Spring has sprung and life is just all around better. There is finally color in the street from the shining sun, blooming flowers and people breaking out the pastels. After months of being cooped up inside, bark mulch even smells good, something that you thought you would never say. Now that it stays lighter later in the spring, it is the time to work on saving energy and doing your part to make a difference. Environmental consultant companies like Cenergistic, formerly known as Energy Education Inc., strive to conserve energy every day.

Use less Light

Obviously you don’t want to be sitting around in the dark when it is pitch black out, but during the day when the natural light is shining in try to avoid turning the lights on. Turning your lights off when you are not in the room or not home is a huge way to save energy that is also very easy. Using motion-detector lights outside of your home can be a very cost-effective solution. Rather than leaving your lights on all night outside, motion-detector lights trigger when someone is outside.

Carpool

Carpooling is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Nothing saves money, energy and clean air like carpooling. Whether you are going out to dinner with friends at night or trying to drive your kids to school in the morning. Create a plan and choose different days when different people will be the designated carpool driver. That way one person doesn’t get stuck always using their car and their gas money. Carpooling is also a fun way to spend time with others and catch up.

Open the Windows

Opening the windows is one of the easiest ways to save energy. Rather than running another fan in your house, just open the windows for some ventilation. Nothing is nicer than the breeze coming in at nighttime when the air is crisp and the house is a little toasty. I am seriously convinced that fresh air is good for the soul and gives your air conditioning a breather!…

If you can’t attend Than Merrill’s San Diego FortuneBuilders seminar, there are 10 ways to help you get the best offer for your home:

Tip 1

Remove all family photos, toys, nick knacks, and excess clothing. Replace the family photos with generic paintings. Eliminate anything that creates an odor-especially diaper pails or litter boxes.

Tip 2

Give each room a definitive function. Bedrooms should have a bed and a dresser. If it’s an office, remove anything that would distract from that purpose. Exercise equipment belongs in a gym or a storage building, not in an office.

Tip 3

Remove heavy curtains and valances, and replace them with lighter weight fabrics. Replace old or worn out light fixtures, and wash the windows.

Tip 4

Patching and painting walls will give the appearance of a well-kept home. Use neutral colors that will appeal to everyone. It does not have to be white, but a shade of white or tan should work. The darker a room is, the smaller it will look.

Tip 5

Remove and replace–if possible–old carpets. Call a professional steam cleaner if the carpets are in good shape. Look for specials on wood flooring or tiles to replace floors that cannot be saved.

Tip 6

The two rooms that are scrutinized most are the kitchen and bathroom. To sell a house for top dollar, these two rooms must be updated. Painting cabinets and replacing countertops will make a big improvement in their appearance. You should update the faucets and hardware, too. Replace any broken or leaking plumbing fixtures.

Tip 7

Paint exterior walls if they appear dull and old, and update the entry. The front door and outside lighting will be one of the first things prospective buyers will see. Damaged or old doors will deter buyers from even stepping inside the house.

Tip 8

Mow the grass and plant fresh flowers, or create planting beds and get rid of over-grown bushes and trees.

Tip 9

Stage the house so that rooms appear larger. A chair, sofa, coffee table, and an end table with an attractive lamp, are more than …

When it comes to education, it is very important to invest the most in your students.  Budgets are very tight in a lot of school districts these days and schools are trying to cut down on costs, but not compromise their student’s education. Having a proper environment that is conducive to learning is very important as well. Both the school administrators and students need to feel that they are in a place where they can both teach and learn. We have tips for you on ways to cut costs in certain areas and invest more in others.

Cafeteria Foam Products

This may come as a surprise to you, but by switching the type of tray you use in the cafeteria can save a school up to millions of dollars a year. Recently in cities like Miami there has been a Miami foam ban, which has eliminated the usage of foam from the area. This foam ban is spreading to other cities in Florida as well, which is only going to increase costs for school districts. One way for schools to save money is by investing in foam trays rather than eliminating them. Alternatives to foam trays, such as compostable trays, are very costly and can lead a school to spend a lot more money than anticipated.

Don’t Skimp on Teaching Materials

When it comes to equipment needed to do the job, always provide proper school supplies. Teachers need certain supplies to do their job efficiently and students need certain supplies to participate in a classroom. Whether your school is filled with whiteboards or chalkboards always have the proper writing materials available to create an organized environment. Tissues, paper to print, and pens are all staples in a classroom, which will go a long way! You don’t want your teachers to resent the school for not providing necessary materials for learning.

Author Frederick M. Hess, has a book called Stretching the School Dollar: How Schools and Districts Can Save Money While Serving Students Best. This book has in depth details on how to cut costs in areas where it …

Although you might fall for the black eyed creatures, raccoons are wild animals that you do not want to cross paths with. Raccoons are highly intelligent and lack a sense of fear, contributing to their dangerous name. It is important to hire pest control to get rid of raccoons (more raccoon info) that reside around your home because they can harm both you and your dog. I don’t know about you, but nobody messes with my golden retriever.

Raccoon removal is dangerous thus the importance of hiring a professional to capture a raccoon. Professionals have the best tactics to trap wildlife animals and know the proper protocol to deal with the raccoon once it is captured. Additionally, you don’t want to put yourself at risk for rabies.

When it comes to your pets, raccoons can put your pets in harm’s way, but especially your dogs. Dogs are greatly at risk because they try to fight back raccoons in order to protect themselves.

Raccoon attacks frequently happen at night, which is when it is the most important to monitor your dog when they go out to the bathroom in the dark.

Raccoons have a number of deadly tactics for harming dogs. The most common ways that raccoons try to attack dogs is by attempting to scratch out their eyes. Raccoons have very sharp claws that allow them to ravenously scratch and bite at dogs.

Raccoons are definitely no friend of your furry pooch, which is why it is important to eliminate raccoons the minute you notice their presence.…

There are many people that relooking into moving into a new home, but they are undecided as to whether they should rent a home or buy one. Some FortuneBuilders are afraid of the housing market crash a few years ago and so they are reluctant to purchase a home, while others are simply tired of renting, and they would rather spend money every month on something that they can call their own. Although there may not be a clear cut answer on which is better there are some things to take into consideration.

When buying a house there are many things to consider. The first thing that a person should consider is how financially stable are they? Do they have a good job? Is their credit score high enough to get a good deal on a mortgage? All of these questions should be thought about, at length, before just jumping into buying a home. Purchasing one is a long-term commitment. Many people are attracted to that since it gives them a sense of security in knowing that they don’t have to live under the reign of a landlord, they can change the layout of the house, and they are responsible for all of the repairs.

Renting a house for some people seems as if it is a better option. They like the idea of having someone else responsible for the property maintenance. They also like the fact that they are only locked into, typically, a one year lease. This is a good choice for people that are unsure on if they are going to stay in the area or not. Typically, changing the layout, or performing any major renovation, on a rented house is not advisable. This is because the renter will have to spend their money for the materials and the labor for the renovation, and the landlord may not reimburse the renter for it, so they will have to take the monetary hit for the renovation.

In conclusion, depending on a person’s lifestyle, their financial status, and their plans for the future deciding to rent or buy a …

For ages now, children’s games at festivals still reign supreme. Many, if not all, of the children’s games at festivals have been around for 100s of years, and children along with their parents, still enjoy the excitement and fun that come with these games.

With that said, the following are popular children’s festival games, that may likely will remain popular for some time to come. They may even remain popular when young children of today will become old and grey:

1. Cake Walk

With this game, numbered squares are set up in a ring. The squares would be large enough for one person standing on it. Also, the number of squares should be the same as the players. The players will walk on the squares while the music is playing. Once the music stops, all players must stand still. Then the game operator will draw a number randomly, and the person standing on the number wins.

2. Ring Toss

Ring toss is definitely a classic festival/carnival game. Poles will be set up, and players will attempt to throw hooks on the rings, so they will hook around the rings.

3. Penny Pitch

With the penny pitch, a table is set up with various colored dots of different sizes. Players must exchange their tickets for pennies for throwing. The goal is for players to land pennies on colored dots to win prizes. Otherwise, different sized cups can be used for the penny throwing, instead of using colored dots.

4. Quarter Drop

Used many times to raise money for charities, a few ledges of different sizes are set in a fish tank. The fish tank must be filled with water, and then people must be allowed to try dropping a quart on one of those ledges. Winning occurs when they succeed.

5. Musical Chairs

This is another classic for indoors and outdoors. With this game, there is one more chair than there are players, and there is also music playing. The players must walk around the chairs while the music is playing. However, when the music is turned off, everyone must find …

My house never seems to be warm enough and our heat bills seem to be increasing each month. We haven’t increased the number of times we shower a day or the amount that we use our gas stove to cook. What we seem to be adjusting each month or even each day is the temperature on our thermostat. I couldn’t take it anymore, both the cold breeze in our home and the rising prices on our monthly gas bill.

It turns out that our crawl space was the root of the problem and the cause of the cold air in our old colonial style brick home. We had specialists come out and take a look at our crawl space and we quickly learned that it was filthy since it was unprotected and had several unfinished surfaces. The dirt in our crawl space led to moisture, which was the cause of growing mold.

The air from our crawl space was leaking into the walls of our home, which was why it has been so chilly in our home the past couple of months. We are lucky that thankfully the air wasn’t too contaminated and did not cause anyone to get sick or anything.

We later learned that when you have a dirty crawl space with a lot of moisture it is an environment that insects, pests and wildlife gravitate towards. Our crawl space was clear of any wildlife or pests, which was truly a miracle.

The solution we chose to eliminate our crawl space issues was to install the CleanSpace Crawl Space Encapsulation System. The CleanSpace system essentially created a bubble in our crawl space, which works to keep the moisture out and locks in the heating and air conditioning. This bubble was installed on the floors and walls of our crawl space.

The system ensures that no moisture or toxic air is leaking through the walls into your home. Since we have installed the CleanSpace system we have watched our heat bills reduce by 20% a month, which definitely is nice to see. Now we can keep our thermostat at …

There are many people that are reviewing Yelp and FortuneBuilders not sure whether if they should buy a move in ready home or a fixer upper. Although, there are no easy answers to this question there are things to weigh when it comes to choosing what style of home that a person should purchase. A person should seriously weigh the pros and the cons for each option so that they can make an informed decision prior to being locked into a commitment to buy.
First, a “move in ready home” is just that; move in ready. There is very little work, if any, that needs to be completed in order for a family to move into it. There may be a little bit of painting or decorating that needs to be done, but that would be about it. There should be more major issues with the house that will need attention, and the price will reflect that. People that are not mechanically inclined should opt for this type of house since they would have to pay a contractor to do the work if they were to choose a “fixer upper”.
Next, a “fixer upper” home is a house that may need a substantial amount of work in order to make it habitable. Typically, it may need work done on the roof, plumbing, heating, electrical, or flooring and drywall. This is a great option for people that are looking to save money on their initial investment, and for those that are handy and know how to complete the work in order to make the house habitable. Many of these types of homes can be purchased for a lot less than a “move in ready” home; however, there may be a lot of work to be done on it. While some of the minor work can be done when a person is moved in, such as painting or minor plumbing work, the big jobs such as roofing, installing flooring, and re-wiring the house should be completed prior to moving in.
In conclusion, it is really up to the mechanical aptitude of the …

From readingeagle.com:

Baby-teeth jewelry and postpartum corsets were among the top parenting trends reported last year. Take a look at what moms are buzzing about this year on BabyCenter.com.

The crowdfunded baby

Parents are starting Kickstarter or GoFundMe accounts for everything from first birthday parties to Christmas presents. “Two out of three moms are worried about having enough money to raise their kids – an 11 percent increase since 2013,” said Rebecca Michals, director of BabyCenter’s global community. “Crowdfunding may be moms’ way of trying to make it all work.”

Parents smoking pot

With the legalization of marijuana in several states, will more parents be indulging and, if so, what are the implications for families? “There are already several active BabyCenter groups about marijuana with nearly 1,500 members combined, and in 2014, conversations on this topic increased compared to the year before,” Michals said. “Many parents don’t think twice about having a glass or two of wine regularly to unwind, but we’re waiting to see if they will make the transition to marijuana.”

Germophobic parents

Some parents are changing the game when it comes to daily interactions with their children.Germophobic parents won’t allow their children to interact with anyone who’s not vaccinated, and they go above and beyond to keep their babies shielded from germs in general, usually by keeping them indoors and preventing friends and family from hugging or kissing their children.

– See more at: http://readingeagle.com/life/article/parenting-trends-to-watch-in-2015#sthash.orBw1FkU.dpuf…

Cenergistic, formerly known as Energy Education, has done it again. They serve clients such as those in the health care industry, school districts, colleges, universities and churches. They help these organizations save energy so they can invest back into the lives they save.

This energy company has been able to create a module that will allow current structures to function better and save energy whether with the electric, gas or water. The company comes in does an evaluation on your spending in the areas of electricity, gas and water. Then it develops a plan that will allow that particular structure to use their module to save money over a series of years. They fee comes out as a percentage of the money saved.

One such structure that this module is being used for is the Mobile County school district. They are said to save over 75 million dollars over a 10 year span. If they can help this district save this much money, think of what they can do for you. With this module Cenergistic will be able to help this and other school districts be able to use the money they save on energy bills to develop educational programs to help their students succeed in their academic career.

Another area that Cenergistic is helping to lessen the amount paid in utilities is in the universities and colleges. These educational buildings have several buildings and campuses that need to be run. Some examples have been Hinds Community College and Jones Community College in Mississippi and Washington and Lee University in Virginia.

Health care facilities are another area that Cenergistic is revamping the utility cost. The University of Oklahoma has put this to use campus wise and has been able to reduce costs tremendously. The Presbyterian Communities and Service in Dallas Texas put this module into effect and showed results almost from the start

Churches use this module as well. They have been able to reduce costs that allow them to reinvest in their church to produce programs for parishioners and their congregation. Some examples are the Preston wood Baptist …