Green Resources

What does it mean to be Green?


It seems that we all have a definition for being GREEN. For some it’s an Environmental Movement, for others it’s a Political Movement and for most people it may be to be “Earth Friendly.” Whatever your idea is of “Being GREEN,” it’s simply lessening the environmental impact from society.


How do we Become GREEN? There are numerous ways to be Green. But the key is Sustainability. So what is Sustainability, well it’s meeting today’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It also involves balancing social issues, environment issues with our own economic needs. The convergence of these issues is the core to sustainability.


            How do we live GREEN and contribute to the sustainability of our planet earth? There are unlimited directions to take including Conservation. This could include riding a bicycle in your leisure or personal time like driving to work or the park, which utilizes no resources. On the other hand; there is Resource Efficiency, which is obtaining the maximum benefit from a resource such as driving a more fuel efficient vehicle.


            But our biggest environmental impact is from our own homes and buildings. According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) buildings in the United States account for:

                                    72% of all Electrical Consumption

                                    39% of Energy Use

                                    38% of Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

                                    30% of Waste Output

                                    14% of Potable Water Consumption


            So if homes and buildings are the largest consumers of our resources, how do we make them GREEN? It can be as small as changing to compact florescent lights and using low flow shower heads. To retrofitting your home or building with solar panels and solar water heaters.     Let’s look at some of the things we can do to make a home or building GREEN and more, if not, completely sustainable.


Your local utility may offer “Green Pricing” which is an optional utility service that allows customers the opportunity to support utility departments’ investment in renewable energy. The customer would pay a premium on their electric bills to cover the costs of investment.


“Net Metering” would be used in a home or building that produces its own renewable energy. Such as through solar panels or wind turbines so that the consumer is credited for the excess energy produced.


Then, of course, there is water consumption. Did you know that only 1% of the world’s water is drinkable? Another method to make a home or building GREEN is to promote the efficient use of water. As we mentioned, water aerators are a simple step in that direction. Other methods include rainwater harvesting and catchment systems. This includes the use of rain barrels and Greywater recycling systems. These Greywater Recycling systems use waste water from laundry facilities, faucets and showers to recycle it for non-potable water uses such as irrigation.


Xeriscaping has been a common method of water conservation for many years by utilizing the use of slow growing drought tolerant plants in landscaping. This would also include recycling yard trimmings back into the landscaping to lower your waste production.


There are also ratings and certifications that measure how GREEN or the sustainability of a home or building. The most widely recognized certifications in the United States include LEED, ENERGY STAR and HERS.


The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is responsible for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Certification (LEED). This certification is very time intensive with detailed documentation by a third party includes the design, construction and operational standards of a building.


Next is the well known ENERGY STAR system that recognizes energy efficient products such as the Air Conditioner, Dishwasher, computer, printer, etc. What may not be well known is that homes and buildings can be certified as ENERGY STAR as well. These homes and buildings are at least 15% more efficient than standard homes and buildings. They include the structural and mechanical systems as well as the appliances.


Another energy evaluation standard maintained by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET®) is the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). This assesses the heating, cooling, water heating, lighting, appliances and the onsite power generator to rate a home or building for energy efficiency.



Sustainability not only measures the resources used in our homes and buildings. It is a measure of how an area impacts local resources and fragile ecosystems. This, in turn, leads to the question of whether your community is GREEN. A community is GREEN by using Smart Growth Design or what is known as the “New Urbanism.” This involves whether your local community is taking steps to counter sprawl. Including more open spaces such as parks for leisure, water control areas for drainage and for wildlife and just for the scenic views. The principles of the “New Urbanism” involve ethnic diversity, easy access through various transportation systems to create connectivity with residential areas. Also; a community should design with walking in mind, by installing inviting wide and well lit walkways that are separated from traffic. With all this in mind, the residents feel a sense of safety and security which in turn fosters a sense of community.


Finally, we have touched on a few items to living GREEN. We believe that the little things we do daily will have a lasting impact on our world. We at Azure Realty Services are committed to being GREEN and we hope to inspire and encourage you to the GREEN Philosophy as well.


Below you will find a list of simple things you can do to get started on being GREEN. Additionally; we have also included items that involve more commitment on your part, you decide where to start. Websites are listed at the end for more information on being GREEN. Please come back often for we will constantly update the information.


Remember GREEN can be instituted into your daily life in all areas including your home, your business, and even your investment properties. Please contact us if you have any questions or if you would like information on buying or selling your next GREEN home or building.


Copyright© 2009 Azure Realty Services, Inc., René P. Sabatini



Tips for Living GREEN


  • Brushing your Teeth—shut the water off
  • Collect water in a bucket or pale when waiting for it to heat up—then use to water plants
  • Use a power strip for office equipment and appliances—turn them off when not in use
  • Battery Chargers—unplug when fully charged or not in use
  • Lights turn them off when leaving a room
  • Air dry clothes instead of a dryer
  • Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes
  • Set AC thermostat as low as possible in the winter and as high as possible in the summer
  • Clean AC filters once a month, or as needed
  • AC thermostat—don’t place TVs or lamps nearby
  • Turn off exhaust fans in kitchen and bathrooms within 20 minutes of cooking or bathing
  • Use sunlight during the day by opening blinds and curtains
  • Use cold position on sink faucets when using a minimum of water—using hot position expends energy even though hot water may not reach
  • Small Appliances—unplug when used infrequently and to avoid electricity “bleed”
  • Boiling water—cover pot or pan, it’s faster and uses less energy
  • Glass or Ceramic eating and drinking utensils
  • Office Paper—reuse as scratch paper and print on both sides
  • Office Printers—use remanufactured printer cartridges
  • Computer Monitors—set to “sleep mode” within 15 minutes
  • Office Supplies—purchase only recycled paper and other supplies
  • Furniture—consider low- carbon furniture or recycled wood (reclaimed wood)
  • Lunch—recyclable or reusable bags
  • Automobile—check tire pressure and keep trunk empty to increase fuel efficiency


  • Some suggestions taken from the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Energy Savers Tips on Saving Energy & money at Home.
GREEN Potential Improvements



Low-Cost Medium-Cost High-Cost
·         Use CFC or LED Light bulbs·         Install low flow showerheads and faucet aerators

·         Start compost pile

·         Plant Trees

·         Insulate Hot Water Heater

·         Weather strip and caulk all doors and windows

·         Collect rainwater to water plants

·         Paint with low-VOC or no-VOC Paint

·         Replace filters

·         Install programmable thermostat

·         Plant a rain garden

·         Plant native plants

·         Place appliances and office equipment on powerstrips to reduce “phantom” load

·         Install motion sensors on exterior and other common areas such as offices and conference rooms

·         Install water-efficient restroom fixtures

·         Take advantage of daylight

·         Provide Recycling Bins


·         Conduct an energy audit·         Tune up Air Conditioner Replace carpet with no-VOC style

·         Wood Floors—use Bamboo or Cork Floors

·         Install tankless hot water heater

·         Insulate attic and other areas

·         Consider drought resistant landscaping

·         Install engineered window shading to reduce heat loss or gain in commercial buildings

·         Buy recycled office products and equipment

·         Hire a consultant to conduct a lighting, heating, cooling system assessment for potential upgrades and retrofits

·         Provide on-site bike storage to encourage environmentally friendly commuting

·         Bur ENERGY STAR appliances·         Replace windows with double pane, low-e models

·         Replace roof with reusable/recyclable materials

·         Install photovoltaic panels

·         Remodel kitchen or bathroom with sustainable materials and features

·         Replace cabinets with sustainably harvested wood and low-VOC finishes

·         Install solar hot water heater

·         Install GREEN roof

·         Implement super energy efficient transformers

·         Use wind turbine systems to supplement common area maintenance electric charges

·         Implement on-site water reclamation system

·         Consider anaerobic digesters that us food waste and solid human waste to produce methane and generate power







GREEN Websites



          Carbon Footprint:


            National Wildlife Foundation:

Water consumption calculator and tips to decrease water use


            American Water Works Association

                        Measure and estimate water wasted due to leaks


            Foremost Group: Toilet Replacement water Savings calculator:


            Ecosystem Valuation: Benefit valuation of ecosystem conservation



Newsletters & Journals:

            Go Green Initiative:


            Going Green Today:


            The Daily Green:


            The Green Guide to Everyday Living:


            Consumer Reports—Greener Choices; Products for a better planet


            Food & Water Watch:


            Green Living Tips—Earth Friendly advice for going Green, reducing costs, consumption

                        And impact on environment:



Sustainability Information:

            Ecological Footprint:


            The Center for Transit Oriented Development (CTOD) &

Center for Neighborhood Technology:

promoting more livable and sustainable urban communities

            Sustain Lane Index:

                        Measures sustainability of cities




The Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI):

                        Compares nations & Benchmarks the ability to protect the environment over

the next several decades

            Walkability Index or ranking:



Smart Growth:

Smart Growth Online:


Congress for the New Urbanism:


Dockside Green: Development




          Desire USA: Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy & Efficiency


            EPA: Lists grants, tax credits, loans and other programs



Homes and Buildings:

            U.S. Green Building Council:


            ENERGY STAR:


            Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET®):

                        Directory of certified raters and becoming a rater


            ReGreen—Sustainable residential improvement project information:

            Green HOME—Works to make affordable housing and its neighborhoods green:


            Florida Green Building Coalition:



Remodeling and Building:

            National Association of Home Builders:


            NAHB—Green Building Program: help builders, remodelers and homeowner’s

how to build green

American Society of Interior Designers:



McGraw-Hill Construction:


            Building Green:


            EPA Green Building:


The Forest Stewardship Council— Responsible management of world’s forests,

wood products are certified:

            The Green Home Guide: resource for green remodeling


            Home Energy Efficiency Design (HEED): Computer program that explore options

to maximize energy savings and reach green goals          

Day Lighting Collaborative: Use of natural light to illuminate building spaces


            Tool Base Services: Technical support on building products, design and construction


            Structural Insulated Panel Association: Construction material


            Green and save: Resources for saving money and the environment


            Brac Systems—Greywater Recycling System: Care for the environment while

saving money

            Superior Water Supplies:


            Eco-Smart, Inc—Healthy, Efficient, Disaster Resistant products for better living:


           Building Green—Directory lists product descriptions for environmentally preferable




Lawn & Garden:

            University of Florida—Living Green







            Florida-Friendly Landscaping:


            Florida Exotic pest plant Council: Lists invasive plants



Permeable Pavements: Allows water to seep through the surface



Renewable & Efficient Energy:

Center for Resource Solutions: Green-e Energy is the nation’s leading voluntary

           certification program for renewable energy


Energy Efficiency Alliance:

            Promotes adoption of energy efficiency policies


Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy:


Florida Solar Energy Center


Florida Solar Energy Industries Association:


Solar energy Industries Association:


American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy: Dedicated to energy efficiency



U.S. Government:

            U.S. Department of Energy-Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy:


            U.S. Department of Energy-Incentives and Laws by state:


            Environmental Protection Agency’s laws, Regulations, Guidance, and Dockets:


            Housing and Urban Development (HUD):information on Energy Efficient Home


            Federal Trade Commission: Energy Guide Label


            National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)



State of Florida:

          Florida Public Service Commission: Find energy savings in your home


            Florida Department of Environmental Protection:


                        Green Tips:


            Florida Public Service Commission: regulatory authority over utilities


            South Florida Water Management District:


            Southwest Florida Water management District:


            Florida Department of Transportation:


            State of Florida:


University of Florida: Office of Sustainability


Stetson University: Environmental Responsibility Council


Florida House Learning Center: Model home and landscaping made with

            environmentally friendly methods and material



Broward County Florida:

          Broward County:


            Broward County Go GREEN:


            Broward Community College: Sustainability Initiatives        



Palm Beach County Florida:

          Palm Beach County:


            Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful:



Miami-Dade County Florida:

            Miami-Dade County:



Miami-Dade County—Sustainability:



Consumer Products and Services:

          Green Seal:

                        Promotes manufacture, purchase, and use of environmental responsible

products & services

            EPA—Design for the Environment: reducing risk to people and environment

                        By preventing pollution



Bean Products: Environmentally friendly home essentials


            Green & Recycled Products: Products made of recycled and environmentally

responsible printing

            Close the Loop: Variety of innovative recycled products and Green building materials


            Cradle to Cradle Certification: Certifies products produced with and through

environmentally safe and healthy materials

            Fuel Economy Information for vehicles web site run by Department of Energy:


            IKEA: Socially responsible department store from production to consumer


            Publix Supermarkets


            BioBag: Biodegradable and compostable bags


            EcoSMART—Organic pesticides and natural insect repellants


            SinkPositive: Multipurpose assessor water saving sink


            Real Goods—Eco Household and Products for Green living


            Green Store—Environmental store: Resources for Greening your home, event or business


            Green Depot—Environmental Living & Building:




            National Geographic:


            The Story of Stuff: Video shows connections between environmental and social issues


            The Sierra Club:


            National Wildlife federation:





            Broward County: Electronics Recycling Centers


            Florida Recycling Contacts:



Earth 911: Information on recycling and disposal options






          Florida Green Lodging Program:







Copyright© 2015 Azure Realty Services, Inc., René P. Sabatini





  • Azure Featured Listings

  • Newsletter Subscription

  • New Account Signup

  • Home Insight

  • Showcase


Mission Statement:

Azure Realty Services is dedicated to providing the highest quality service to our customers and clients in a fair, honest and transparent manner.

Our culture demands the full satisfaction of our customers and clients. In addition, we strive to be socially responsible to our community, to our planet, and to our people including our customers, clients, associates, employees, and vendors, and vendors.


Vision Statement:

Our Vision is to be known as the most socially responsible boutique real estate company. We treat our people in a trustworthy, honest, transparent and ethical way to help as many people as possible to reach the American Dream.

Whether it is through a Home for their family, an investment in their future or in resolving a financial burden. In addition, we hire only associates and employees who feel the same responsibility to our community, our planet and our people.