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Green Living

There are many reasons why you should consider sending your child to an eco-friendly private school. These institutions are environmental-friendly, emphasizing economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Your child is taught about the environment plus ways they can practice the knowledge learned, even beyond the classroom.

Discussed below are a few reasons to send your child to an eco-friendly private school.

The School Cares About the Environment and the World Your Child Will Grow Up In

These schools teach students how they can implement sustainability programs from wherever they are, making a positive impact on the environment. With about 25% of schools in the U.S. being private, as a parent, you can research which schools are eco-friendly near you and send your child there.

Some of these schools even grow their food and serve it for lunch or donate it to their local communities’ soup kitchens. Most practices done in such institutions are to preserve the environment, ensuring your children grow up attaching significant importance to their surroundings.

Your Child Will Excel in STEM Subjects

In these schools, your child will be taught how to develop practical and creative solutions to issues affecting their community and the world. The programs are taught to enable students to utilize 21st-century skills, including creativity, communication, collaboration, and innovation.

The schools have curriculums and activities aligning with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) certifications that teachers use to prepare students for environment-friendly STEM careers. Through the integration of environmental-based learning, your child will feel motivated to participate in school projects based on STEM education, as they feel connected to their natural world.

Your Child’s Health and Well-Being Will Be Prioritized

An eco-friendly school offers a safe and supportive environment for the kids where sanitation and hygiene are emphasized. Not only that, but students get to practice a healthy lifestyle through physical activity and staying away from unhealthy practices. The air quality is excellent, which reduces the chances of kids with respiration issues falling sick.

Due to the emphasis on cleanliness and safety, hardly do students get ill due to something they ate or encountered in school. For instance, kids with poor oral hygiene are three times more likely to miss school because of dental pain. And while this is unfortunate, this is something that eco-friendly schools try to minimize by teaching students the importance of basic general hygiene from a young age. In addition, the food served is healthy, and facilities like bathrooms are clean.

The School Will Limit Their Waste Production and Save Water and Energy

Most initiatives in these schools are for the purpose of conserving energy, reducing waste, recycling to reduce landfills for trash, minimizing air pollution produced by cars, and increasing production of local food. Therefore, you will find the school serving locally produced food to reduce food miles and minimize pollution by vehicles. In addition, most schools benefit through teaching about the conservation of resources.

Your Family Will Live In an Eco-Friendly Community

These conservation practices that students learn eventually reflect at home, where you notice your child is keener on reducing wastage of resources and taking care of the environment. Imagine a situation where about 50% of the kids in the neighborhood are environmentally conscious. This is likely to be reflected in your area and community, which is also expected to attract more home buyers and cause the value of your homes to go up.

About 88% of home buyers approach a broker or a real estate agent when ready to buy a home. This is a number that has steadily been going up from 2001 when it was at 69%. And if you approach an agent, they will tell you that buyers are looking for clean and eco-friendly communities. Therefore, you can be sure that your child being in an eco-friendly school is likely to benefit the whole community.

With the above benefits for the child, the parent, and the community in general, a conversation on eco-friendly schools is definitely something you should be having with your kids and spouse.

Home remodeling is an excellent way to personalize and improve the exterior of your home. According to a recent survey, many homeowners do renovation projects to improve the look, feel, and layout of their homes. So if you are looking to remodel your home, here are the top three tips on improving the exterior.

Install Exterior Lights

Installing lights outside your home not only improves security but can also bring out the architectural aspects of your home. Make an early impression on potential buyers if you’re looking to sell, by highlighting your outdoor space. Visitors are welcomed by pleasant outside lighting before entering the home. It’s not only pleasant, but it’s also a wonderful safety feature. Perhaps this is why, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders, 85% of purchasers desire external lighting. You can use soffit lights to draw attention to the house’s architecture, ground lights to draw attention to trees or tall plants, and porch lights to provide a welcoming glow around the front entrance.

You have 2 options, solar or electricity when it comes to choosing the power source for your outdoor lighting. If you’re going to use electricity, you’ll need to hire professionals to run the wires and connect them. It’s also a good idea to let these experts weigh in on the placement of the new outdoor lights. To reduce the danger of slip and fall accidents, make sure all of the routes around your home are properly illuminated.

Paint Your Exterior

A fresh coat of paint will definitely make your home look fantastic and modern. You can go for at least 3 colors to really enhance the curb appeal. A mixture of different colors will make your house stand out from the rest. The roof, exterior walls, and all the exterior doors are some of the areas you can start with. The cost of painting an average home’s exterior in the US usually ranges between $1,700 to $4,000. This brings the average price per square foot to $0.50 – $3.30. Some other factors like how many coats of paint you want to put on also play a vital role in determining the cost of painting.

There’s no easier way to improve curb appeal than to add a splash of color. Besides making your house stand out, painting allows you to upgrade your home to your personal taste and you can do it on any budget. So pick your own up-to-date color trend!

Landscaping

Your home’s landscape is one of the first things that visitors or passersby see. So, consider not only the quantity but also the aesthetic. Reduce or remove trees and bushes to give the property a cleaner, more cared-for appearance, as well as the possibility of lower maintenance. As an extra bonus, there will be more natural light when you enter the house. You can do some of the landscape work yourself, like planting flowers, or you can get the services of landscapers. Landscapers charge between $50 and $100 per hour, according to the national average. In the United States, the average overall cost of landscaping is between $3,000 and $15,950. However, the final price you pay largely depends on several factors, like the number of days worked.

Planting flowers at home not only improves your home exterior but also your mood and reduces the likelihood of stress. Flowers and plants increase levels of positive energy and help people feel secure and relaxed. So, on top of enhancing your exterior, make your loved ones feel special as you get to send flowers to them. About $1.9 billion is spent on flowers for mothers on Mother’s Day, but having various beautiful flowers allows you not to worry about spending too much on spoiling your dear mom.

Use these tips you’ve learned about home exterior improvements to enhance your home curb appeal and add value to your home while you are at it. Begin by taking a tour around your property and make these 3 a priority and come up with a budget to go with it.

With energy bills accounting for a large portion of most household budgets, it makes sense if you’re looking for a way to lower your energy bill. There are a number of simple steps you could take to reduce your energy cost and save hundreds of dollars. Here are some inside expert tips.

Install a Septic System

The septic system is rarely at the top of the list when it comes to minimizing your energy expenses, but it should be. Although septic systems require a little more upkeep and attention than sewer lines, they have a number of advantages over sewer lines. They consume less energy overall and have a smaller environmental impact because they don’t pump wastewater significant distances to be handled at a water treatment facility. Septic tank bacteria help break down and cleanse wastewater on the spot, lowering the risk of leakage between the residence and the municipal facility. More than 21 million households in the United States use septic systems — not public sewers — to trap and filter their toilet waste. Septic systems are quite affordable once installed, aside from the cost of pumping the tank every few years. There is no monthly cost, and any damage to the municipal sewer lines has no impact on septic system homeowners. A septic system doesn’t just save you money but gives you a lot of independence.

Ditch Old Appliances and Go for Energy-Efficient Appliances

Appliances account for around 13% of total household energy use on average. When purchasing appliances, consider the money you spend getting the appliance and the annual operating cost. Although energy-efficient appliances may cost more upfront, their operational costs are typically 10% to 24% cheaper than conventional versions. Also, while looking for an energy-efficient appliance, search for one that has the ENERGY STAR designation, which is a federal assurance that the appliance will use less energy when you’re using it. The amount of energy saved varies depending on the appliance. A washing machine with ENERGY STAR certification, for example, uses 25% less energy than standard models, while ENERGY STAR refrigerators use only 9% less energy.

Install Energy Efficient Windows

Windows are a major source of energy waste, accounting for 10% to 25% of your entire heating expense. In the summer, cut the bill on your air conditioning in half, when you install awnings or plant trees that help block off the heat that enters through the windows. Awnings and canopies can reduce heat gain by 55% to 77% on the southern facing window. This is supported by the Department of Energy, which states that covering your windows in the summer can cut heat gain by up to 77%.

Install a Smart Thermostat

If you’re not home, a smart thermostat can be configured to turn off or lower heating and cooling automatically. You can lower unnecessary energy use of your heating and cooling by installing a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat can save you a lot of money each year. Different varieties of programmable thermostats are available, and they may be programmed to meet your weekly expenses.

Adjust Few Things

You don’t have to go out and buy energy-efficient windows to cut down on your home’s energy consumption. Turning off lights and appliances when they are not in use is also a simple way to save energy. Save energy costs in your home by doing some chores by hand, such as putting your clothing outside to dry instead of putting it in the dryer, or doing the dishes by hand instead of using a dishwasher. You can also save on your energy bill by conserving water. A national study revealed that 15% of homeowners have recently spent time fixing a backed-up drain. Fix your drain, repair leaky pipes, and install faucets. These adjustments are the largest potential for cutting energy costs.

There are plenty of ways to save on energy costs in your home. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by just doing some of these things. Along the process, you’ll significantly minimize your carbon footprint. What’s not to enjoy about something that’s good for the environment and excellent for your wallet?

Making your home eco-friendly is a great way to teach your family about sustainability while actually improving your own carbon footprint. One of the great places to do this is in the bathroom, where many people use tons of water, energy, and other chemical products every single day. It’s about more than just installing a low-flow toilet and moving on with your day, though. So, take these pieces of advice into consideration when making your bathroom more sustainable and eco-friendly.

Consider Your Family Water Usage

When you have a family, the amount of water that you use in the bathroom can get out of control quickly. Between bathroom usage, long showers, and other daily grooming tasks, this is an incredible drain on natural resources. So, by paying attention to usage, you can help to make your bathroom more eco-friendly. This might mean making sure that everyone takes shorter showers or remembering to turn the water off while brushing your teeth. Either way, it’s a great way to limit water usage.

Use Sustainable Toiletry Products

Most people like to invest in the best toiletry products at home. After all, whether it’s shampoo or toothpaste, these are the products that you’re using to take care of your health. Children themselves are three times more likely to miss school if they have dental pain. However, depending on how toiletries are made, they may be unsustainable. Because of this, it’s important to seek out well-made and sustainable toiletry products so that they won’t have a negative impact on the environment.

Make Homemade Soap as a Family

One great way your family can come together in a sustainable activity is by making your own soap. This fun activity will help to make sure that you know where the materials in your soap come from and that they are sustainable. This will make you confident that you’re using as an eco-friendly option.

Buy Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

In your daily life, you’re probably seeing more ads than you used to. 87% of people are reporting seeing more ads than they did just two years ago. Among these ads will be a series of ads about cleaning products, but the reality is that these are chemicals that can be terrible for the environment, oftentimes leading to them being dumped into our waterways. This is devastating for the ecosystems that they impact, and it is a great reason to be more careful about the choices you make when you buy cleaning supplies. Don’t go for what is most commonly advertised but for what is most sustainable.

Decorate With Houseplants

There are a few reasons why decorating your home with houseplants, including your bathroom, is a great way to make the space more eco-friendly for your entire family. For one, plants will help to purify the air in your home, giving off more oxygen and improving the air quality. Furthermore, being around plants will also make your entire family appreciate them more.

Purchase Locally Made Bathroom Furniture

Another great way to improve the sustainability of your bathroom is by making sure that it is furnished with locally made furniture. This will let you speak to the furniture maker about how they actually produced the furniture. There is probably a lot that you don’t know about the process, like how different lathes can be used to create anything from table legs to candlesticks – both of which can nicely decorate your bathroom!

There are a ton of different ways to make your entire home more sustainable, but focusing on one room at a time is a great way to start. Utilize these tips to make your family home’s bathrooms more sustainable and eco-friendly today.

p>As the conversation around climate change and sustainability become more popular, consumers are starting to care about the way a business stays accountable for its social and environmental impact by considering those concerns in their business operations. Studies show that consumers favor sustainable companies. Here are some of the best green practices for your business.

Undergo Environmentally-Friendly Construction

When one thinks of construction, they do not associate it with sustainability. However, construction companies are increasingly turning to recycled materials for use in projects. The use of non-toxic paints and solvents can be beneficial to both the environment and the people in the building. Toxic paint can result in respiratory issues and other health issues. A project manager who is aware of all this information would be most useful because they will oversee that all the phases of the construction are done sustainably while staying on budget and keeping the deadline.

Hang Plants Around the Office

Not only can plants be aesthetically pleasing in an office, but they also improve indoor air quality. Studies have shown that adding a few plants to the workplace has helped to improve performance and well-being as well as reduce stress. Adding plants to the workplace in the form of plants is not only cheap, but it can increase humidity if your office air is dry due to air conditioning and central heating.

Make Your Workplace a Plastic-Free Environment

There are lots of ways to make your business plastic-free as well. First, you could ban single-use plastic bottles. This will encourage the purchase of refillable bottles as well as help your employees to save money they use for the single-use bottles. Another way is to provide reusable cutlery and coffee mugs to avoid the throwing away of plastic utensils and disposable coffee cups. Recycling plastic saves more energy than burning it. Introducing a recycling program can minimize plastic waste dramatically. Statistics show that 75% of millennials would take a pay cut to work for a more eco-friendly company.

Use Recycled Products to Create Your Business Cards

About 90% of business cards are thrown away a week after receiving them. This means that if your business cards are neither biodegradable nor made of recycled products, you are contributing quite a bit to paper waste. Although it impacts the environment negatively, handing out 2,000 or more business cards can increase business by an average of 2.5%, so it benefits your business. There is a compromise to benefit both ends: recycled material. When you make your business cards out of recycled products, you are reducing paper waste because there is no need to cut down more trees for new paper.

Create a List of Sustainable Work Policies

Making a list of sustainable work policies such as powering down all appliances at the end of the day or putting any computers that are not in use in sleep mode can have a significant impact on the reduction of energy used. Energy-saving light bulbs and faucets are a great investment to help with this. Avoiding the use of paper as much as possible by emailing documents is another policy to increase sustainability.

Ask Your Accountant About Tax Breaks for Participating in Green Business Practices

Employing tax professionals for IRS concerns and preparation of taxes is common among 70% of small businesses because it can save you money. By making sure your business is eco-friendly, accountants can help you find ways to get tax deductions and credits. A tax professional would be the best to get you these rewards to the full extent and legally.

Your success can be multiplied if your business is sustainable; people are becoming more concerned with the earth. Start your business with these green strategies and you’ll be well on your way up.

COVID-19 has disturbed daily life routines, and now many people work from home. It may take a while to settle in a home office, but it’s an amazing opportunity when you can control your carbon footprints while working at home. Climate change has been always a hot topic, and now many organizations are focusing on environmental sustainability. How you can be green when you are working from home? There are many things you can do and control to make your home office sustainable.

Here are some tips you can follow to be green when you are working from home.

Save Electricity

If you are working from home, it can increase your electricity bills unless you take some precautionary measures. If you are working on a laptop, you can lower the brightness. It will not only save your eyesight, but also energy. If you have completed your work, always turn off your desktop or laptop to save electricity.

Working from home isn’t easy because you’re used to sitting in the office and you can find everything you need for work. Do you know that about 82% of people admit that their employment decisions are influenced by workplace tech? Being in the office means you don’t have to leave or wait for long to obtain needed work documents or utilize workplace tech. At home, it’s best to keep everything digital if possible instead of printing endless documents.

Prepare Home Meals

Preparing home meals is the best thing you can do to ensure limited waste in your home. You can prepare a week’s worth of food in one day and try different recipes with your leftovers instead of wasting them. When you are done with your work, you can keep yourself busy by preparing some delicious food for the next day if that’s what you prefer.

Use Biodegradable Bags

If you are out to buy some groceries or other things for work, always use biodegradable bags instead of plastic bags. If you are buying anything such as clothes, home appliances, or other things, avoid using any non-recyclable things to carry them.

Avoid Unnecessary Shopping

While you are working from home, now you don’t need to worry about your clothes or which dress you should wear in your office. Do you know that home organization product sales will increase by 3.8% to $11.8 billion annually in 2021? Many people are conscious about their clothes, but as you are working from home, you don’t really need to worry as much. You can arrange your closet and dispose of unnecessary clothes. You can donate unused clothes to a shelter or a nonprofit organization instead of throwing them out.

Many people prefer online shopping these days. In fact, about 68% of people prefer and visit online home renovation store websites. It’s good to invest in energy-efficient technology and furniture for your home office, so look online for some great deals! You can also try to improve your old home items by utilizing DIY and upcycling ideas online.

Use Natural Light

If you are working from home, try to use natural light. It will reduce your electricity bills. Use solar lights instead of others. You can also use LED lights. People who are exposed to nature and natural lighting throughout the workday are less frustrated and stressed, too.

This is how you can be green while working from home. Don’t waste energy and electricity and save as much as you can. Avoid using plastic wraps or bottles, and use recyclable products.

Maintaining a cool temperature in your home doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend a lot of money. For instance, in the United States, homeowners can save approximately 20-50% on their air conditioning costs annually by buying new HVAC equipment. Coupling this purchase with simple fixes such as caulking windows and ensuring that they are closed while using the air conditioner will help immensely with cooling costs in your home.

The following are some energy-saving methods you can use to cool your home this summer.

Use a Fan

Operating a fan is cheap, and it makes a house feel four to six degrees cooler. Therefore, in rooms you use often, it is recommendable to install ceiling fans. You should also ensure that it spins counterclockwise during summer. A motion detector that turns the fan on when someone enters the room can also make a significant difference. However, if you possess pets that move in and out of the room, you need to install an additional manual switch.

Use Sun Blockers

Approximately 20% of summer heat penetrates your house as sunlight shines through the windows. Therefore, to reduce the amount of heat entering your home, you need to install blinds or curtains. When the shades are drawn, a well-insulated home gains about 1% per degree per hour when the external temperatures are more than 85 degrees.

You also need to focus on the west-facing rooms during the day. Blinds and shades you can consider are Venetian-type micro-blinds, roller shades, insulated curtains, and reflective curtains. On the exterior of your home, you can also plant shade trees or install awnings.

Use Smart Cooking Methods

Appliances that generate heat may hinder your cooling goals. For instance, using an oven for baking cookies can raise your room temperature by 10 degrees. This may increase your cooling costs by approximately 2-5%. Therefore, you should opt to cook hot meals outdoors on the grill. Wait to cook in bulk on chillier days or when it’s cooler at night or early in the morning. It is also recommended to operate the clothes dryer and dishwasher at night.

Get Cooler Lights

Although luminous bulbs do not contribute more heat like unshaded windows, they add heat to your home and increase the perceived temperature, which can send you to the thermostat for relief. If you want to minimize this hot light effect and save on lighting costs, you need to replace the incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents. These bulbs can save you approximately 75% energy since they emit 90% less heat.

Seal Air Leaks

Areas where cold air infiltrates your home during winter are hot air routes during summer. Unfortunately, hot air is also characterized by high humidity. You can use tools such as exterior-rated silicone caulk, a flashlight, and a lot of expanding foam insulation to find and seal the air leaks. Sealing these leaks enhances the cooling of your home at night. This can improve your sleep quality, as the best sleeping temperature is between 60 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit for most adults.

It is also crucial to focus on the basement, attic, and crawl space. You need to pay attention to anything that passes through the walls or ceiling, like plumbing and electrical conduits, ductwork, and bath and kitchen vents.

Snug Up the Ducts

Leaky ducts can affect air conditioning efficiency. You should ensure that your ductwork balances with the return and supply sides of the system for it to function efficiently and safely. Repairing one side can affect the other side. Leak-prone places include where ducts attach to outlets and the return plenum, where the branch ducts link with the trunk line. It would help if you also insulated ducts that connect the hot attic with the blanket fiberglass insulation.

If the duct repairs are complex, you should consult an HVAC expert. As the professional is repairing your ducts, ensure they check the air-conditioning unit by unplugging coils, cleaning filters, lubing the fan, and unblocking the drains. Although repairs may be costly, you should consider hiring experts once in a while. In 2018, most homeowners spent between $5,000 and $10,000 improving their homes. This may seem expensive, so use your funds now to improve your home to save money in the long term.

Living in a cool environment during the summer enhances comfort in your homestead. Luckily, you do not need to spend a fortune to achieve it. Follow these handy tips and hire the necessary help to cool your home down on a budget now!

The homeownership rate in the United States was about 65.1% in 2019. Among those property owners were individuals looking to upgrade their homes with moderate to major renovations. Surprisingly enough, you do not need a lot of money to be energy efficient with your remodeling efforts. Follow these tips when renovating for more energy efficiency while on a budget.

Swap Out High-Energy Appliances

Your washing machine and dryer from 20 years ago may still have enough life to get the job done. The toll that such old machines take on your energy bill, however, is evident. Older appliances tend to use high amounts of energy to do the same jobs that modern, more energy-efficient appliances complete in half the time. You are doing yourself a significant favor by investing in new utility appliances that are both beautiful and incredible to use.

Replace Your Old Thermostat

The Department of Energy estimates that predictive maintenance can reduce industrial maintenance costs by up to 30% while also cutting downtime by upwards of 45%. Complete breakdowns are 70% less likely when proactive measures are taken to ensure industrial systems are in working order. Just as small companies and large corporations must work to stop potential losses from malfunctions and total system breakdowns, you must also work to reduce the probability of higher energy bills because of outdated equipment. The thermostat, though small, is a key element in your HVAC system. You cannot adjust the temperature for your home air conditioner or heater without this device.

Some homeowners renovate their homes and purchase the cheapest thermostat on the market. You, however, may want to consider investing more money for a smart thermostat that automatically adjusts as temperatures rise and fall in the room. The best devices even turn off after a period so you do not have to worry about excessive energy use through the night.

Invest in Good Insulation

Insulation in the attic and walls saves on your energy bills. Such padding keeps the air and heat from your HVAC system inside your home longer, so you do not have to run it all night. Some older homes do not have proper insulation, which may lead to high renovation bills. You can reduce the cost of insulation in some instances by taking the more modern approach of pumping insulation into the walls and attic.

Replace Your Roof

Replacing the roof is another way to save on energy costs. As with poor insulation, a bad roof can lead to air and heat escaping at faster rates. Choosing the right roofing materials could reduce your energy costs by up to 30% by reducing the need for you to run your HVAC system for long periods during the summer and winter months. Some homeowners even invest in solar paneling, which cuts energy bills by thousands every year. You should thoroughly research the benefits and maintenance costs associated with solar paneling, though, before making such a drastic lifestyle change.

Install New Doors and Windows

Some homeowners choose to repair old doors and windows. You, however, should consider replacing these elements of your home outright. Single-pane windows tend to let more air and heat out than double or triple-pane windows. Doors that are not properly fitted for your home typically require weatherstripping, which is a temporary fix to your bigger problem of cracks that let the air and heat from your HVAC system out at a more rapid pace than normal. Installing new doors and windows corrects problems related to cracks and crevices, so you can create an environment that is airtight. You may also be able to save on your energy bill if you show proof of replacing windows and doors.

Replace Showerheads

The showerhead is often overlooked by the ambitious renovator. This little tool, however, runs up your water bill every month if it is not efficient. Consider showerheads that preserve water while offering other benefits. Some homeowners even invest in showerheads that offer filters for a showering experience with purified water.

Your vision for your remodeled home should save money in both the short and long run. Use these tips for renovations that reduce your energy costs.