Consumer Real Estate News

    • It's Easier Than Ever to Go Green

      13 December 2019

      For those focused on environmental sustainability, it can be a challenge to navigate your daily life while still staying "green." To help, WalletHub recently asked a panel of experts to share their advice on living a greener lifestyle.

      So, check out the easy ways they advise consumers to “go green” without much cost or effort:
      Joseph F. C. DiMento, Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine suggests you:

      - Invest in one hybrid car and for other trips use other than single passenger transportation.

      - Buy what you eat, not what you can afford and might eat.

      -Invest in solar at home.

      -Be a little cool at home in the winter and warmer in the summer (i.e., don’t overuse heating and air conditioning systems).

      -Buy fewer gadgets and those you buy check for environmental impact. Children need not have every new electronic or other device advertised, especially plastics-based.

      Robin Rothfeder, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Planning, UW-Extension Specialist, Center for Land Use Education, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, says:

      - Eliminate single-use food product consumption with reusable water bottles, coffee mugs, utensils, to-go containers, straws, etc. 

      - Prioritize food products with limited or no single-use packaging. 

      - Print double-sided whenever appropriate. 

      - Opt-in to paperless billing and opt-out of paper junk mail. 

      - Take advantage of local recycling and composting programs wherever available. 

      - Find nearby electronic waste drop off locations and divert toxic products out of the landfill. 

      - Use reusable grocery bags and keep them in a convenient and obvious location so that you don't forget!

      - Eliminate 'vampire power' consumption by using power strips to quickly unplug electronics when not in use. 

      - Share and discuss easy green lifestyle choices with friends and family.

      Raphael Calel, Assistant Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University, says:

      - In summer, set your thermostat a degree or two higher, and in winter set it a few degrees cooler than you otherwise would. 

      - Use less hot water by turning down your water heater and doing laundry at a lower temperature. 

      - Hang laundry instead of using the tumble dryer.

      Finally, Alysa Remsburg, Lecturer, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, says since each pound of food we consume requires tremendous environmental impacts to fertilize and process, one of the cheapest ways consumers can reduce their environmental impact is by wasting less food. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Make Your Weight Loss Goals a Reality

      13 December 2019

      (Family Features)--Losing weight is a highly personal journey as a wide range of factors can affect a person's ability to do so. There's no one approach to weight loss; rather, the best approach is the one that fits your life and body best. 

      Get motivated to reach your weight loss goals with these expert tips.

      Set realistic goals. Most experts agree you shouldn't lose more than 1-2 pounds per week. More rapid loss may shock your system, and chances are you're depriving your body of important nutrients. More aggressive loss is also less likely to be permanent or sustainable; long-term results generally come with steady loss over a period of time. 


      Eat well. Regardless what eating plan you choose, recognize the importance of nutrition in your weight loss program. Weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than you consume, so build your menu around nutrient-rich foods that fill you up. Strive for a well-balanced diet that encompasses all the food groups and, if necessary, discuss your goals with a doctor or nutritionist who can help you identify the best foods to enjoy and those to avoid. 

      Consider a supplement. If managing cravings or your appetite hinders your weight loss, talk to your doctor about whether or not a supplement may be a good solution. For example, RiduZone is a patented supplement that gives your body more of a substance it already creates called Oleoylethanolamide (OEA). In essence, OEA tells your brain you are full and it's time to stop eating. Developed and endorsed by Dr. Jay Yepuri, a board-certified gastroenterologist, the supplement is a non-stimulant that may help you feel full faster to reduce caloric intake and boost metabolism to burn stored fat. 

      Get active. Creating a calorie deficit is necessary to lose weight, and increasing your physical activity helps ensure you're burning calories. However, getting active isn't just about playing the numbers game. Physical activity also promotes overall wellness with numerous physical and mental health benefits, including improving circulation and stimulating feel-good endorphins.

      Stay committed. It's easy to fall off your weight loss plan when unexpected circumstances arise. Give yourself a little grace and permission for occasional misses so you stay motivated to get back to your program. That may mean waiting for a cold to pass and doing less strenuous workouts at home or making extra healthy choices at mealtime in advance of an indulgent event.  

      Source: NutriForward

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Creating a Safe, Secure Multigenerational Home

      13 December 2019

      Whether you're expecting a new addition to the family or making room for your elderly in-laws, transitioning your living space to accommodate multiple generations takes careful planning. 

      "Delayed marriage patterns, increased life expectancy and the housing crisis have all contributed to the resurgence of multi-generational households," says Richard Hart, co-owner of Harts Services. "While these homes are excellent solutions for many families, it's important to remember they often have unique plumbing and safety needs."

      To help, Harts Services recommends making the following updates:

      Install a new toilet. A standard ADA toilet is a more aesthetically pleasing option than a raised toilet seat. This toilet style is great for family members with limited mobility. Individuals with arthritis or that have had hip or knee replacements will greatly benefit from this upgrade. 

      Be mindful of the water heater temperature. It's important to check the water temperature before placing young children in the bath. To take further precautions against scalding, lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This can help reduce the monthly energy bill as well.

      Add cabinet locks. Cleaning products and medication stored inside easily reachable bathroom and kitchen cabinets can pose a hazard to children. It's a good idea to install cabinet locks to keep children safe from harmful substances.

      Consider grab bars. Installing grab bars by the bath and toilet can provide extra assistance for relatives that require mobility assistance. 

      Invest in a shower chair. Shower chairs are great options to help seniors shower without assistance. They provide more stability for bathing and allow for added rest and comfort.

      Add a toilet lid lock. Toilets can pose a drowning hazard to young children. A toilet lid lock can help keep them safe as well as protect your plumbing from any objects that children may attempt to flush down the toilet.

      Source: Harts Services

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Heating with Propane? 8 Things to Consider

      12 December 2019

      For those heating their homes with propane, there are plenty of ways you can maximize your efficiency and economy. According to Leslie Anderson, president of the Propane Gas Association New England, proper planning helps to ensure that customers are safe and warm during the winter season.

      Anderson offers these timely tips:

      - Consider signing up to be on automatic delivery if offered by your supplier, to ensure you are not caught short or empty in the event of a lengthy winter weather event.

      - Talk to your propane supplier about options such as a propane generator. When power fails, propane generators can keep your family warm and protect your property from winter damage.

      - Mark the location of your tank using a flag, pole or stake that is higher than the average snow cover depth for your location. It will help you avoid plowing or shoveling rooftop snow on top of your tank. 

      - Should your tank become covered with snow, use a broom to clear it - not a shovel that could damage, dent or even puncture it.

      - Alert snow plow and construction contractors now. Make sure the company is advised of the location of both above ground and underground tanks. Accidental contact of snow removal or construction equipment with tanks could cause a serious safety hazard.

      - Ensure that there is always a clear path to your tank for deliveries. Remember, fuel delivery trucks are TWICE as wide as cars, so make sure that your driveway is cleared to a width of 12 feet.

      - Clear out leaves and vegetation that may build up around the side of your house near appliance vents now and keep them clear of snow throughout the winter. Proper venting from appliances is a serious safety issue.

      - Finally, Anderson reminds consumers that propane is green sustainable energy, and an Environmental Protection Agency-designated clean fuel. That means switching to or using propane reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Maximizing Family Time: 5 Tips for Enjoying Your Loved Ones

      12 December 2019

      (Family Features)--Now as much as ever, close family ties can make a significant impact on young lives. Constantly emerging technology sometimes limits personal interaction, while many school-age children experience unprecedented stress levels. 

      Building strong connections with trusted adults can give kids a sense of security and a better foundation for achieving their potential. Make spending time together a priority with these engaging activity ideas that allow the whole family to get in on the fun.

      Plan a Movie or Game Night
      Kids thrive on routines and clear expectations, so a regular special event like a movie or game night can give them something to anticipate each week. Watching TV at home may not be a novelty, but you can make it an occasion to celebrate by adding special touches like dimming the lights to mimic a theater, pulling out cozy blankets and preparing popcorn or other treats. If you opt for game night instead, keep the enthusiasm strong week after week by creating long-range tournaments or allowing kids to rotate game selection privileges. 

      Read Together
      Sharing books together not only creates an opportunity for bonding, it's a way to give your child an academic boost outside the classroom. Studies show that daily reading promotes literacy, helps kids build their vocabulary and improves overall academic achievement. Also, the benefits don't end with elementary-age children. 

      Parents can connect with older kids through books that carry important lessons about life and relationships. Reading books individually, then coming together to discuss them, similar to a book club, can provide the chance for thoughtful talks about difficult topics. For example, "Regretting You," from bestselling author Colleen Hoover, explores a tumultuous relationship between a mother and her daughter who must turn to one another when a tragedy shatters their lives. 

      Cook Meals Together
      Eating together is a goal for many families, but preparing meals together takes those benefits even further. Engaging kids in meal preparation creates a sense of cooperation and instills pride for a successful project. It's also a chance to share family traditions and pass on recipes that have traveled through generations.

      Enjoy a Craft Day
      Kids need the chance to let their imaginations soar, and arts and crafts projects can provide the perfect outlet for creative expression. An art session may be as simple as enlisting everyone's help to make decorations for an upcoming event. Another thoughtful way to channel all that creative energy: have little artists make cards to deliver to a local senior or retirement community.

      Take a Trip
      Discovering new places is an exciting way to create shared memories. A trip need not be costly or even far from home. Even a day trip to explore a new community nearby can provide a natural setting for the whole family to connect and form lifelong memories.

      No matter what activity you choose, investing in time together strengthens relationships so kids can flourish with the confidence of a support system behind them.

      Source: Amazon Publishing

      Published with permission from RISMedia.