May 2, 2010 - Save the date now!
The 2010 Arlington MA EcoFest will be held on Sunday, May 2 from 11am - 3pm at the Arlington, MA Town Hall Auditorium.
Featured will be a Noon-time discussion by Don Bishop, a local eco-expert, on Organic Gardening and Landscaping. Following the discussion there will be afternoon info sessions on such gardening topics as Native Plants, Invasives, and Organics.
Other highlights of the EcoFest include:
- Share eco-friendly ideas for lawn and yard gardening!
- Network with Arlington groups that are involved in sustainable actions!
- Arlington residents can purchase compost bins at a reduced price!
- Meet local sustainable landscapers!
- Learn about the newest products and ideas from local, "green" vendors!
The event if free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available for minimal cost.
For more info on the festival and to find out how you can get involved, contact Ruth at 781-316-3108 or Patsy at 781-858-8629. You may also email email@example.com or visit the EcoFest web site at www.arlingtonma.gov/ecofest
As a special treat and thanks to a grant by the Arlington Recycle Committee, the first 60 Arlington residents to purchase a New Age Composter, regularly priced at $50, will be able to get them for $25! Also available will be Bio-Orb Composters, of which the first 40 Arlington residents will only have to pay $59.95 (normally $89.95)! You may pre-order the Bio-Orb Composters by visiting nerainbarrel.com/Arlington.html
Do you plan on attending? Or do you currently use either of the composters mentioned above? Tell us your favorite composting story (if there is such a thing!) or share your photos of the EcoFest on our Avenue 3 Real Estate Facebook
page (and become a Fan while you're there!).
Until next time, Peace!
APRIL-2010 Newsletter Housing Trends
Welcome to the most current Housing Trends eNewsletter. This eNewsletter is specially designed for you, with national and local housing information that you may find useful whether you're in the market for a home, thinking about selling your home, or just interested in homeowner issues in general.
The Housing Trends eNewsletter contains the latest information from the National Association of REALTORS®, the U.S. Census Bureau and Realtor.org reports, videos, key market indicators and real estate sales statistics, a video message by a nationally recognized economist, maps, mortgage rates and calculators, consumer articles, plus local neighborhood information and more.
Please click here to view the APRIL-2010 Newsletter Housing Trends eNewsletter.
If you are interested in determining the value of your home, click the Home Evaluator link for a free evaluation report.
Until next time, Peace!
Making your home or condo "green," or buying a "green home," means much more than just using Energy Star-rated appliances or installing insulated windows and doors. Outlined here are some of the key elements of what makes a building really green (my thanks to Living Structures, Inc. - a green contractor in Jamaica Plain, MA):
- Operating Energy - measures how much energy is required to heat and cool a house. Some ways to help reduce energy consumption are through the purchase and installation of high-quality, energy-efficient windows and appliances - but also preventing unwanted heat loss by properly insulating the exterior of the building (as well as basement ceilings and attic floors). With new construction, this concept can be taken a step further with proper orientation of the home and windows to take full advantage of the passive heating and cooling effects of the sun and wind.
- Embodied Energy - measures the amount of energy required to make and deliver all of the components being installed in the home or condo. For example, installing granite countertops made from a local quarry and produced by a local merchant saves more energy than a marble countertop made in Italy and shipped to the U.S. This concept could also encompass materials made through a more energy-efficient process than comparable products. So just by purchasing locally-made products, you're reducing your carbon footprint!
- Sustainability - by definition, this means "the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Think of it this way - driving a car that uses lots of gas is not good because it's using a non-renewable fuel source (oil), that is then unavailable to our children and grandchildren to use in the future. Using sustainable building products (one of my favorites is bamboo flooring) helps to save resources for future use.
- Waste Generation - eliminating as much waste as possible from the construction or reconstruction process. Much waste is produced during the construction of a new home or demolition of an existing room or structure. New methods have been designed to eliminate as much of this waste as possible or to reuse as much of the existing material/structure as possible. Hiring a contractor who uses these new waste generation practices can make you really green!
- Health Effects - a green building is a healthier building. New construction methods make current homes much more air-tight, which also requires the home to have better ventilation processes. Make sure to improve the ventilation of your home as you tighten the building envelope - and use low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, chemicals, and other construction materials to prevent unhealthy air from getting into the home in the first place. You can even reduce the amount of radon or the chances for mold growth with proper ventilation of your home.
- Ecological Footprint - this is a measurement of how much land is required to sustain a single person, group of people, or to power a building. This concept was first introduced in a book entitled Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth. Current research indicates the average U.S. resident requires about 24 acres of productive land to support their lifestyle - but in reality there are only 4.5 acres actually available to each person on Earth. Doing the math, you can see that we can't continue along our current path without some serious competition for resources.
Implementing these green concepts helps to improve the value of a home or condo, but that doesn't necessarily imply a higher cost. My previous blog posting outlines some of the rebates and incentives available to consumers for implementing many of these features. Additionally, your local town or city may be offering financial assistance to improve the energy-efficiency of your home or condo. For example, the town of Babylon, NY offers homeowners who are willing to pay $250 for an energy audit, the opportunity to finance the improvements at a below-market rate with a reasonable payback period. Recently, a couple in Babylon had an energy audit completed and they made the recommended upgrades. The amount they now repay to the town is less than the savings on their utility bills, saving them approximately $1,300 per year (New York Times, October 11, 2009).
For more information and to find a "green home" near you, visit the Avenue 3 Real Estate web site and search for a home with energy efficient features. To find help with your green home DIY projects, visit my Eco Friendly Partners page for local Arlington MA vendors.
Until next time, Peace!