Need help moving towards #zerowaste? The trendy hashtag is making a movement and it’s hard to know where to begin
Ladies, The Diva Cup. Tampon waste and plastic packaging a thing of the past. I was hesitant to make the transition years ago .. how messy is this thing?? How well does it actually work?? I can tell you, BEST DECISION EVER. Zero waste, little hassle, and a $35 investment that goes A LONG WAY in saving you $$ and hugging mama earth. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer!
A great tip from my bestie Rachelle Taylor (and photo shown) are shampoo, conditioner, lotion and sunscreen from @portia_ella located at the Outlet Mall WITH ZERO PACKAGING!! You have an adorable little bag that everything is stored in, and purchasing means EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU ARE REDUCING YOUR PLASTIC CONSUMPTION. The Rose is from Safeway, plastic wrap skipped. Do you have any tips you’d like to share?? I’d love to hear them!
Compost Winnipeg home pick up program … SERIOUSLY THE EASIEST!! WEEKLY COMPOST PICK UP AT YOUR DOOR! Reducing your food waste enormously. Anyone doing this already and loving it??? We are! Green Action Centre is where to go to get your program started!
BULK BARN ALLOWS YOU TO BRING IN CLEAN JARS (THINK CANNING JARS, CLEANED OUT PB JARS, PASTA JARS .. WHATEVER!), THEY WILL WEIGH THEM .. THEN YOU FILL THEM AND THEY WEIGH THEM AGAIN!! It’s really SO simple and saves SO much plastic and packaging.
@generationgreen offers a refill station for soaps, dish soaps, laundry soaps, etc. With potentially less plastic being recycled because of China changing their recycle intake & rules, it’s important TO REDUCE NOT JUST RECYCLE!! 🍃
April 9 2019
I am absolutely in LOVE with my creations from @littlelovehome including this MASSIVE custom basket for a large planter. We have several hanging baskets as well that are such a sweet addition to any plant lovers home. Her orders come with an adorable hand written card, AND my last order came with this plate as a gift for being late ... which is wasn’t and besides, Sarah has twins and had JUST had another baby. Thank you for your beautiful, fun products and the extra care you put into it all @littlelovehome
April 4 2019
Did you know that the new 2019 federal budget has $435M in it for zero emissions vehicle rebates and such??! A $5000 rebate for any car under $45K. If you’re self employed or a business the tax benefits are almost dbl that of a gas car (A $55K write off, compared to $30K for gas). PLUS, you can write off the tax rebate all in one year, opposed to having to defer like gas cars (bonus if you have a REALLY good sales year . AND by 2040 Canada has a goal of having ALL ELECTRIC VEHICLES (maybe a bit too late still, BUT there is planning happening!) Positive moves forward as climate change is on everyone’s minds ….
March 13 2019
This WEDNESDAY @ccfmanitobain ... fundraiser and 80’s dress up party! Mary Pidlaski is also DJing 🎧 Gimme Shelter helps so many organizations that work on all levels of “shelter”. Maybe it’s new mattresses and bed bug control for actual shelters, maybe it’s furniture for safe homes for abused women, or equipment for kitchens that feed in need persons, funds to keep the doors open to those who need it, keep the lights on, keep much needed staff in place. It reaches children, youth, adults, seniors, immigrant families, men & women. I’m happy to be a Friend sponsor again this year with funds helping through the MREA Shelter Foundation. 🏡🏠🏘🏢❤️🌳🚪🛁🛏🧼 Check out @gimme_shelter_wpg for more info!
February 14 2019
This is where my heart resides. It certainly loves where it lives ;) Happy Love Day to you all. XOXO
Thinking of renovating?? It’s a common question that arises when thinking of long term investment for comfort and lifestyle, OR if you’re thinking of selling and wondering where the best bang for your buck is. Here are some areas to pay attention to taken from the article titled 10 Home Renovations with the Best Return on Investment written by Maryalene Laponsie with my own commentary “written in”:
5 Common Renovation Errors:
Measuring Errors: “Measure 10 times, Cut Once”.
Choosing a Cheap Contractor
There are certain things within a renovation that you can cheap out on, a contractor is not one of them. The contractor plays a key role in the result of your renovation and that is not something you want to take a risk on. “I have seen thousands of homes, and I PROMISE you, buyers can tell good from bad.” - A
Lowballing Budget—Need to budget enough for mistakes so you have wiggle room.
Mistakes will happen. No renovation project goes perfectly as planned. Make sure your budget has room for mistakes so you don’t end up short in the end. “Opening up walls to hidden old wiring, leakage issues, no insulation .. all problems to plan for the worst, and hope for the best.” - A
Skimping on Quality/Splurging where you should save
Once again, there are areas to skimp on, and areas where it is important you get high quality. An area that’s going to get a lot of use (mudroom, kitchen cabinets, flooring) are areas to plan for long term wear and tear. “Buyers are looking at how ‘lived in’ a home feels, and if it’s in rougher shape then your value decreases.” - A
Jumping on the Trend Train – Trends have short lifespan.
Try to stick to finishes that are timeless so you don’t find yourself desiring another renovation project in a couple of years. Trendy areas can also be hard to sell to people with different opinions than you! “My advice for clients when renovating to sell - white!! White kitchens, bathrooms, walls, etc. It’s much cleaner, simpler, and buyers can envision their own twist on things.”-A
12 Renovations with the Best Return
Added Insulation – 108%
Garage Door – 85%
Front Door – 91%
Landscaping – 105%
Kitchen Remodel – 80%
Bathroom Remodel/adding a Bathroom - 81%
New Windows – 74%
Finish Basement – 69%
High Efficiency Appliances – Reduce living costs
Interior Paint – Bring light in - 90-110% depending on the study
ROI AND RENOVATING
If you’re thinking about putting a “for sale” sign in front of your house, you may also have home renovations in mind. It seems logical that replacing outdated features, dingy appliances and worn carpeting should increase the value of your home, but don’t be too sure. Some renovations have a poor return on investment, while others will do little to impress buyers with their own vision for the property. It’s important to not to pour a lot of money into projects that are too personalized.
However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't make any updates. If you think you’ll be in the home for a while, go ahead and renovate so you can better enjoy the property. Otherwise, if you’re renovating for resale value, focus on these projects that offer the best return on investment.
Added insulation. Each year, Remodeling Magazine conducts a cost-versus-value analysis to determine which of 29 home projects offers the best return on investment. In 2017, it isn’t a new kitchen or bathroom that tops the list. It’s attic insulation.
It’s an inexpensive project that can be done for less than $1,500 and has an estimated return of 108 percent. Plus, it’s a good investment regardless of whether you plan to sell. “As buyers become more environmentally aware, anything that lowers the costs of running a home, as well as good to Mama Earth, are valuable.” - Amber
New garage door. When it comes to what it considers upscale renovations, Remodeling Magazine says replacing the garage door offers the best return on investment. Sellers can expect to recoup 85 percent of the cost of this project.
“First impressions are everything .. make sure your home shines from the curb and in those real estate photos and video!” - A
Better front door. Don’t stop with the garage door. A new front door can also be a good investment. According to Remodeling Magazine, you’ll recoup almost 91 percent of the cost on a steel entry door and nearly 78 percent on the price of a fiberglass one. Winnipeggers will be looking for insulated steel as well.
Improved landscaping. The National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Landscape Professionals conducted a survey in 2016 to determine which outside projects offer homeowners the best value. An overall landscape upgrade topped the list with an estimated 105 percent return on investment.
Kitchen remodel. Said to be the heart of the home, the kitchen deserves some extra attention if you’re hoping to sell.
That doesn’t necessarily mean making a complete overhaul, but could include refacing cabinets or updating finishes. A minor kitchen remodel will recoup 80 percent of its cost, according to Remodeling Magazine, while a major midrange kitchen remodel only has a 65 percent return on investment.
“I like to advise my clients to try and keep costs down - butcher block, subway tile, white cabinets, splashes of colour .. it goes a long way! Buyers LOVE soft close cabinets, pot drawers .. and pull out pantry shelves .. definitely items to add!” - Amber
Bathroom improvements. The bathroom is another prime place for renovations. Replace the vanity, lighting and toilet, an inexpensive way to dramatically improve the look and feel of the room.
Adding a bathroom is a major investment, and it doesn’t have the best return. Reports from both the National Association of Realtors and Remodeling Magazine say homeowners will recoup slightly more than half their investment. However, it may be essential to making a sale, especially if there is only one bathroom in the house.
“I have a LOT of buyers who want a bathroom on each floor, so even a two piece addition is valuable to attracting more buyers” - Amber
New windows. Replacing old windows can brighten a room and resale prospects. There’s no need to splurge though. “You’re not going to get your money back with a top of the line window,” Foguth says. Remodeling Magazine reports vinyl replacement windows have a 74 percent return on investment, giving them a 1 percent edge over wood windows.
More square footage. Refinishing a basement or other space can dramatically boost the value of a house in some areas.
A 2015 National Association of Realtors report considered the value of converting a basement to living space. It estimated homeowners could expect to recoup 69 percent of the project price. The return on investment for converting an attic to living space was estimated at 61 percent.
High efficiency appliances. Like insulation, upgrading to high efficiency appliances, water heaters and furnaces has a dual benefit. These may make the home more attractive, but just as importantly, they reduce living costs for the homeowner. “Manitoba Hydro has some GREAT programs for helping with upgrades like this.”
Interior paint. It’s hard to calculate the return on investment for a coat of paint, but buyers like clean lines and airy spaces. “Painting is one of the most common areas that my sellers pay attention to. A fresh coat of paint lightens spaces, make them feel larger, cleaner, newer … and we all know that a Winnipeg home likely has some drywall cracks to seal up! For the amount that needs investing in paint, it’s a no brainer to me.” - A
While these 10 renovations make the most sense from a dollar and cents perspective, every market is different. “Nothing replaces talking to a REALTOR® and understanding the expectations of buyers in Winnipeg before making those major (or minor) home renovation decisions. I’m always happy to help with advice where needed, so feel free to reach out anytime!” - Amber
2018 Achievement Award
2018 .. you were hard core, rock and roll! A full year of what life can truly be ... adventures, love, friends, family .. and fulfilling work! What an honour it is to receive a Silver Medallion AND to be the #1 producing agent at RE/MAX executives on Academy Rd to top if all off! To my past and new clients who supported my business through 70 properties sold in '18, trusted my opinions, and had me represent your best interests in 2018 ... THANK YOU!!! To the countless referrals that were sent my way, THANK YOU for trusting me to represent your loved ones and putting us in touch. I look forward to a 2019 full of fine tuning skills, continued education, representing my clients to the highest standard, and loving life along the way <3 xoxoxo Thank you doesn't convey as much as is in my heart. Love you all.
MREA Shelter Foundation Platinum Donor 2018
I'm so happy to have the opportunity to both represent the MREA Shelter Foundation as a Governor on the board of directors, as well as a Platinum Donor for 2018. The MREA Shelter foundation is a wonderful organization that supports Manitoba charities that are devoted to shelter-related causes such as:
- A & O: Support Services for Older Adults
- L'Arche Winnipeg
- YWCA Brandon
- Esther House
- Knowles Centre
- New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families
- Bravestone Centre
- Main Street Project
- Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council
- Red Road Lodge
- Salvation Army - Booth Centre
- Two Ten Recovery
9 Home Buying Mistakes First Timers Make
9. Shopping before getting pre-approved for a mortgage.
Many first-time homebuyers decide they’re ready to take the leap, and start touring open houses “just to see what’s out there.” While getting a feel for the market is certainly a good idea, you risk falling in love with a home that is not in your budget. Before you start seriously shopping the market, visit your bank, mortgage broker or lender, and get a mortgage pre-approval. You’ll know the exact amount you’ll qualify for, so when you’re ready to make an offer, you can do so with confidence. I'm always happy to meet with new buyers and assist you to finding the right mortgage fit as well, so don't feel you need to wait to contact your REALTOR® before then.
8. Skipping the mortgage pre-approval altogether.
I'm mentioning this one again, because it’s super important. Getting pre-approved not only informs you of how much you can spend on a home, but it also guarantees the current interest rate for about 90-120 days, giving you the freedom to shop knowing you’re safe from rate hikes in the near future. With interest rates on the rise, this step is more important than ever.
7. Making major life changes when applying for a mortgage.
Once you’ve filed your application, avoid changing jobs, making big-ticket purchases on credit, or taking out new loans. These can all alter your financial picture, and can impact your ability to qualify for the mortgage or the amount you had originally anticipated. If there are any large purchases or job changes in your future, plan for them to happen AFTER your possession date, as even a mortgage approval doesn't guarantee you can afford the property on closing date IF your situation changes. The new truck will have to wait .. just a few more weeks :)
6. Not saving enough for a down payment.
It’s true that the minimum requirement in Canada is five per cent, but try to put down at least 20 per cent of the purchase price. Having 20 per cent or more means you won’t have to take out a high-ratio mortgage – and avoid the mortgage or CMHC default insurance premiums that go with it. Getting to 10% or 15% as a total down payment also lowers the CMHC insurance cost, so the more the merrier if you can get to any one of these milestones.
5. Not accounting for the “extra” costs.
You can estimate to spend (approximately) between 1.5 to 3 per cent of the purchase price of the home. This includes costs such as the land transfer tax, property insurance, title insurance, lawyer fees, home inspection fee, moving costs and more. Be sure to budget these into your purchasing plan.
4. Not seeing enough homes.
Before you settle down, make sure you sow your oats, so to speak. Since you’ve never owned a home, and particularly if you’re moving from your parents’ place, you’ll want to tour lots of different home styles and neighbourhoods. Keep an open mind – you just might surprise yourself! When narrowing down your home’s location, weigh factors such as proximity to work, family and friends; public transit and access to major roads and highways; and things such as shopping, services, green space, and your lifestyle. which will affect the liveability of the home, its current value, and the resale price of your home. People always ask what an "average" is and I'd say for new home buyers 3 months of searching is typical .. which equates to about 30-50 viewed properties between showings and open houses.
3. Seeing too many homes.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s definitely a good idea to see what’s on the market, if only for the sake of comparison. You’ll gain a better understanding of what comparable homes are valued at, their condition, and your negotiating power. This is valuable intel, whether you’re buying your first home or your tenth. But buyer beware: particularly in a hot market, sitting on the fence can mean losing a good property, being overwhelmed with options, spreading yourself too thin, and ultimately getting frustrated with the process. If you get to 100 homes .. you've probably gone too far ;) Either way, I'm with you for however long the ride takes as I understand it can take more time for some (myself included .. took us over a year to find our house. So take this lesson from me, bite the bullet and go with your gut early on. You don't want to be shopping for a year!)
2. Not getting everything in writing.
Under the right market conditions, negotiating may be part of your purchasing plan. Any conditions of the purchase and sale must be on paper. If it’s not in the contract, it doesn’t count. Your contract is your only way of holding the buyer and seller accountable. That's why having your own REALTOR® is SO important. I will walk you through everything and make sure we get the air con, the W/Dryer, the extra mirror, the shelving in the garage ... and if there's anything that needs fixing, we get that in writing too with a value attached.
1. Biting off more than you can chew.
You’ve likely heard the term “house poor.” Buying a home is a huge financial commitment, so ensure you can afford it. As a first foray into home ownership, condos are a popular choice, thanks to their lower price point, smaller footprint (read: less maintenance and lower operating costs) and their central locations. But condos are a lifestyle choice as well as a financial one. It's my job to make sure your life remains happy, healthy, and fun on all levels .. which doesn't mean stressing over bills! xo
Careyes did not disappoint!! A stunning kick off to the #vandenhudson unofficial honeymoon... we feel so honoured, privileged, and down right grateful to spend time here... yoga in the AM and adventures in the evening! We are grounded, tanned, and ready to learn more Spanish! ;) #paradise
New Years Resolution For a Sustainable Future
Here's how you can put the planet first in 2019:
1. Reduce or remove meat from your diet! The environmental impact of factory farming, the cost of feeding animals, and the low yield that meat produces, have got people all over the world rethinking how much meat they eat. Even if you can't give up meat entirely, make a New Years resolution to start by not eating mean one day a week.
Did you know it takes between 3-10 times the amount of energy to produce 1kg of meat, than it does to produce plant based foods? That's a lot of energy that could be better used feeding those who need it!!
2. Carrying your own coffee in an insulated travel mug helps you to reduce waste from cardboard cups and carrying sleeves-- which are thrown away at a staggering rate of 58 billion each year! For greener at-home brewing, choose a Fair Trade blend that supports; and try a French Press (instead of a traditional brewer) to save electricity.
3. Try to eliminate all single use plastic from your lifestyle! It takes the average plastic bottle 450 years to break down! Don't let the garbage you eave behind be your legacy for future generations. Start small with reusable shopping bags, abstain from purchasing beverages in plastic bottles, and start using reusable metal straws. Be cognizant of the waste you contribute to the world and let that inform your decisions!
4. Get thrifting! The fashion industry is one of the largest polluting industries in the world. Contributing up to 10% of the worlds carbon footprint, the fashion industry is also the second greatest polluter of fresh water. Instead of subscribing to the latest trends, invest in a capsule wardrobe that incorporates interchangeable pieces that suit all your dress and casual wear needs.
Creating Holiday Traditions, One Room at a Time
Creating Holiday Traditions, One Room at a Time
I have always felt we're very lucky to live in a climate where we get a FULL 4 seasons. There truly is a magical feel to a world covered in freshly fallen snow, especially around the holdiays. There’s certainly no place like a cozy home to appreciate these times as well.
Whether you are a new home/condo owner, or are celebrating another holiday season in your well-loved home, your living spaces can be integral in making memories with family and friends. Time to put some holiday music on, gather up the kids and start creating these holiday traditions now, one room at a time.
With so much delicious food to make and bake during the holiday season, your kitchen is an easy place to begin creating holiday traditions. Baking Cookies, frying latkes or building gingerbread houses (complete with a RE/MAX sign!) are activities in which the whole family can participate. You can go one step further and take your cooking skills to a local soup kitchen to support your community during this season of giving. I am always guilty for buying a gingerbread house and never accomplishing building it... this year, mark my words, we will build it with egg nog and jingle bells on in the background.
As Anika gets older she LOVES to participate in the kitchen, it makes her feel important and useful I believe. So she gets to sit on the counter and helps mom whisk the eggs, and mix whatever it is that needs mixing. We'll have to see how much candy makes it to that gingerbread house this season ;)
Often the center of the home, your living room-is where the hustle and bustle of the holidays melts away. Kick back with a holiday movie (our family always watched A Christmas Story growing up) start a fire and decorate the Christmas tree as a family in matching holiday sweaters, no less! Light the menorah or host a New Year's Eve party. The holidays can be stressful-use your home as a sanctuary to focus and reflect on what this time of year means to you.
My Mom and Dad have had a tradition of hosting an open house just around Christmas, complete with 6 Christmas trees and a month of baking leading up to it. Although you don't have to throw a party for 70 of your closest friends, I will tell you that I STILL look forward to it every year still heading into my 37th annual open house with Mom. You can ask all my friends too ... it's the talk of the holidays (and her chicken recipe goes along with that too).
When you think of holiday traditions outside, colorful lights and an inflatable Santa come to mind. But don’t dismiss other low-stress outdoor activities like sparklers in the snow, sky lanterns or caroling. Winnipeg has some great outdoor holiday festivities including the river trail at the Forks (or just skating at the rink there), Winter Wonderland (where you can enjoy all the holiday lights from your car), or why not put on your snow gear and head to a tree farm to pick and cut down your own tree??? We have done this as a family and it's SUCH a wonderful outing. Don't forget the hot cocoa! For some MB Tree sites check here: http://www.pickyourownchristmastree.org/CNxmasmb.php
Merry Christmas from these blush princesses in their brand new outfits from Grandma Sherri xoxo!
How to do Christmas...
My parents REALLY know how to do Christmas right... Welcome to the Griswolds of Winnipeg! It's truly a magical world... complete with 6 Christmas trees!
Possession Day is the Best Day!
Always an exciting day for clients .... Possession day! Just a little bit of love to help the day go smoother. Wine, chocolate, snacks, goodies from @briesbotanicals, all natural cleansing supplies .. and a few surprises.
NO PLASTIC BAGS!
Plastic grocery bags are horrible for the environment, and end up in the oceans and other places they shouldn't be. Stop using disposable bags, and buy some reusable bags to bring with you when you shop. Not only are they much better for the environment, they will also hold your items better! THIS INCLUDES XMAS SHOPPING!!! Take them to Polo please ... it’s not JUST groceries 🙏🏼🙌🏼💫😊
We don’t have a super strict bedtime routine but after 2 books we either “meditate” (count to ten with eyes closed), or give thanks for the day, sometimes we sing, or she loves to hear about Princess Anika who is a little girl who smiles at everyone ... says hello to all the animals and trees ... and is kind to every single creature and human she comes across. The Future is Female and it’s going to be a caring, kind and loving future. Can’t wait ❤️🔥💫😍 📸@monique_pantel #anikawildchild
Seal it Up!
Infiltration of cold air from air leaks around doors and windows is a significant contributor to your heating bill, just as is poor insulation in the walls and ceiling. An easy way to reduce your heating bill is to reduce these drafts with simple weatherstripping. Test your windows and doors to see if they have any air leaks, and repair them as soon as possible to avoid extra cost on your heating bill. Take an incense stick and hold near your windows and doors and follow the flow! 💨
A Cleaner Way To Clean!
If your washing machine has a setting for the amount of clothing you're washing, choose a low setting—you'll use less water and your clothes will get just as clean. Using cold water can save up to 80% of the energy required to wash clothes, as much as 500 pounds of carbon dioxide per year! Although, once in a while to kill bacteria it's okay to use hot on your sheets and such! OH! And PS ... white vinegar as fabric softener! Always! Visit @generationgreen for some great dryer ball options. Tis the Season for #greengifts
The Best Friends
All of my favourite things right here... beautiful golden flowers from my bestie Rachelle and her #sweetsky.... a kal barteski, and hexagon planter from another friend! Thanks ladies for a stunning centre piece to enjoy! xox
How’s #vegannovember going you ask?? Well, it’s not so bad actually! I’ve been sent tons of great recipes from supporters, and am fairly impressed with my peanut stew that I’ve been eating for a week According to the #vegancalculator I’ve saved 225 sq feet of forest, 8250 gallons of water, 300 lbs of grain, 150 lbs of CO2, and 8 animals lives ... just in 7 days. @rachelleltaylor even made back to back #vegan dinners this week 🏼🏼
Is Winnipeg a City To Invest In?
Believe it or not, it seems that Winnipeg is actually a hot spot for buying investment properties! I have had several people from BC contact me looking for places to buy and rent out.
Winnipeg is a growing city with lots of potential and opportunity. Whether you're looking for prime houses to flip, or to rent out, there are many great neighbourhoods and options.
Management not for you? Winnipeg has management companies that will actually manage your property from afar, or theres always AirBnB to make life simpler as well!
5 TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR
HOME IN THE SUMMER
Photo by Sophie Coonen
Summer is a very competitive season for selling
your home! The longer, sunnier days make people want to go house shopping, so
it is important that your home really stands out against all the competition.
Here are 5 tips to make your house catch the eye of potential buyers!
1. The exterior of your home
will be the potential buyer’s first impression. So many people focus on the
inside of the home and neglect the outside. Make sure that your grass is
healthy and green, and that all shrubs, flowers, and any other kind of greenery
are maintained! You don’t want anything to look dead.
2. Speaking of greenery, there
is nothing wrong with having it inside and out! Nothing is more welcoming than
a home decorated with an array of plants and flowers. Take advantage of the
full bloom flowers, and fill your home with colour!
3. Clutter is a deterrent.
When cleaning up your home, make sure that all personal items are put into
storage bins or cabinets. Some notable items that are easily forgotten are
kitchen appliances (blenders, coffee makers, etc), refrigerator magnets, and
toothbrushes! A clean look is desirable.
4. The sun is one of the
highlights of summer! When selling your home, use the sun to highlight your
house. Clean the windows, and make sure all blinds/curtains are open to allow
for as much natural light as possible!
5. The last tip I have for you
today is control your home’s temperature! The summer is HOT!! You do not want
people walking through your home and sweating. Make sure windows are open or
A/C is on for the hot days.
FOR ECO FRIENDLY BARBEQUING THIS SUMMER
Photo by Declan Rex
Looking forward to the summer
BBQing? I know I am! As fun (and delicious!) as a good BBQ with friends and
family is, it is crucial that we pay attention to the impact we have on our
planet by grilling our favorite foods. I have put together some tips on how to
stay as eco-friendly as possible this summer, while still being able to enjoy a
start, consider what kind of grill you
are using. A charcoal grill produces volatile organic compounds (VOC),
carbon monoxide, and soot. These are all very harmful to the environment and
will cause heart and lung problems for people! Gas grills are much better in
terms of carbon emissions and the health of everyone. Electric grills are also
a good choice, however make sure the energy comes from green sources (wind,
solar, hydro), otherwise they have the potential to be just as bad or even
worse than charcoal grills!!! That being said, if you love your charcoal grill,
that’s ok. Try and use green lump coal instead of normal briquettes as this
will decrease the carbon footprint.
suggestion is to know your guest list,
and make sure people RSVP! Nothing is worse than not knowing how many people
are coming, and buying too much food just in case. This leads to waste, which
is terrible for the environment. If there are leftovers, distribute them among
your guests so that a minimal amount can be wasted.
loves to barbeque MEAT. Juicy burgers, hot dogs, steaks, you name it! Well,
meat creates a very large carbon and water footprint because of the methane
produced by cattle, and the amount of water that it takes to make every patty.
Be mindful of this when BBQing, and try to look
for organic grass-fed meat instead. Prepare for the fact that organic
grass-fed meat doesn’t maintain its moisture as well when grilling, by
marinating it beforehand, and basting it as it cooks. Even better, try BBQing
some vegetarian dishes!
know that using reusable dishes when hosting a large group is a real pain! No
one wants to do that many dishes, and throwing them away seems SO much easier. However,
your environment will thank you if you use
reusable dishes. At the very least, use biodegradable dishes/cutlery
instead of the plastic kind to reduce the carbon footprint.
are the worst! So many people provide cans of soft drinks instead of having
jugs and cups. Having cans leads to people only drinking half, and then wasting
the rest. Or, people will have several and then be forced to dispose of
multiple cans. Buy the 2L jugs of pop,
encourage your guests to write their names on a cup, and then use that same cup
for the day. That way each person only has one thing to dispose of, and
will only take what they actually want to drink.
6. RECYCLE. Put a recycling bin right
beside the garbage so that people put their disposable items in the right place
that will save the environment.
7. Use natural products to clean up. Half
an onion, or baking soda and water are great natural cleaners!
FOR WINNING IN BIDDING WARS (OTHER THAN OVER PAYING!)
Photo by Niels Steeman
summer market is competitive! So chances are that if you fall in love with a
home, someone else probably has too. Here are some tips for how to win bidding
wars without having to pay an outrageous price!
a Personal Letter-
Include a letter written by you to the sellers. Tell them your story, about
your family, why you love the house, and anything else you can think of that
will pull on their heartstrings! Connecting with the owners on a personal level
will make it tough for them to say no!
Houses are HUGE investments, and it’s important to make sure that the house
you’re buying has been inspected. However, an offer that has home inspection as
a condition will never win a bidding war. Because of this, do the inspection before
you put in your offer. This way the offer will be much more appealing.
3. Possession- Figure out the seller’s
perfect possession date. Even if this means an extra month of rent in your
apartment, pleasing the seller will be worth it if it means getting your dream
Another thing to keep the sellers mind at ease! If your mortgage hasn’t been
approved, or they don’t know if it has been, they may be weary to choose you as
deposit is part of the down payment that you make on a home, and will ensure
the owners that you aren’t going to back out down the road. Because it’s coming
from the down payment, giving them a high deposit doesn’t actually mean that
you pay any more money than you would with a low deposit, it just shows your