Green property management? The answer is yes! As the world turns to more and more sustainable ways of living and functioning now is a perfect time to just on the Green train. There are more resources than you may think the next time that you are looking for a place to live and want to commit to living green in every way. Follow this simple list of important clues as to how you can maximize your renting experience in the Eco world.
Property Management/Landlord Green Credentials
There are a number of landlords and property management companies that have gone the extra mile and gotten a certification into the green world. The National Apartment Association Education Institute offers a Credential for Green Property Management. The program was designed to educate and implement more sustainable practices within the renting world.
Although many people will turn to the fortune and fate of Craigslist (and this is a fabulous site if you don’t have such specific expectations) on GreenRenter.com you can find a home or apartment that is truly green and that you can feel good about. It offers both residential and commercial rental listings in the US and Canada. Although the cities offered in the US only add up to 8, they are large enough to get a giant ball rolling that may forever change the way our nation rents property.
Generally, people think of burning wood as the villain of the renewable energy family. Although it is a renewable resource, it causes environmentalists to shake their heads. Mostly they worry that burning wood means cutting down precious trees for fuel and smoke pollution. Not to mention that wood stoves are not as technologically sexy as glittering solar panels and whirling wind turbines.
As much as some hate the burning of wood as an energy source, wood is a conditionally renewable fuel, period. And as all environmentalists and alternative energy aficionados know, there aren’t too many renewable options available–especially ones that aide in large amounts for the cold weather months. For some, relying on wood burning fuel as a source for heat is a must for survival.
There are many of us that would rather use wood burning heaters rather than electrical or gas heaters. For those select few, do your part for sustainability by purchasing wood that comes from a sustainable source. Firewood should be cut, split and stacked in an open area in early spring to be ready to burn in the fall. Very hard woods like oak may take longer to dry–especially in damp maritime climates. When it comes to burning other elements besides wood–steer clear. Burning waste paper and trash produces elevated emissions of toxic gasses. Burn clean, dry, uncoated, untreated wood and just enough newspaper to light the fires.
Another tip for burning wood users: the not so beautiful wood piles that include wood from less desirable species tend to be more sustainable than perfect piles of maple or oak with regular pieces in the classic wedge shape. This is because straight lengths of these high value, slow growing species should be used for furniture, not wood heating. Ugly wood piles are created from a milieu of woods.
The bottom line on the argument of whether or not to burn wood is the cold hard facts. Wood is considered to be a renewable fuel and almost carbon dioxide neutral with the help of trees absorbing CO2. When trees mature and fall in the forest and decompose there, the same amount of CO2 is emitted as would be released if they were burned. When we heat our houses by burning wood, we are flowing along with the natural carbon cycle in which CO2 flows from the atmosphere to the forest and back.
Eating healthy is so important, so finding local, organic and sustainable food is so important when moving to a new city especially. Not only does it keep you connected to your community, but it also allows you to support your local farmers, making sure that your dollars are going back into your local area—not into faraway places. To top it off local and organic food proves to provide a healthier and more responsible life for your body and soul.
Once you get off the moving truck and unpack all of your belongings, you are going to realize quickly that it is time to cook. Check out the website LocalHarvest.org this website provides a milieu of choices as to what kind of food/shops/farms/markets you are looking for in your community. It also lets you search by state, city or zip code to best get the results you are looking for.
On Local Harvest, there are a number of types of food stores that you can search for. To name a few,
- CSA: Community Supported Agriculture, this type of business has individuals buy into shares on the farm to invest in the growth of local and seasonal, usually organic vegetables that you pick up to enjoy bi weekly
- Farms: Local farmers that sell directly to consumers and that do not go through stores, or a third party. The less hands that touch your food the fresher and the safer.
- Local Restaurants: You may ask, what is the difference between a local and non local restaurant? Well its simple. Do they ship in food or do they buy from local farmers and support local agriculture? Are they a chain that is available all over the country or are they a local shop specific to your community? Local restaurants again bring your dollars back to the community and can many times buy from local and organic growers.
- Grocery/Food Co-op: This is a fun and important part of every sustainable food community. Becoming a part of a co-op means that you are now a part of the solution for sustainable eating and living, not to mention are filling your fridge with local organic food. As a member, you are part owner of the store and have a say as to how things are handled.
Don’t ever forget: food is important! Where it comes from, how you get it, how it is grown. Using local harvest.org will not only connect you with your new community, but lead you down a road of health and sustainability.