Eco-Friendly Habits To Practice In The Home

Recycling is a great way to be eco-friendly in the home, but not the only way! There are so many other fabulous ways to GO GREEN and keep our planet healthy. Check out a few of the simple tips and tricks listed below that you can practice daily to be more eco-wise in your home and beyond.

  • Use reusable bags when you shop and say goodbye to disposable bags!
  • Consider using a reusable water bottle from now on, and begin to eliminate plastic water bottles. 
  • Be more vigilant when it comes to turning on/off lights. When you leave the room, turn off the light right away. Are you at home during the day? Keep the lights off and let natural light illuminate your home!
  • Combine all your errands for one week into one day to reduce your driving and maximize your time!
  • Walk or ride a bike for errands that are closer. No need to start up your engines for anything that is a mile or two away.
  • Shop local at farmer’s markets (… The BOULDER FARMER’S MARKET is absolutely fantastic!)
  • Pay Bills online and switch to paperless statements if possible.
  • Line dry your laundry rather than using the dryer. Not only will you be greener for doing so, but your linens will smell unbelievable!
  • Donate and shop at thrift stores.
  • Unplug any chargers or appliances that aren’t being heavily used.
  • Collect rain water to use later for watering your gardens and plants.
  • Don’t throw away glass jars and containers. Rather, repurpose them for other uses in the home.
  • Try to use cloth napkins daily rather than paper napkins/towels.
  • Need to print something? Use old scrap paper or consider printing double-sided if you plan to print multiple pages.
  • Switch to cloth diapers or begin doing a combination with disposable diapers. One cloth diaper a day means 365 fewer disposable diapers in the landfill each year.

REDUCE – REUSE – RECYCLE 

Eco Tree with environment symbols

 

 

What you need to know about SmartRegs in Boulder

If you live in the City of Boulder, you have probably heard at least something about the SmartRegs Program for residential rental property.

SmartRegs was passed by Boulder City Council Members and Voters in 2006 to help decrease greenhouse gas emissions.  This mandatory program requires that all properties built after June of 2001 meet at least one of two standards for energy efficiency:

HERS (Home Energy Rating System) score of 120 or less; or

“Prescriptive Pathway” Score of 100 points or more.

All residential rental properties in the City of Boulder are required to be in compliance by January 2, 2019.

Obtaining a HERS rating is a fairly costly and involved process, it can take several hours and the cost is usually in the range of $700 for a single family home.  If you happen to already have a HERS rating for your property, great.  If not, the Prescriptive Pathway system may be a more suitable option.

The Prescriptive Pathway system is intended to be a more simple and less costly energy audit.  For $120 you can have an Initial SmartRegs Inspection done on your property (must be through an approved inspector, call 303-544-1000 to schedule).  This inspection will help you determine what energy improvements (if any) you will need to make by the deadline in order to increase your property’s score.

Points are earned d on items such as: Attic and Wall Insulation, Windows, Air Infiltration/Duct Leakage, Floors/Foundations, Heating/Cooling/Hot Water, Lighting, Refrigeration, Solar Power, Occupant Behavior, and Water Conservation.  Categories are weighted differently, so be sure to have a clear picture from the inspector about what the smartest improvements would be.

There are some great incentives to get your City rental property in compliance NOW.  Rebates are being offered by Xcel Energy (20% of the project cost, up to $300) and the Energy Smart Program (Up to 50% of the project cost, up to $500 – this incentive ends May of 2013).  You are required to use an approved contractor for this work.

Once you have completed the work and achieved the correct score, complete the SmartRegs Energy Efficiency Application through the City of Boulder and you will be awarded a Proof of Compliance Certificate.  You only need to do this once and it does transfer with the property.

** Note:  You do NOT have to have a rental property or live in the City to have the $120 EnergySmart inspection done – anyone in Boulder County can do it.  This is a great opportunity to find out how you can make your home more energy efficient!

For more information, visit www.EnergySmartYES.com or call 303-544-1000

 

Recycle Your Christmas Tree in Boulder County

If you haven’t already, chances are you will be ready to get rid of your Christmas Tree in the next few days.  Before you throw it in the trash can or haul it to the dump, check out the link below for some of the great options for recycling your Christmas Tree in the Boulder Area.

From Nederland to Erie, and everywhere in between, there are tons of great, easy options for Christmas Tree Recycling.

 

 

Colorado Landmark, Realtors

(303) 443-3377

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Energy Efficient Homes and the SAVE Act, by Liz Benson

With permission from the author Colorado Landmark associate Liz Benson please enjoy Liz’s recent article/blog post on the Elephant Journal on the SAVE Act and energy efficient homes.

We all know that energy efficient homes save money for their owners – money they can use to more easily pay their mortgage and maintenance costs. Current mortgage underwriting guidelines, developed in the 1940′s, don’t take this into account. They ignore the potential hundreds of dollars in savings that an energy efficient home can provide, compared to an inefficient home. Better information about the full costs of home ownership should include not only the principal, interest, taxes and insurance, (known as PITI) but also the energy cost. The idea is to revise these outdated credit policy decisions by the federal mortgage programs (Fannie and Freddie Mac) which guarantee more than 90% of all new mortgages. This will allow home buyers to more easily qualify to purchase an energy efficient home, set rules for appraisers to value energy efficient improvements, thereby encouraging builders to include them because they will get paid for any additional up-front costs.


The SAVE Act (Sensible Accounting to Value Energy) is championed by Senator Michael Bennett (D – CO) and supported by home builders as well as energy efficiency advocates. For more


And while you are at it, check out a zero energy home in Frazer Colorado, designed by a friend of elephant, Bryan Bowen.

This article authored by:

Liz Benson, Broker Associate
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
http://www.boulderliz.com/

Studio Shed … Finally, an alternative to traditional “barn-style” sheds and costly remodels.

Studio Shed is a prefabricated space that embraces the emerging lifestyle of smaller but smarter living. An inspired room with a variety of uses: a home office, an art studio, a kid’s playroom, or simply a place to store a mountain bike. Manufactured in Boulder and engineered for maximum snow and wind loads, Studio Sheds are a durable, eco-friendly and attractive solution to conventional back yard storage.

The ultimate goal at Studio Shed was to prefabricate the easiest to assemble, best looking, and most durable product on the market. Thanks to smart design partners, they’ve turned an original idea into a completely modular building. Studio-Shed offers installed buildings or a DIY flat packed kit. Installation by the Studio Shed team takes about 8 hours (one-day install video here).

Save the date. Studio Shed Launch Party, Boulder. June 6th. RSVP – answers@studio-shed.com.
More info at http://www.studio-shed.com/.

This post contributed by …
Botsy Phillips
Broker Associate
720.629.5100 (cell)