Going Green with Real Estate: How Environmentally-Conscious Improvements Can Help Home Sellers

Going Green with Real Estate: How Environmentally-Conscious Improvements Can Help Home Sellers

In recent years, real estate agents have noticed a growing interest in clean energy features and green home improvement projects. Green living and green home improvements have impacted the real estate market and many sellers are not only making changes to reflect personal standards and financial objectives, but to potentially boost their home’s value.

What has become apparent is that green projects are becoming a selling point to segments of buyers in various areas in the United States. Understand more about how going green in the home may help sellers down the road today.

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The Real Cost of Litter

The Real Cost of Litter

guest post by Ruth Walker

There are not many places in the UK today where you will not see at least one piece of litter. Indeed, statistics from finance experts Money Guru report that roughly 62 % of people drop litter at some time, although only 28% ever admit to the fact. Litter and the resulting clean-up costs the local authorities, and the UK tax payer, more than £1 billion per year. £6 million of this is simply picking up litter from roadsides that has been thrown from passing cars.

This infographic by Ruth Walker for Money Guru illustrates the real impact and cost of litter:

 

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Can seasonal eating keep you from getting the cold or flu?

Can seasonal eating keep you from getting the cold or flu?

The news out there is pretty bad: the flu is worse this year in the US, and the flu vaccine is only up to 30% effective. Strangely (to me), doctors and health care workers are making blanket recommendations that everyone should get the flu shot. As for me, I’ve taken the flu shot exactly once in my lifetime, when I was pregnant with my second child, and only at the insistence of my Chinese medicine doctor (who helped me overcome secondary infertility to achieve a healthy pregnancy at the age of 41). And yet, we rarely get the flu in my household, even when we’ve been exposed to many people who are clearly sick with it. In fact, my 7-year old is the only one in our household who ever gets a cold or flu, and it's always a mild version that she's able to overcome in a day or two.

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the Road to 2040: An overview of the petrol and diesel sales ban

the Road to 2040: An overview of the petrol and diesel sales ban

The UK government recently announced a plan to ban the sale of petrol and diesel engine cars from 2040, amid fears that rising levels of nitrogen oxide are posing a major risk to public health. The UK government claims that the ban must take place due to the unnecessary and avoidable impact that poor air quality is having on the general public’s health. Although over the past 15 years, government data shows that the UK has made huge steps towards improving air quality, it is felt that the only way to improve the issue and keep it at bay is to ban the worst generators of this pollutant for good. 

Nitrogen oxide reacts in the atmosphere to form Nitrogen dioxide, which causes adverse effects on health.  Studies show that long term exposure to Nitrogen dioxide can have many serious health issues to the public, such as decreasing lung function, increased risk of respiratory conditions and increased response to allergens. As Nitrogen dioxide is in the atmosphere around us, it is impossible to avoid breathing it in. Therefore, the negative health effects will only continue if nothing is done to improve the atmospheric conditions.

Check out this infographic by Select Car Leasing to see why this is happening and if the UK will be ready for the switch.

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Must-Have Apps for Nature Lovers (Infographic)

Must-Have Apps for Nature Lovers (Infographic)

Guest post by Jarrimber Furniture & Cabinetry

Having an interest in nature does not automatically exclude you from being enthusiastic about technology, and vice versa. While some nature lovers might decry the modern ubiquity of smartphones and mobile devices, there’s no reason why people who enjoy nature cannot use technology to supplement that interest...

Take a look at this infographic by Jarrimber Furniture & Cabinetry for the full list of must-have apps for anyone with an interest in exploring the natural world.

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DDT was banned long ago, so why is it still affecting your health?

DDT was banned long ago, so why is it still affecting your health?

The New Year always encourages us to look ahead to the (hopefully brighter) future, but sometimes moving ahead means reconciling with the past. The lingering presence of DDT, and its continued effects on the health of the environment and, really, most of us, is one stark reminder of how harmful practices of the recent past continue to threaten lives in the present.

DDT is an organochorine pesticide that was heavily used during and after WWII to control malaria, body lice, typhus, and the bubonic plague (!). In 1972, it was banned in the U.S. by the Environmental Protection Agency after more than a decade of mounting evidence about its damaging effects on human health and the environment. Although the Stockholm Convention on POPs (Persistent Organochloride Pollutants) banned the use of DDT worldwide (except for malaria control) in 2001, 5 years later the WHO declared its support for the indoor use of DDT against malaria in African countries where malaria remained a major health problem.

Do the benefits of using DDT to control malaria and other deadly mosquito-borne diseases outweigh the risks? The answer may depend on your perspective: how likely are you to die from malaria? Are the global health risks from exposure to DDT and its by-products a more insidious problem, in the long run, than the global incidence of death by malaria in the short-term?

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What Happens to Your Vehicle After It’s Donated

What Happens to Your Vehicle After It’s Donated

guest post by Goodwill Car Donation

If you have an unnecessary truck, car or any other type of vehicle that’s outlasted its usefulness, you have several options. You could try to sell it yourself, but depending on the car’s state, that could be easier said than done. You could have the car scrapped, like the nearly 12 million cars that are junked each year to be recycled — but you probably won’t receive much of a return on your investment that way, and it isn’t the most environmentally friendly choice. Donating your car to charity, however, can be a great way to rid yourself of an unnecessary car no matter what state it’s in, while also possibly getting something back in the form of a tax deduction. But before you consider donating your car, it’s important to know what will most likely happen to your vehicle once you turn it over to the nonprofit of your choice.

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DIY Home Energy Audit (Free Checklist)

DIY Home Energy Audit (Free Checklist)

Energy efficiency does more than lower homeowners’ energy bills – it also helps to lessen the impact each home has on the environment. All of the modern conveniences we enjoy on a regular basis have a hidden cost beyond what we see on our utility bills. They consume resources, contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and create waste that can harm the environment. Although these impacts may be small when viewed individually, when taken in aggregate they can have a substantial global effect. The good news is that there are plenty of things homeowners can do to reduce the effect their homes have on the environment, and many of those things are relatively easy.

Use the following checklist to keep your home's energy costs down and efficiency up...

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Budget & Eco-friendly Decorating Ideas for Your Outdoor Spaces

Budget & Eco-friendly Decorating Ideas for Your Outdoor Spaces

Guest post by John Stuart

Outdoor spaces are great for unwinding after a long work day, for spending time with family and friends and for playing with your kids. If your backyard doesn’t feel welcoming, these budget and eco-friendly decorating tips will help you beautify it in no time. You don’t have to break the bank to spruce up outdoor spaces. Sometimes, the most striking decorating ideas are the cheapest. If you’re not intimidated by the idea of a DIY, here are 5 hand-picked suggestions for reviving your backyard or patio. 

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The Cost of Wasted Food

The Cost of Wasted Food

Guest post by Michael Brown for Money Guru

Food waste is a global problem. The world is producing more food and making a greater profit than at any time before, yet so much of it is being wasted that the costs run into billions. In the UK and across the world, households are throwing away tonnes every year.

The financial cost is only one part of the problem. The effect on the environment and animals and humans is massive. 

Financial Experts Money Guru have created the following infographic,  which highlights some of the shocking data that is now available on food wastage, thanks to new research. It’s a stark reminder of the cost to our pockets, our population and our planet.

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This is How to Maximize Your Cleaning Efforts in an Eco-Friendly Way

This is How to Maximize Your Cleaning Efforts in an Eco-Friendly Way

Guest post by Clara Beaufort

When you clean your home, you want to feel good about the products you are using and know they are eco-friendly and chemical-free to protect the environment and your family at the same time. You want to create the healthiest environment for everyone, but you may not be sure how to start or which products will deep clean your home. It can be hard to break away from traditional cleaning products, but with a little guidance and knowledge, you’ll be on your way to maximizing your cleaning efforts and making your home the healthiest it can be for your entire family.

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10 Reasons to Plant a Garden This Fall (it’s not too late!)

10 Reasons to Plant a Garden This Fall (it’s not too late!)

Fall is here and soon after, winter, and while many of us have put away the gardening tools and supplies, picked our last harvests, and composted the leftover stalks and roots, there’s no need to wait until the spring to begin again. Growing your own food is something you can do year-round if you begin this fall. If you’ve been considering fall (and winter) gardening but haven’t done anything about it, here are ten reasons to consider it a little more seriously…

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Infographic: Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

Infographic: Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

Guest post by Helen O'Keefe

Green living doesn’t require a large-scale overhaul of our day-to-day habits. By implementing a few minor changes which are quick and inexpensive to activate, we can drastically reduce our carbon footprint, leading to us feeling healthier and happier for knowing that we’ve done a bit to contribute to a greener environment. What small yet significant steps can you take to make your home a more eco-friendly place?

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5 Frequently Asked Questions About Green Building

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Green Building

Guest post by Derek Lotts

We all know that today it’s all about going green. Homeowners are aiming to lower their energy consumption and large companies are trying to reduce their waste. And things aren’t different when it comes to building. In fact, the term “green building” has become quite popular among the people in the industry. Still, not too many people know exactly what green building is all about. That’s why we’ll be kicking things off by covering the basics with a list of 5 frequently asked questions about green building. Make sure you stay tuned.

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Detox cleanses sometimes hurt more than help: what you need to know

Detox cleanses sometimes hurt more than help: what you need to know

Detoxing: an old remedy for good health?

The idea of detoxing - purging the body of poisons and other harmful substances, to bolster the immune system, eliminate fat and increase energy levels – has been around since at least the early 1900s. These days, it is more popular than ever, thanks to a gaggle of celebrity endorsements of popular diets. A quick search on Amazon.com turns up hundreds of books, cleansing products, herbs and nutritional supplements to help you cleanse your way to good health.

Before having kids, I used to detox at least a couple of times a year. I’d usually fast using water, broths, and freshly-juiced fruits, alongside detoxing powders or tablets containing ingredients like psyllium husks, which stimulate the body’s elimination system. Like others, I felt better and more energized immediately afterwards. Years later, I wonder if all that detoxing might have done more harm than good. For years I suffered off and on from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and still occasionally have episodes if I don’t watch my diet carefully.

Doctors and many nutritionists have amply warned that long-term or frequent detoxing diets can harm the body and cause sustained health problems. People with certain health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and blood sugar disorders, or who are pregnant or nursing should not detox at all. (Most detoxes involve severely restricting the diet to liquids or purees for days or weeks at a time). However, a vocal minority of medical professionals claim that detoxing, done sensibly and in moderation, can enhance the body’s natural abilities to rid itself of harmful substances.

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