items in your Brooklyn Home

If your Brooklyn home is starting to look like a landfill, you’re not alone. You’d like to get rid of all the old stuff you don’t use anymore, but you want to be responsible and don’t know where to take it, right?

Here are some of the most common obsolete items and ideas on what to do with them.

·        Technotrash: This is computer-related waste, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs and other obsolete accessories.  A company called GreenDisk can handle all your technotrash disposal needs by safely and securely destroying your old data, recovering reusable components, and recycling all of the rest of your accumulated technotrash.

  • Old electronics: Also known as e-waste, this includes old appliances, TVs and monitors that contain valuable metals that can be recycled, along with other hazardous heavy metals that need to be handled responsibly. Many communities sponsor an E-waste Day, when everyone can bring their old appliances in for safe disposal. Some retailers have recycling programs where you can earn gift cards by trading in old electronics.
  • Shoes: Don’t trash those outdated shoes or ones you just don’t wear anymore. Soles4Souls is a charity that wants all gently-worn shoes. You can find drop-off locations near your Brooklyn home. The shoes will be sent to people in need around the world.
  • Old medicines: If you have medications that are past their expiration date or that you don’t want or need any longer, don’t flush them. Drugs are becoming a serious problem in water supplies and groundwater.  You can now buy a postage-paid envelope to responsibly dispose of many prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. The Dispose My Meds program is an online resource to help you find local pharmacies that will take back expired or unwanted drugs.

Now that you know where to take your old obsolete stuff, you’re well on your way to getting your Brooklyn home clean and de-cluttered. If your next step is to get it on the market, I can help with that too! Contact me call today Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected],

Save Money, Save Energy, Save the Earth at Your Brooklyn Home

Monday, September 19th, 2011

 

Save Money,Save Energy,Save The Earth

 

Saving money and saving the planet go hand-in-hand. It’s all about being thoughtful, creative, and into DIY – doing it yourself. Here are some ways you can save money, Save Money, Save Energy, Save the Earth at Your Brooklyn Home

  • Be seasonal. Dress, cook and eat according to the weather. If it’s hot outside, dress accordingly, and keep the thermostat in the high 70s. Don’t use the oven in summertime; eat and drink cold fare. When it’s cold, wear a sweater, and keep the temperature in your Brooklyn home in the high 60s. Winter is the time to bake and to eat warm, hearty food.
  • Use a clothesline. The clothes dryer is an energy hog. Let the sun and wind do it instead. Go ahead and fluff the wet laundry briefly in the dryer on the air fluff cycle before hanging it. You’ll be surprised how fast your sheets will dry, and how smooth your clothes come out, compared to the rumpled look they get from the dryer. And the truly fresh scent beats the cloying smell of fabric sheets any day.
  • Keep air filters clean. Professionals recommend that you check the filters on the air conditioner and furnace in your Brooklyn home once a month, and clean or replace when needed. This will keep your heating and cooling systems working efficiently and extend their life.
  • Grow your own. Farmer’s markets are great, but there’s nothing like going right outside the door of your own  home to get the freshest ingredients for your meals. Even if you’re an apartment dweller, you can grow fresh herbs (and more) in pots.
  • Use cloth diapers. If you don’t want your child to live next to the disposable diaper landfill in 20 years, don’t create it today.
  • Get rid of the gas-hog. Still driving an SUV or truck? Don’t be fuelish. Trade it in for a used car that gets over 30 mpg.

There are more money-saving tips to read on my blog. Subscribe for free today and get new tips automatically emailed to you.

Help the Environment by Adding Green to Your Brookyn Real Estate

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Recently, environmentally friendly or “green” remodeling has become more and more popular. Nearly every day you see a TV show or online article giving tips on how to make your Brooklyn home and life more eco-friendly.

The catch is that green building can sometimes be extremely expensive. And, in most areas there really aren’t enough buyers specifically looking for features like rain water catch basins and solar panels to make it worth your investment. However, there are some relatively inexpensive ways you can remodel your Brooklyn real estate that will benefit the environment and go easy on your wallet at the same time.

Refurbish what you can while remodeling. If it’s possible to refinish existing cabinets and woodwork instead of replacing them, you’ll save yourself tons of money. And, nothing says eco-friendly like re-using old, good quality materials instead of throwing them in a landfill.

  • Pay for extra insulation. If you’re doing a major remodel or building from scratch, pay for insulation that exceeds the minimum code requirements. You’ll see an immediate reduction in utility bills and that can be a great selling feature in the future.
  • Use sustainable and green materials. Low VOC paints and bamboo flooring are eco-friendly and still look great. You don’t have to sacrifice your overall vision in order to make your home more environmentally sound.
  • Invest in new, energy-efficient appliances. Again, you’ll see an immediate reduction in your power bills. Besides, what buyer wouldn’t love brand new kitchen appliances and a modern, tankless water heater?
  • Upgrade your windows. The biggest drain on the overall insulation of your home could be old, worn-out windows. By replacing them with new, energy-efficient ones, you’ll get immediate benefits that your potential buyers will also appreciate.

With smart planning and careful use of your money, you can remodel your home in ways that will help the environment, save you money and appeal to buyers when it’s time to sell.

If you could use help adding some green to your Brooklyn real estate, call me at call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn Realtor® with Fillmore Real Estate at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected], for more information.