Real-World Ideas

Citywide Sustainability Is Smart Thinking

Citywide Sustainability Is Smart Thinking

Posted on 05. Dec, 2012 by .

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Think it’s hard to modify your own behavior? Imagine reinventing a tired river town into a sustainable modern city.

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Two Novices Take on the Attic

Two Novices Take on the Attic

Posted on 27. Sep, 2012 by .

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When the Energy Squad assessed my home for inefficiencies a while back, it was noted that my attic insulation was a little sparse. Since then, adding more insulation has been on my to-do list. During the course of a busy year, however, the task got pushed out.

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Assigning Value to Trash

Assigning Value to Trash

Posted on 26. Jul, 2012 by .

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Occasionally I catch people browsing my recycling bins on the curb in search of aluminum cans. One such individual dressed in a business suit drove up to my recycling bins – and others on the block – to harvest cans.

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How to Make Spring Cleaning Easier

How to Make Spring Cleaning Easier

Posted on 23. May, 2012 by .

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Spring is in full force across the country. Meanwhile, property managers have been busy preparing their properties for warm weather. Landscapes are being aerated, dead tree limbs removed, and flowers planted everywhere you look.

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Modern Gleaners

Modern Gleaners

Posted on 29. Feb, 2012 by .

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You’re probably familiar with The Gleaners (Des glaneuses), Millet’s famous painting of women gleaning a field of grain after harvest. The women in the painting aren’t likely members of the farmer’s family and they aren’t helping with the harvest either. But they are valuable members of society fulfilling an important function: Making use of what’s been left behind.

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Backyard Chickens

Backyard Chickens

Posted on 27. Jan, 2012 by .

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One of the perks of my last apartment in California was access to seven hens. Really, the perk had more to do with the eggs the chickens produced, but the thought of interacting with hens was strangely thrilling. I’d never been around them before and I was extremely curious. I imagined making my way to the coop with an egg basket tucked under my arm.

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An Environmentally Responsible Move-Out List

An Environmentally Responsible Move-Out List

Posted on 29. Dec, 2011 by .

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You’re not the only one making wish lists this time of year. Here’s one for your residents to check twice to make sure their next move-out is environmentally responsible. Or, should a tenant leave you with a move-out mess, this handy list will help you navigate the detritus responsibly. Thank goodness for security deposits.

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Getting Personal about Public Transportation

Getting Personal about Public Transportation

Posted on 02. Dec, 2011 by .

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But no matter where you are in the world, local public transportation reduces carbon emissions for every person on board. It also reduces the number of personal vehicles on the road, thereby reducing traffic congestion. Over the course of a year, you can cut your own carbon emissions by nearly 5,000 pounds just by hopping on a bus rather than driving.

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The Aesthetics of Recycling

The Aesthetics of Recycling

Posted on 19. Oct, 2011 by .

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What comes to mind when you hear the word recycling? Do you ever think of anything more aesthetic than an iconic plastic recycling bin?

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The 21-Day Recycling Challenge

The 21-Day Recycling Challenge

Posted on 11. Aug, 2011 by .

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If your office or home environments don’t currently have a system for recycling, now is a fantastic time to develop one. Let’s start by conducting a little trash experiment. We’ll call it the 21-Day Challenge.

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Be a Hero with a Zero-Waste Event

Be a Hero with a Zero-Waste Event

Posted on 04. Aug, 2011 by .

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You’ve probably heard of zero-waste events before. You might have even attended one. They are just like regular events, except they produce exactly zero waste.

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Nuturing Tenant Loyalty

Nuturing Tenant Loyalty

Posted on 04. May, 2011 by .

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Once you’ve found a great match between a tenant and your property, you want to nurture tenant loyalty. Here are a few easy-to-implement ideas that will help build a long and beautiful relationship.

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Getting a Handle on Stuff

Getting a Handle on Stuff

Posted on 23. Feb, 2011 by .

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Having too much stuff eats up our valuable time, because there’s more to organize, maintain, move, and store. As a result, what we have grows less useful as it wastes away in some forgotten corner—slowly becoming obsolete. The New York Times and other publications have been reporting of late about a new strategy to simplify our lives. All we have to do is whittle down what we own to 100 items or fewer (including toiletries). This is an exciting experiment to read about over morning coffee, but most folks would be hard-pressed to successfully pare down a household or office to 100 items.

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Become a Destination for Earth Advocates

Become a Destination for Earth Advocates

Posted on 09. Feb, 2011 by .

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Making your office a destination for eco-conscious folks will bring more green traffic your way, start a green dialog with prospective tenants, and add value to current tenant relationships. Your efforts will prove invaluable in nurturing a long and fulfilling relationship with eco-conscious tenants — and the planet.

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Watching Your E-Waste in the New Year

Watching Your E-Waste in the New Year

Posted on 19. Jan, 2011 by .

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We streamline our offices by using less paper, more energy-efficient light bulbs, and by carpooling to work. But do we ever consider the impact of the beasts of our heavy office lifting — computers, fax machines, and printers?

Here are a few strategies for softening the environmental impact of office hardware:

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A Bright Post-Holiday Idea

A Bright Post-Holiday Idea

Posted on 05. Jan, 2011 by .

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This season, I was eager to explore the intricacies of holiday light recycling after reading about a local program in Minnesota.

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Green New Year’s Resolutions

Green New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on 29. Dec, 2010 by .

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New years eve is almost here and it’s time for the annual and ever-so-important “new years resolutions.” When thinking of ways to improve your property management business, so many things come to mind like acquiring new owners, investing in web-based property management software, putting a smile on your face Monday morning, shedding a couple of […]

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Stuff the Stocking, Not the Landfill

Stuff the Stocking, Not the Landfill

Posted on 22. Dec, 2010 by .

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It’s that giving time of year again, so here are a few ideas to help your property management business stay green over the holidays.

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A Conversation with Minnesota’s First Eco-Broker

A Conversation with Minnesota’s First Eco-Broker

Posted on 22. Nov, 2010 by .

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The earth benefits of eco-brokering are self-evident. But I wanted to know how certification helped an agent’s business, so I sat down with Gina Vermilyea to discuss eco-brokering and what led her to get certified.

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Taking Stock of Impact: Is It Good for Business?

Taking Stock of Impact: Is It Good for Business?

Posted on 13. Jul, 2010 by .

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If there’s anything good to come out of the devastating BP oil spill, it’s a renewed awareness and interest in the corporate decisions that directly impact our shared environment. Certainly more than a few BP execs are kicking themselves right now for grossly underestimating how an environmental catastrophe of this magnitude would impact their bottom line.

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Recycling Resources for Abandoned Property

Recycling Resources for Abandoned Property

Posted on 28. Jun, 2010 by .

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A recurring problem for many property managers today is that the resident moves out but leaves behind this or her household items. This is such a problem in school dormitories that colleges now have year-end auctions just to try to unload the stuff. Amazingly, much of it is perfectly usable electronics equipment, furniture, kitchenware, small appliances and rugs.

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Going Green in Property Management: Interview with Bob Machado, Owner of HomePointe Property Management

Going Green in Property Management: Interview with Bob Machado, Owner of HomePointe Property Management

Posted on 03. Jun, 2010 by .

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In this interview, Bob Machado, owner of HomePointe Property Management, discusses the processes and benefits of running a ‘green’ property management office.

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Reduce, Reuse & Recycle: How Reusing Will Reduce Your Recycling

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle: How Reusing Will Reduce Your Recycling

Posted on 21. May, 2010 by .

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What’s greener: Reusing something that already exists or creating something new? It’s not a trick question. And the right answer depends entirely on the item in question. Let’s say your rental property sports kitchen cabinets from the harvest-gold heyday, and which you suspect might be scaring off potential tenants.

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Creating a Green User’s Guide for Residents

Creating a Green User’s Guide for Residents

Posted on 18. May, 2010 by .

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Getting residents to buy in on efforts to green your property is actually pretty darn important to your overall strategy. Look at it this way: You can invest in an energy-efficient furnace, but if residents crank the thermostat to 77° F when they aren’t even home, you’re just burning up your savings. Literally.

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6 Ideas to Green Your Property Management Office

6 Ideas to Green Your Property Management Office

Posted on 06. May, 2010 by .

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2010 is rapidly becoming known as the ‘green year.’ While it’s relatively easy for property management companies to implement green changes throughout their properties, companies may want to consider more effective changes that begin right in the office.

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