Francesca Volpe - RE/MAX Alliance



Posted by Francesca Volpe on 12/18/2017

On average each person living in the Unites States uses around 90 gallons per day. Thatís a lot of water. We are so fortunate to live in a country where we have easy accessible clean water, however, it is also something we easily take for granted. Using less water in our day to day lives not only means a smaller water bill each month and preservation of water, it leads to less energy usage as well . Here are some ways to save water, and energy, around the house: Upgrade - When it comes time to replace your old toilet look for a new one that is a low-flow model with a WaterSense label. This will ensure that each time you flush you consume less water without even thinking about it. Instant-gratification - Installing a recirculating water pump in your home will save on energy in a big way. Recirculating pumps create warm water the instant you turn the handle which means less time waiting for the water to heat up and less unused water running down the drain. Easy does it - Installing a low-flow shower head to your bath is another great way to limit how much water is used without even thinking about it. You can save up to 15 gallons of water per 10 minutes in the shower. Cool it - By washing laundry in cold water, you will not only prolong the life and color of your clothes, you will also be saving on energy. In fact, around 90 percent of the energy used during a wash cycle is from heating up the water. Make the switch, literally and figuratively, and the impact will be huge. Reuse - Most clothes are still clean after a first wearing. By getting more uses out of a garment before washing it you will prolong the lifespan of that item and use less water over time. Shirts can be worn a couple of times before washing while pants and sweaters can be worn up to five times before adding them to your next load. Speaking of, when you do wash your clothes ensure that you do a full load to further preserve water and energy with each cycle. Switch to off - The faucet that is. There are plenty of day to day scenarios in which we leave the water running when we really donít need it. When brushing your teeth and while soaping up when washing hands be sure to turn off the water. Fill up the sink with water when washing dishes instead of leaving the faucet running. When rinsing fruits and vegetable fill up a bowl to wash them in instead of passing them through running water. Instead of running water till it is cold keep a filled (reusable) bottle in the fridge which will be chilled and waiting for you when you need a drink. By establishing more water conscious habits you not only save yourself some money each month but you also preserve water and energy and therefore shrink your impact on the environment. And with most of these habits being so easy and free to implement, you canít lose!




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Posted by Francesca Volpe on 1/9/2017

Keeping a house cool in the summer and warm in the winter on the cheap is not the easiest place to cut back when budgeting. But, on top of preventing your wallet from shrinking, there is even more reason to preserve energy on heating and cooling your house: the environment. The amount of energy your house uses affects the environment just as much as your wallet and is well worth investing time and effort into to prevent higher usage than necessary. Below are a few tips to save on energy whether itís winter or summer: Make the most of your†windows - Opening windows means more sunlight to keep your house warmer in the winter and more breezes to keep your home cool in the summer. Investing in thermal curtains will help you maintain temperatures within the house. Keep curtains open during the day to allow the sunlight to warm your home and closed at night to keep out the chill during the colder to months. In the warmer months keep them closed during the day to keep out the heat and open at night to let in the cooler breeze. Know where your weak spots are - Having a home energy audit performed will show you exactly where energy is being lost in your home. This will allow you to make smart upgrades in your home where it really counts. Stop leaks in their tracks - Storm windows are great for the winter and, believe it or not, summer months too. The space between the windows keeps warmth in during the colder months and heat out in the warmer months. Draught-stoppers, cheap and easy to DIY, is also a great way to preserve the desired temperature in your home. Another easy to install option to save on energy is weather stripping your doors and windows. Check your ratings - R-value is a rating scale of an insulationís ability to prevent heat flow. The higher the R-value the more efficient the insulation. Living in New England you will want to look for a higher R-value in the type of insulation you invest in. Since heat rises you will want to use insulation with a higher R-value on the top floors of your house than those on your lowers floors. Be a control freak - Installing an easy to use programmable thermostat is a great way to manage the temperature in your home. Set up timers that keep your home warmer while you are awake and at home in the winter months and set to a lower temperature while you are out for the day or asleep for the night. In the summer set up your timer to keep your home cooler while you are home and to use less energy while you are out of the house for the day. While it takes an investment of time and money upfront ensuring that your home efficiently uses energy when cooling and heating your house will benefit you for years to come. One of the great perks to being frugal about your homeís energy usage is that it will also shrink your impact on the environment. With perks like that, you canít lose!




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Posted by Francesca Volpe on 10/3/2016

Going green seems to be on our minds nowadays more than ever. We recognize that there are lots of ways we can shrink our carbon footprint whether it be by recycling paper goods or opting for reusable items in place of disposable ones. One arena we might not think to lower our footprint in is furniture shopping. There are, however, a few steps you can take to make a more conscientious purchase for your home. When foraying into the green/sustainable shopping lifestyle it is always best to keep the term reduce, reuse, recycle in mind. Before running out to buy a new piece of furniture, albeit one with a smaller footprint, ask yourself how vital the piece of furniture you are looking for is. Is it highly functional and does it fit in well with your other pieces? Or is it a purchase you are making on a whim that does not have a purpose or fit in seamlessly with the rest of your decor? It is important to start with the big picture in mind and find a piece that you can keep, and love, for years to come. Start with upcycling - check to see if you have something similar lying around the house that could be altered. Ask friends and family if they have unused furniture that would fit the bill and check second-hand shops in your area for pieces that will do the trick. If you are handy and/or creative think of ways a piece can be altered to better suit the needs of your home. Try DIY - Consider making a piece on your own from scratch. Not only will it be an engaging project for the weekend you can be proud of but you will also have complete control of the final outcome allowing you to create a one-of-a-kind custom piece. When DIY-ing choose paints that are VOC(volatile organic compounds)-free lumber with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification. Many popular paint brands now offer VOC-free options in their color lines and can easily be found at home improvement stores. Look for labels - when shopping for a new furniture piece look for labels. Certification labels, that is. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has a certification for wood that is responsibly sourced, the Rainforest Alliance has a Rediscovered Wood Certification for items made with reclaimed material and Greenguard is a certification for items with low-toxicity. Sustainability is on our minds more than ever as climate change is becoming more and more evident of an issue and the toxicity of everyday products has become concerning. With some time, patience and research not only can you be well equipped to make your furniture choices well-informed ones but also have fun along the way.




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