Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Environmental impact of Trash Compactors

full landfill
Trash compactors have been in use in homes since the 1960's. Often, people use them thinking there might be environmental benefits to them. If your trash is smaller, won't it take up less space in a landfill?

The true answer to this question is that the weight and contents of trash have much more to do with its longevity in a landfill than its volume. Compacted Styrofoam still lasts for as many centuries as it does when not compacted. Crushed glass is more of a danger to you handling your garbage bags, and it still takes up space. In fact, organic matter has a tendency to break down even more slowly when compacted, rather than when exposed to the air.

There is also the energy use of the compactor to consider, as well as the environmental impact of their production. Energy used in these processes, as well as the collection and fashioning of materials used, all have an environmental impact, often causing a carbon foot print that you might be better off not creating.

Far better green solutions include composting food matter and organic waste. Use compostable or recyclable bags in a regular garbage bin if you want to be as green as possible. Recycle all materials that can be. Reuse bags, bottles, and jars rather than throw them away. Always remember, the best trash is the trash you don't make. When you consider Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, it should always be in that order.

If you are charged for your trash collection by volume, you might save a little money on collection fees, so there might be monetary savings with a compactor. However, one should take into consideration the cost of the machine, installation costs, and energy costs before realizing any sort of savings from an industrial trash compactor.

There are other considerations as well. If a trash bag is completely compacted, it could weigh fifty pounds or more, making it difficult to handle. Many compactors use charcoal or fragrances to mask odor. Some people may have sensitivity, and it also adds another item to what you are placing in a landfill, especially the chemicals.

So perhaps you are better off without an industrial trash compactor, especially if environmental or green concerns are at the top of your list of interests.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Where To Put Your Patio

Garden Patio with Hot Tub
Garden Patio with Hot Tub
(Photo credits: Hot Tub Barn)
Most houses can benefit from a seating area outside - but what do you need to consider?

1. Choose a sun facing aspect if possible. It’s not going to be much fun if you’ve built your beautiful patio and there’s not a ray to be had. Also think of what your lighting options will be.
2. Surfaces for your patio could include bricks, concrete slabs, frost resistant ceramic tiles, maybe even cobbles. Using a mixture of materials will give your patio real character.
3. Always remember to leave adequate spaces for plants.
4. You might want to consider a pergola for training climbing plants over. E.g Wisteria or even Wisteria or even grape vines.
5. Garden steps must be water resistant and sturdy using paving slabs or brick.
6. Use attractive pot plants to break up the patio scene.
7. Offer border climbers a finger hold by putting up trellis around your patio.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dealing With Neighborhood Crime

Physical Security?
Physical Security? (Photo credit: davidz)
No one wants to worry about burglary or crime when living in their homes. The sense of security violated by a break in can be devastating, and the possessions lost can be permanently damaging. Here are a few ways to improve your home security in a neighborhood to reduce the risk of a break in.

Security System - It can cost you a few dollars a month, but it will certainly pay off from the value of items that could potentially be stolen from you. Picking the right one can be tough, so gather a few options that are available, evaluate the kind of home and structure you already have, and make a decision as soon as possible.

Better Keys - Burglars often know a thing or two about picking locks, so make sure your locks on all your doors are pick proof. Most locks made after the 70s are designed in an adequate way, but it's always nice to be sure. If you are able to bring in a professional, that would be ideal, but you could always take pictures and bring it in to your nearest hardware store.

Neighborhood Watch System - Get to know who runs your neighborhood watch system, and learn ways that burglars have broken in to properties within the past few years. Odds are, they will try and use the same methods, as burglars like to target the same areas that have worked for them in the past. If you don't have a neighborhood watch program set up, try and figure out what it takes to run one yourself, and network with others when doing so.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Learning to move on...

Should co-op boards be forced to provide a reason for board turn-downs?

The Times covered the debate in the Sunday Real Estate section-and a bill may be instituted forcing boards to do so. No date is set for the hearing. New York Magazine had an article about this sometime last fall, adding that boards may also have time limits on making their decisions.

We think this is like dating-- giving a reason is the polite thing to do after rejecting someone, but should it be mandatory? Seems extreme to enact such measures, afterall, all is fair in love. Can’t people just accept that maybe the co-op just isn’t that into you?

Everybody hates rejection but it’s a part of life. If you were accepted by every co-op you wouldn’t be as happy with true love with a real co-op when you found it. Furthermore, do you really want to live in a co-op that rejected you the first time around?

There are plenty of co-ops in the sea, not to mention condos, condops, rentals, brownstones, etc.

We can be your matchmaker, and help you avoid nasty rejection scenarios. Often, as in dating, it’s just a matter of how you present yourself. 212-734-1800.

If a Co-op Kills a Sale, Should It Say Why?, New York Times

The Rules of Rejection, New York Magazine

This post was written by HH Realty Group and originally appeared here

Apartment Tips

Get rid of things. Don’t get attached to items. Throw them away. If you haven’t touched something in a year, get rid of it, donate it, sell it on Ebay, or just throw it in the trash. Throw stuff away quarterly. Don’t buy so much stuff. Buying more things just keeps you busier with those things. You’ll have more time for thinking if you have less stuff.

Get books from the library instead of buying them. For magazines, just go to Barnes and Noble or Duane Reade and read up. Or use your office copies.

The less stuff you have the easier it is to keep clean. This goes for clothes, knickknacks, and furniture. Simplify and only keep things you need. Especially if you live in one of these glass houses, or a 200 sq ft studio. Then you can cut down on cleaning.

Spend money on long term essentials like a good cutting knife, but scrimp on trash bags and paper towels.

Squeegee your shower after every use. That way you don’t have to re-caulk, your caulk will stay fresh for years.

Use Vinegar and Baking Soda in lieu of cleaning products. Cheaper, just as effective, and healthier.

Dryer sheets do nothing.

Lock your windows and doors and put up curtains, blinds, window treatments etc.-don’t send invitations to robbers.

Have an escape plan in case of a fire.

Browse Home Depot and Hardware Stores- and take notes. Space saving ideas, redecorating tips, and creative renovations will just pop into your head via osmosis. For instance: You can build a pot and pan rack with a wooden dowel and some “S”hooks. 

This post originally appeared here and was written by HH Realty Group

Friday, December 16, 2011