Imagine the holiday season as a field of freshly fallen snow. Then imagine what it’s like after a thousand people have walked all over it. Every footprint contributes to one big mess. Everything we do leaves an impression on this earth, so here’s an invitation to step lightly as you plan your holiday celebrations. 


Shopping

Every excursion leaves a footprint; in the coming and going and the choices you make. 

  • Shop on your lunch break or after work when you are already near the shops. 

  • Take transit or carpool

  • Remember your reusable shopping bags

  • Avoid items with a temporary use, excess packaging and whenever possible, are made of plastic

Gifts

  • Choose experiences over stuff

  • Not every gift needs to be new; check out thrift stores, re-gift or make or upcycle gifts

  • Spread the eco love with natural gifts or items that help others be more green minded


Wrap it Up

  • Choose glue or tie with wool, ribbon or string over plastic tape

  • Reuse wrapping paper bags and bows

  • Wrap a gift in a gift; in socks, glass jars or a tea towel

  • Avoid non-recyclable glitter, tinsel, foil or cellophane

  • Choose cloth ribbon over synthetic


Food

  • Make a meal plan and only buy what you need

  • Be realistic about portions

  • Choose products in glass vs plastic jars

  • Pick package-free; Buy in bulk, bring bags for your produce


O Christmas Tree

Think twice about buying artificial trees and garlands. Many are made in overseas factories and often contain toxic PVS, lead and flame retardants. 

  • Look for a second-hand artificial tree to re-use

  • Buy a locally grown, pesticide-free tree

  • Buy a potted, living evergreen to plant after the holidays


Online vs In-store shopping

Which carries the lightest footprint? Tricky question. 

The answer depends partly on where goods are made. For example, and item shipped from another country travels far by ship or plane. Buying locally made is always the better choice. 

Worldwide, online shopping constitutes one out of seven purchases, nearly 15% of all shopping. 


That said there are advantages and disadvantages to both:


Online

  • Online companies with no retail storefronts to power and maintain already have a lower footprint

  • Delivery services are efficient; it’s like putting everyone’s packages on one bus, rather than individual cars - unless they are rush deliveries

In-store 

  • When customers can see, touch and try on merchandise, fewer returns are made 

  • Delivered goods come in their original packaging and delivery packaging

  • About 20% of online purchases are returned, doubling the delivery carbon footprint

  • Up to 60% of all first-time deliveries are unsuccessful and can take up to 3 attempts. If the buyer has to drive to pick up the package, all the carbon emissions savings are lost


Make Smarter Choices

  • Order online early and choose a longer delivery time. Overnight or rush deliveries result in individual deliveries in emptier trucks. 

  • Arrange a delivery time when you know you’ll be home or make arrangements with a neighbour

  • Buy locally made

  • Individuals driving to stores increases emissions; transit, walking or cycling are better choices

  • Buy less. The item not purchased online or in-store has the lowest footprint of all

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1538 Ostler Court 


Sold Over Asking!

$1,498,000

4 Bed | 3 Bath | 3,299 sq ft


Market Type: Holiday 

On Market: 6 Days

Features: Updated Home

Challenges: Owners divorcing during Christmas 


Due to our client's pending divorce it was imperative to the family's emotional health that the home be sold as soon as possible. When our team entered the picture the home was in need of significant preparation for sale. In just 1 week we had the home cleaned, painted, staged, marketed and sold in just 4 days before Christmas. We set a new benchmark price for the area, selling the home $150,000 more than the listing price. Our clients were extremely satisfied with the outcome and support they received from start to finish to move into the next phase of their lives. 

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Home is a place for rest, relaxation and wellness.
There are some things you can do to help your home work harder to keep you healthy. 

Immune

Go Touchless: With a wave of a hand you can turn on taps and flush the toilet without touching a germ-covered handle.

Anti-microbial Counters: Did you know there are counters that can practically clean themselves? By adding copper, they can naturally destroy bacteria and viruses.


Air

Automatic Dustpan: Do you have a central vacuum system? Add this to your high traffic areas to easily sweep away those dust bunnies!

Switch to Soy: Petroleum based candles make your home smell nice but emit hazardous chemicals that can trigger allergies and asthma.  


Well-being

Stand More:  Create a standing workplace in your home office to lower your risk of things like heart disease and back pain & improve your mood and energy levels.

Get Clean:  Make informed choices in your everyday products and food items you consume with the help of Just ingredients or the Think Dirty App.

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Are you normally running late in the morning and don’t have time to meticulously clean up that massive smoothie spill as you frantically run out the door or are you a to your counters. Wherever you are on this spectrum you need to know these tips before buying that milk white marble with gorgeous blue-gray veining you just saw on Pinterest!



Marble: The Epitome of Luxury

All marble is composed of calcite. While it looks like a tough material, calcium is sensitive to acid. Anything acidic like lemons, wine and vinegar will react with the calcium and dissolve the area. 

  1. Get a sealant for your marble and reseal it every couple of years. An impregnating seal is recommended and you can get a $20 - $60 bottle at any hardware store. 

  2. You could chose to hone your marble to help hide blemishes or dullness. Honed marble will give a matte and smooth finish. 

  3. Every 1-2 years have a professional come to repair the surface for a couple hundred dollars. They’ll bring their sandpaper and polishing pads and make your marble look close to new again. 

Don’t be afraid that marbled is easily scratched and is not acid-friendly because YES, marble can be restored and the patina that it gets over time is a desired look by some. 


Granite: The Workhorse of Stone Counters

A silica-based rock that typically has a speckled look from crystallized minerals. It’s considered to be a hard material (read: scratch-resistant), it’s great for kitchens and areas that will take a beating. If it does get chipped, repairs are fairly easy. It’s not as porous as marble, so you don’t have to worry about staining and wiping spills right away. 

Tip: Ask the fabricator or installer for the type of sealer they used on yours so you can get the same one for future reapplication; sometimes different sealants react badly with one another. 

Granite is also one of the more heat-resistant stones so no need to worry about having to place that too-hoot baking sheet directly on the counter. 


Quartzite: The Budget Breaker

Not to be confused with quartz, quartzite is characterized by streaks and striations that are kind of similar to marble. But unlike the softer marble, quartzite is harder and durable. Just like every other natural stone, it should be sealed during installation and resealed over time. Because it is not very porous material, is scratch-resistant and is not sensitive to acid, it’s a great alternative for hard-working kitchens. It’s also UV-resistant so it’s a great option for outdoor use without the worry of fading from sun exposure. You might be surprised to find out that marble is in fact not the most expensive of stones - that distinction goes to quartzite. 


Quartz: Low Maintenace Luxury

A type of engineered stone made up of loose quartz mineral aggregates, mineral pigment and a binder, usually resin. Because they’re engineered and non-porous, they are stain-resistant, durable, acid-friendly and generally require no additional sealing. A very low-maintenance stone for a low-maintenance lifestyle. You can cut all the lemons you want, but because they contain resin they are very sensitive to high heat. So unless you want burn marks, use a trivet! If you’re thinking of using quartz for that outdoor kitchen, you should know it’s not very uv-friendly like quartzite. 


Porcelain: The look of natural stone without the maintenance

A newcomer in the countertop industry game, it is extremely hard and strong. It is very resistant to chipping, scratches and general wear and tear. Because it’s manufactured under high temperatures, it has no problem handling hot pots or heat tools in the bathroom. One of the best things about using porcelain counters is that you can use high definition inkjet printing technology to get photos of natural stone printed onto your porcelain slab, all without the upkeep of the real deal. A bonus perk: the glazing means no additional sealant is required to protect from moisture and staining. You can even install it over an existing countertop. It’s made out of clay, making it a very green material that can be recycled at the end of its life cycle. 


So really the most important tip we can leave you with is to think about your lifestyle and how much liquid, heat and traffic the countertop will be exposed to. You need to be aware of the limitations so you can properly care for it! 

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Having a smart home isn’t a necessity. It’s an investment. We use these guidelines before spending time, money and energy on new technology:


Save Money


While not every product can justify its price, many solutions available today can actually pay for themselves and even save you money in the long run. From smart thermostats to LED lightbulbs, spending a little today can pay dividends later and reduce your environmental impact.


Reduce Friction

Any product that eliminates an annoyance, or makes your day a little easier. Simplify common tasks without added extra steps in the process.


Increase Security

Smart locks, motion detectors and cameras are a good step in that directions. Look for products with increased functionality paired with common sense security. Smart locks must contain strong bolts, cameras must be encrypted, etc.


Avoid Obsolescence

The smart home market is still in its “wild west” phase. Look for products that play nice with others. The last thing you want to do is invest in a product or system that is no longer supported a year from now.  


Build Something Cool

A smart home is compelling. Who doesn’t want to lock doors with your voice, have lights sync to music or get cell phone alerts during an attempted break-in?


After decades of science fiction, the smart home is finally in reach!

These are our to picks for a smart home:


Dyson Vacuum


Frame TV


LG Homebrew Beer


Kohler Sensate Faucets


Robot Lawn Mower



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