By Kelly Reark
With St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching, my Irish brain has been picking up on all the green in my environment. So I thought that we’d avoid a pinch by adding a little green practice to our life! Here are some ideas to get you going Green:
“Think Globally, Act Locally.” OK, this one is easy. Think about how the Earth could be a better place, and then actually DO something to contribute to that picture in your head. It could be as simple as using a stainless steel canteen instead of those delightful coffee-filled Whobucks cups. Did you know that in America, we use more than 25 billion disposable bottles every year?
Use your car as little as possible. Our community is small, so our office frequently uses golf carts to show off the convenience of the area. One agent even arranged a group to see property via bicycle. Wow, exercise while you work, and don’t forget to whistle.
Read labels. Sometimes I can be a little OCD about this one, but really it’s a good idea to know where the stuff you buy comes from. Take a moment to think about how it got to the very store you are standing in and how much petroleum and energy the freighter, tug boat, train, plane, or cargo truck used to get it there. When you have the choice, support locally sourced goods.
Use non-toxic cleaning supplies. Ditch the pantry full of smelly chemicals for hot water, vinegar, baking soda and a steam cleaner, and you can make every surface in your home squeaky clean and bacteria free. Yes, even mirrors. Just wipe them dry with the morning newspaper before recycling it.
Remind your customers about their eco-friendly options when it comes time to remodel. Bamboo flooring is a great alternative to hardwoods and takes far less time to renew. Did you know that species of Bamboo can grow several feet in one day? And who doesn’t want to be a trendsetter — check out recycled counter top materials such as Alkemi, PaperStone, Concrete, IceStone, and EnviroGLAS. Eco-friendly alternatives are invading the home improvement market in force. You can find low-VOC paint, formaldehyde-free wood cabinets, energy-efficient light bulbs, energy star appliances, water saving appliances, durable non-asphalt roofing materials, energy conscious window options, and so much more at every corner of your local home improvement store. And bonus, with the money you save from having an energy efficient home, going green makes financial sense too.
Kermit was right, being green isn’t always easy, but there are many things that everyone can do that are not boring, expensive, or difficult.
Thirsty for more? Visit National Geographic’s guide to green at http://www.thegreenguide.com/.
Kelly Reark is a native Floridian and e-PRO® with Gasparilla Properties, Inc. in Boca Grande, Southwest Florida. Visit her blog: www.BocaGrandeRealEstateNews.com.