Friday, January 6, 2017

Green Living in 2017

You have probably heard the term "VOCs" and know it's a negative thing. But do you know why and understand how they affect you and the environment?   Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are organic compounds that easily become vapors or gases. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects according to the EPA. They are common in paints, stains, adhesives, and glues, which means that many 'safe' building materials may make indoor air toxic because they’re paired with them.

When you do decide to paint, consider manufacturers using low to or zero-VOC lines, such as Benjamin Moore with its Aura and Natura brands or Ecos and SafeCoat


If you change out your flooring, it's important to research the product, but also the adhesives and varnishes that adhere layers of solid pre-engineered boards together. If you're refinishing old floors or using reclaimed board, natural oil is best. 


Just remember, when you purchase products, materials, and systems to remodel a home you already own or are thinking about selling, ask questions! Here is some basic information organized by category:

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/green-basics

Household cleaners can be another source of unhealthy chemicals. First of all, most cleaners contain dangerous solvents, acids and other hazardous chemicals that have been proven to cause irritation to noses, eyes, and lungs. Some of these chemicals are proven to cause indoor air pollution, and some are suspected carcinogens-especially with repeated and prolonged use. Secondly, they are bad for the environment once flushed down the drain and into our water systems.
(source: http://ecocycleecobuzz.blogspot.com/2011/03/dirt-on-household-cleaners.html)

It's very simple and affordable to actually make your own cleaning products! I currently make my own disinfectant, hard surface floor cleaner and air freshener! If I can do it, anyone can! 
Here are some recipes to get you started: http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/green-living/natural-cleaning-recipes

Other helpful sites:
https://living-future.org/declare/about/red-list/ cites chemicals to watch out for; called the "Red List"
Useful guides include the nonprofit Environmental Working Group and Tree Hugger.

Ask professionals, do your research and determine what's best for you and your family! 

(Sources: http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2016/11/understanding-vocs-and-indoor-air-quality?om_rid=AAAmDu&om_mid=_BYZs0sB9W3kUB$&om_ntype=RMODaily)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Thrive In Place

Not only do you want to age safely in your home, but you should want to thrive in your home! What is the difference you ask? In my opinion, it means you make specific adjustments to your property for things you enjoy doing and want to continue doing for as long as possible. For example, do you love to sew and knit? Then enhance lighting around the areas you spend doing your hobby. Or do you like to cook and entertain? Then you may want to make modifications to your counter top heights and install cabinet shelving that is easy to push and pull.

You must also address your overall safety throughout the property. This could be as simple as installing sensor lighting and removing area rugs to switching out tub/shower to a walk-in shower and placing grab bars along stairs and seated areas.

Here is helpful website I recommend browsing for more tips: http://ageinplace.com/

When you're ready to make a move, make sure you hire a qualified Realtor that specializes with seniors, like myself. They have the resources and desire to help you with your needs. 
Thinking about buying or selling your home, work with an SRES® from SRES Designation on Vimeo.



Monday, December 12, 2016

Holiday's in Philadelphia

Whether you want to volunteer your time, experience a new place or stick to your traditions, there is plenty to see and do around the Philadelphia region this Holiday Season!

Need some suggestions? I've got you covered!

Christmas Village in Philadelphia features over 80 vendors selling authentic European food, ornaments and arts & crafts from all over the world!
http://www.philachristmas.com

See the train light up during special evening hours at Morris Arboretum:
https://morrisarboretum.ticketleap.com/friday-night-lights2016/

Looking to get outside? Here are top 10 places to ice skate:
http://philly.curbed.com/maps/map-philly-ice-skating-rinks

Donate coats, food and/or money for various causes and at numerous locations (check your local municipality too! I just dropped off things to our local borough hall today!)
http://www.onewarmcoat.org/donatecoats/
https://www.philabundance.org/donate/give-food/
https://sharefoodprogram.org/get-involved/donate/
http://thefoodtrust.org/contact
http://www.thehumaneleague.com
http://www.montgomerycountyspca.org/

Take a drive and see these popular light displays:
http://www.valleyforge.org/events/holiday-light-displays/

Here is my bias suggestion:
Wizard of Oz is at the Walnut Theatre until January 8th
https://www.walnutstreettheatre.org/season/show/the-wizard-of-oz#calendar


I hope these ideas were helpful!

Best wishes to you and your loved ones this Holiday,

Kelly Steyn