Make your preening routine green

greenStarting an environmentally friendly routine at home is a goal for many families who are concerned with reducing their environmental footprints. The age-old reduce, reuse and recycle mantra is a great start, but what many don’t know is that there are also simple changes you can make to your health and beauty routine that can make a big impact on the environment. Who knew “green” preening could be so easy?

In addition to finding beauty products you love, you can also support brands that promote sustainable living. Consider making changes in your health and beauty care routines that will help reduce your environmental footprint. It’s the small changes you make that can lead to a big environmental impact.

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

* Products that are offered in bulk – Buying products you frequently use – like skin lotion or tooth paste – in bulk sizes helps you to reduce the amount of packaging that ends up being thrown away or recycled. And not only does it help you reduce your waste, but buying bulk also tends to provide better savings. When shopping, however, only bulk up on items you use frequently enough, so you won’t end up with any spoiling before you use it.

* Packaging that’s a little easier on the environment – Purchasing products packaged in a sustainable manner is a good way to help reduce your environmental footprint. For example, the Pantene Nature Fusion collection is packaged in renewable, sugarcane-based plastic, helping to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Both the Pantene Nature Fusion shampoo and conditioner bottles reduce the use of fossil fuels by more than 70 percent versus traditional petroleum-based plastics, and release up to 170 percent fewer greenhouse gasses in the manufacturing process. But you don’t have to sacrifice beauty to be eco-savvy – the collection combines Pro-V science with naturally derived cassia to give your hair healthy strength and shine.

* Eco-conscious manufacturers – Many manufacturers of health and beauty products are becoming more conscience of how these products are developed. For example, some companies like P&G are developing techniques to reuse waste in the manufacturing process, combining reduce, reuse and recycle into one process. And many companies are adopting environmentally friendly manufacturing processes that help to reduce energy usage and use more renewable energy sources.

* Good things in smaller packages – Concentrated or condensed products allow you to purchase smaller quantities in smaller packages, resulting in less waste that end up being recycled or thrown away. In addition, concentrated products in smaller packages allow more packages per truck shipment, helping to reduce the environmental impact in the shipping industry. This helps to reduce the product’s footprint before it even reaches the store shelves. Do a little research to see if your makeup or lotion brands offer a concentrated option, so you can put the mantra, “a little dab will do you,” to good use.

For more tips on how you can add more sustainable practices to your health and beauty routine, or other areas of your home, visit http://www.facebook.com/futurefriendly. You’ll discover how small changes in your daily preening can really make a significant change.

Courtesy of BPT

Driveway Gates: An ideal way to finish off your drive

When it comes to your home, you want it to be as unique as you are, and first impressions are very important. It makes sense to start with the part of your house that everyone will see first – your gates and railing. Wrought iron driveway gates are an ideal way to finish off your drive and give your home that wow factor.

Driveway gates and fences will enhance the beauty, privacy and security of your home. A driveway gate extends your home security to the boundaries of your property, and in a time where people are increasingly worried about their security, adding an iron gate at the driveway entrance has become popular. Having a secure fence and gate can be a great comfort, particularly if your house lies in an area of heavy traffic. In addition to the security benefits, adding a gate also contains animals, clearly marks property lines and makes a huge aesthetic improvement to your home.

When you choose an iron driveway gate for your home, you can be confident in the knowledge that they are known for their strength and endurance. This makes them less likely to break or bend. With today’s power coating options, wrought iron gates can become just as rust resistant as aluminum. Iron gates can be matched with existing fences, pedestrian gates and access control systems.

It can be very frustrating to finish a long commute only to have to get out of the car, open a gate, drive through it, get out of the car again and close the gate. With this in mind another trendy feature for your iron driveway gates is to install an automatic gate opener. Electric gates provide indispensable convenience, allowing a gate to be opened without ever having to leave your car and therefore eliminating all those cumbersome steps.

When purchasing electric gates you need to consider a few options. The most obvious is deciding whether you want your driveway gate to open by sliding or swinging outwards. Swing gates are more aesthetically pleasing but you must take into account the opening radius depending on the length of the gate. Sliding gates will eliminate this issue as they retract rather than swing out.

You will also need to consider how much power is required to open and close your driveway gate. The amount of power is dependent on the size of your gate, how it opens and how many times it will need to be opened each day.

Finally, how will your gate be accessed, and by how many users? Electric gates are operated by a controller which sends a signal to the opening mechanism.

There are several options for your controller:

•Wireless

•Wired keypads

•Keypads with intercoms

•Key card operated controllers

•Controllers operated by remotes or telephones

Each of these features will affect the price and your final decision should be based on your budget and personal preference. Once you have taken all these points into consideration you can narrow down your options and choose the best Driveway Gates for your specific needs.

by: Mehboob Talukdar

Article Source:
http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7350.shtml

How to think like a buyer when getting your property ready to sell

curb%20appealThe house is finally done after a whole lot of "blood, sweat and tears", and now it's time to get your wholesale flip "retail buyer ready". Real estate investors all have the same question at this point; how can I make my house stand out from the other homes for sale in the neighborhood? The answer is quite simple. Your home has to make a better first impression than your competition. Your potential buyer has to want to come inside from the moment they drive up to the house. So how do you do that?

Learn to think like a buyer!

Curb Appeal Is Everything!

Pay special attention to the landscaping and keep the grass cut and trimmed while your house is for sale. If you are selling during the summer months, extra watering may be needed to keep the lawn in tip top shape.

    Give your yard a manicured look. It will really pay off to spend a few dollars to have the plants neatly trimmed, the planting beds weeded, and fresh mulch put down. A great touch is to put brightly colored flowers near the front of the house. You might even want to add a couple of pots of flowers at or near the front door well give it an extra touch. Be sure to pick plants that don't need daily watering.

All your windows should be sparkling clean on the exterior as well as the interior.

Take a good look at your front door. Does it need a fresh coat of paint or maybe just a good cleaning?

Spend a few dollars and replace your old mailbox, then add some attractive house numbers. These simple things will give your house a polished look.

Make sure your deck or patio in the back yard is neat and inviting. You want your buyers to be able to imagine entertaining or just relaxing in this space at the end of the day. A power washer can be rented for about $40-$50 dollars if heavy duty cleaning is needed. Go ahead and power-wash any siding on your house at the same time.

Store all garden equipment and trash containers out of sight.

Look at the interior of the house through "buyer's eyes"

Have a professional do a thorough house cleaning when the house is finished, paying special attention to the kitchen and the bathrooms. Remember these are the rooms that sell houses!

Make sure all floors have been cleaned and are in good condition. This also applies to any carpet that hasn't been replaced.

Give the house the "sniff test". Does it smell good?

Buyers don't want to have to paint before moving in, so be sure the house is painted in neutral colors. Painting the trim a crisp white makes the home look modern and inviting.

Home staging always pays big dividends! Consider doing some simple home staging so that prospective buyers can imagine what the home will look like with furniture in it.

Does the basement have a "musty" smell? Figure out what the problem is and correct it.

Does everything in the house function properly? Make sure all the light bulbs are working, and all of the cabinet handles and doorknobs are securely attached. Walk through the house and give it the same scrutiny that a buyer will, double checking the smallest details in the home.

Be sure to change your filters. If the furnace or AC filter hasn't been replaced during the rehab, clean or replace it.

LinkedIn Top 5%

I was very proud today to get a notice from LinkedIn that my profile was in the top 5% of those viewed for 2012. As this is one of the tools I use to share useful information and promote my real estate listings, I was very happy to see this. Phil LeGree on LinkedIn
Thank you to those that have viewed my profile and/or connected with me.
http://ca.linkedin.com/in/phillegree/