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
  • RECYCLE, RECYCLE, RECYCLE   

 

  • Some suggestions taken from the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Energy Savers Tips on Saving Energy & money at Home. www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips
  •  
  •  
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

 

Calculators:

          Carbon Footprint:

                        http://bie.berkeley.edu/calculator.swf

            National Wildlife Foundation:

Water consumption calculator and tips to decrease water use

                        www.nwf.org/water/watercalculator.cfm

            American Water Works Association

                        Measure and estimate water wasted due to leaks

                        www.awwa.org/awwa/waterwiser/dripcalc.cfm

            Foremost Group: Toilet Replacement water Savings calculator:

                        www.foremostgroups.com/resources/water_saving_calculator.asp

            Ecosystem Valuation: Benefit valuation of ecosystem conservation

                        www.ecosystemvaluation.org

 

Newsletters & Journals:

            Go Green Initiative:

                        www.gogreeninitiative.org

            Going Green Today:

                        www.goinggreentoday.com

            The Daily Green:

                        www.thedailygreen.com

            The Green Guide to Everyday Living:

                        www.gettoknowgreen.com

            Consumer Reports—Greener Choices; Products for a better planet

                        www.GreenerChoices.org

            Food & Water Watch:

                        www.FoodandWaterWatch.org

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

                        And impact on environment:

                        www.GreenLivingTips.com

 

Sustainability Information:

            Ecological Footprint:

                        www.footprintnetwork.org     

            The Center for Transit Oriented Development (CTOD) &

Center for Neighborhood Technology:

promoting more livable and sustainable urban communities

www.cnt.org

            Sustain Lane Index:

                        Measures sustainability of cities

                        www.sustainlane.com

           

 

The Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI):

                        Compares nations & Benchmarks the ability to protect the environment over

the next several decades

http://epi.yale.edu/Home

            Walkability Index or ranking:

                        www.walkscore.com

 

Smart Growth:

Smart Growth Online:

            www.SmartGwoth.org

Congress for the New Urbanism:

            www.cnu.org

Dockside Green: Development

                        www.docksidegreen.com

 

Incentives/Rebates:

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

                        www.dsireusa.org

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

                        www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/tools/funding.htm

 

Homes and Buildings:

            U.S. Green Building Council:

                        www.usgbc.org

            ENERGY STAR:

                        www.energystar.gov

            Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET®):

                        Directory of certified raters and becoming a rater

                        www.natresnet.org

            ReGreen—Sustainable residential improvement project information:

www.regreenprogram.org

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

                        www.greenHome.org

            Florida Green Building Coalition:

                        www.floridagreenbuilding.org

 

Remodeling and Building:

            National Association of Home Builders:

                        www.nahb.org

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

how to build green

www.nahbgreen.org/About/default.aspx

American Society of Interior Designers:

                        www.asid.org

           

McGraw-Hill Construction:

                        www.construction.com

            Building Green:

                        www.buildinggreen.com

            EPA Green Building:

                        www.epa.gov/greenbuilding

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

wood products are certified:

www.fscus.org

            The Green Home Guide: resource for green remodeling

                        www.greenhomeguide.org

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

to maximize energy savings and reach green goals

http://www2.aud.ucla.edu/energy-design-tools          

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

                        www.daylighting.org

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

                        www.toolbase.org

            Structural Insulated Panel Association: Construction material

                        www.sips.org

            Green and save: Resources for saving money and the environment

                        www.GreenandSave.com

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

saving money

www.BracSystems.com

            Superior Water Supplies:

                        www.superiorwatersupplies.com

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

                        www.EcoSmart.com

           Building Green—Directory lists product descriptions for environmentally preferable

                        Products:

                        www.BuildingGreen.com

           

Lawn & Garden:

            University of Florida—Living Green

                        Composting:

                        http://livinggreen.ifas.ufl.edu/waste/composting.html

                        Landscaping:

                        http://livinggreen.ifas.ufl.edu/landscaping/index.html

                        Xeriscaping:

                        http://livinggreen.ifas.ufl.edu/landscaping/xeriscaping.html

            Florida-Friendly Landscaping:

                        http://www.floridayards.org

            Florida Exotic pest plant Council: Lists invasive plants

                        www.fleppc.org

           

Permeable Pavements: Allows water to seep through the surface

                        www.toolbase.org/Technology-Inventory/Sitework/permeable-pavement

 

Renewable & Efficient Energy:

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

           certification program for renewable energy

            www.green-e.org

Energy Efficiency Alliance:

            Promotes adoption of energy efficiency policies

            www.ase.org

Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy:

            http://energy.ufl.edu/index.php

Florida Solar Energy Center

            http://fsec.ucf.edu/en

Florida Solar Energy Industries Association:

            http://www.flaseia.org

Solar energy Industries Association:

            http://www.seia.org

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

            http://www.aceee.org

 

U.S. Government:

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

                        www.eere.energy.gov

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

                        www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc

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

                        www.energy.gov

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

Mortgages

www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/eem/eemhome.cfm

            Federal Trade Commission: Energy Guide Label

                        www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/homes/rea14.shtm

            National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

                        www.noaa.gov

 

State of Florida:

          Florida Public Service Commission: Find energy savings in your home

                        www.psc.state.fl.us/consumers/house

            Florida Department of Environmental Protection:

                        www.dep.state.fl.us

                        Green Tips:

                        www.dep.state.fl.us/green/tips/tips.htm

            Florida Public Service Commission: regulatory authority over utilities

                        www.psc.state.fl.us

            South Florida Water Management District:

                        http://my.sfwmd.gov

            Southwest Florida Water management District:

                        http://swfwmd.state.fl.us

            Florida Department of Transportation:

                        www.dot.state.fl.us

            State of Florida:

                        www.MyFlorida.com

University of Florida: Office of Sustainability

            http://www.sustainable.ufl.edu

Stetson University: Environmental Responsibility Council

            www.stetson.edu/~rsitler/ERC

Florida House Learning Center: Model home and landscaping made with

            environmentally friendly methods and material

            http://sarasota.extension.ufl.edu/FHLC/FlaHouseHome.shtml

           

Broward County Florida:

          Broward County:

                        www.co.broward.fl.us/welcome.htm

            Broward County Go GREEN:

                        www.broward.org/gogreen/welcome.htm

            Broward Community College: Sustainability Initiatives        

                        http://www.broward.edu/environmental_bcc/envrionmental/Resources/page3499.html

 

Palm Beach County Florida:

          Palm Beach County:

                        www.pbcgov.com

            Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful:

                        http://keeppbcbeautiful.org

 

Miami-Dade County Florida:

            Miami-Dade County:

                        http://miamidade.gov/wps/portal

           

Miami-Dade County—Sustainability:

                        http://www.miamidade.gov/oos

 

Consumer Products and Services:

          Green Seal:

                        Promotes manufacture, purchase, and use of environmental responsible

products & services

www.greenseal.org

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

                        By preventing pollution

                        www.epa.gov/dfe

           

Bean Products: Environmentally friendly home essentials

                        www.beanproducts.com

            Green & Recycled Products: Products made of recycled and environmentally

responsible printing

www.recycledproducts.com

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

                        www.closetheloop.com

            Cradle to Cradle Certification: Certifies products produced with and through

environmentally safe and healthy materials

www.c2ccertified.com

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

                        www.fueleconomy.gov

            IKEA: Socially responsible department store from production to consumer

                        www.IKea.com  

            Publix Supermarkets

                        www.publix.com/sustainability

            BioBag: Biodegradable and compostable bags

                        www.biobagusa.com

            EcoSMART—Organic pesticides and natural insect repellants

                        www.ecosmart.com

            SinkPositive: Multipurpose assessor water saving sink

                        www.sinkpositive.com

            Real Goods—Eco Household and Products for Green living

                        www.Realgoods.com

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

                        www.GreenHome.com

            Green Depot—Environmental Living & Building:

                        www.GreenDepot.com

 

Environment:

            National Geographic:

                        www.nationalgeographic.com

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

                        www.storyofstuff.com

            The Sierra Club:

                        www.SierraClub.com

            National Wildlife federation:

                        www.nwf.org

                                   

 

Recycling:

            Broward County: Electronics Recycling Centers

                        http://www.broward.org/waste/iwi04112.htm

            Florida Recycling Contacts:

                        http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/quick_topics/publications/shw/electronics/Recylist061908.pdf

               

Earth 911: Information on recycling and disposal options

                        http://earth911.com

 

 

 

Vacationing:

          Florida Green Lodging Program:

                        www.dep.state.fl.us/greenlodging

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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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.