How to Go Green in an Apartment

You've already taken the first step to green living – moving into a small space in an existing building. But did you know that there are many other ways you can live green in an apartment? Read on to learn some of these ways.

Your kitchen

Think about how you drink water, juice, and other beverages. Can you use a reusable container? If the water in your apartment is not very good, you can install a water filter on the tap or use a countertop model. Then you can just refill your bottle as you need. You'll also recoup your investment quickly by saving the money you would otherwise spend on bottled water.

Power outlets

Just having something plugged in can actually draw electricity through it, even if the appliance or device on the other end is not on. If you are not actually using the device, make sure you unplug it. You can cut your power usage by as much as 40%, based on studies that have been done.

Adjust that thermostat

No doubt you've heard that changing your thermostat can reduce your electricity bill. It's true. Turn down your winter thermostat to 68 degrees and you will be able to save quite a lot of both money and electricity. Conversely, turning your thermostat up in the summer and using windows strategically to let in the cooler night air will save on your air conditioning costs.

If your complex allows you, you can even use a plastic film over the windows to keep out the cold in the winter or the heat in the summer. Even if you are not allowed to do this, you can use heavy curtains that will help block out strong sun rays and keep you warmer when the nights turn cold.

Appliances

If you have appliances in your unit like washing machines and dryers, use them only when you have full loads to make the most of your water and power. Remember, the machine uses the same resources regardless of what is inside. The same is true of a dishwasher. Make sure it is full before running it.

Plant some plants

The fresh air that plants can help generate goes a long way towards cleaning the air in your apartment. There are lists you can find great indoor plants, so long as your apartment managers allow for them. Even if you can not grow any indoors, you might be able to have a small container garden on your patio and have fresh veggies and fruit. There's also a concept called vertical gardening that lets you even grow squash in a small area.

Green cleaning

You can find greener cleaners in the organics section of most grocery stores, so your laundry and dishes will have less of an impact on the environment. They do not have heavy perfumes, either, so your air will stay naturally fresher.

Light switch

Just changing your regular incandescent bulbs out for fluorescent or LED bulbs will use less electricity and give you a longer repeating bulb. LEDs can last for years, recovering the investment in them along the way.

As you can see, it's actually pretty easy to go green, even when you are just renting your apartment. So what are you waiting for? Go green today!

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Garbage: The Street Monster

As one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Indonesia has much heritage to offer from West to East. White sandy beaches in Bali, underwater paradise in Raja Ampat, the magnificent Borobudur Temple outside Yogyakarta, and the fascinating tradition of Toraja are just a few of the beauty of Indonesia. However, more often than not, you will find these attractions surrounded by smelly areas littered with enormous amounts of garbage.

Garbage is an inescapable problem in Indonesia. One example is the Kota Bumi quarter, located in the Pasar Kemis area of ​​Tangerang. It is a real estate project built by a small developer more than 35 years ago. As the houses built in this area are cheap, people with more modest incomes could afford to move into this Kota Bumi as well. These days, Kota Bumi has become one of the most crowded places in Tangerang. However, because the developer no longer serves Kota Bumi, it has become an independent area.

In contrast with other developed areas, Kota Bumi does not have an estate management. Usually estate management will maintain the environment surrounding the houses, taking care of such matters as security and sanitation. That is why irresponsible people in Kota Bumi dispose of their garbage on the street, without feeling the slightest guilt about it. They do not care if what they do will harm others or not. Day by day, the amount of garbage is increasing and taking over the street in its entity.

The high population density of Kota Bumi requires the rows of each street to be wider than they currently are, particularly to deal with the peak amounts of commuter traffic during rush hours. However, because the increasing amounts of garbage have now partially piled up over the pavement of the roads, the roads have actually become increasingly narrow, resulting in traffic jams almost every day. Moreover, this also has implications for the environment, as the garbage pollutes the air by its smell and affects the quality of life of the local habitants.

Once per three or four days, the municipal waste collection service will clean the street, but a day after that, the garbage will already start piling up again. There are two main reasons why the local residents of Kota Bumi tend to throw their garbage on the street. Firstly, by disposing it directly on the street, they do not need to pay for it, and secondly, they feel free to do it because there is a lack of management to take care of the garbage problem. This problem will not exist if the government can take over this matter and maintain it with a good management.

As the lucky people who stay in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, we Indonesians should have a better understanding of how we take care of our environment by keeping it clean. As a start, we can rethink our personal trash habits by reducing the amount of trash we create. By doing that, the garbage will reduce automatically.

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Significant Points About Residential Property in Noida

Now a days buying a real estate property in Delhi NCR is the toughest job. Various points and perspectives hover in your head before investing into properties especially when you are buying in a newly settled area. In the past few years significant growth has been witnessed in Noida and neighboring regions. The speedy project development in the highly demanded residential projects in Noida has made a huge impact on the commercial real estate property as well.

The demand for investment in Noida property is rising to this extent that the real estate developers are focusing on luxury houses as well, people are investing massively in residential projects in Noida. The property rates are growing at the rate of 30% annually. Due to this, people who have invested have a greater opportunity to make good profits.

Following are the significant facts about the residential property in Noida:
1) Mostly Noida's residential properties are available in multiple units, luxurious villas are one of most asked for. These villas are designed at par with the global standards.
2) The sectors which are mainly focused are 14,15,27,28,29,44 etc
3) World famous real estate builders invest in this area and they are trying to give the best infrastructure facilities.
4) Because of the economic growth and the evolution real estate business in India is doing great.
5) Now investment opportunities have grown as the city has biological technology also available.
6) Good drainage and smooth road ways are some of the good feature, electric wiring is underground, less congested area it is.
7) The time it takes to reach Noida from Delhi is minimal especially due to better connectivity with respect to the expressway and other alternative routes. You just cross over almost effortlessly.
8) Noida is now well develop the housing market and industrial area, many IT professions are working at here on many projects and infrastructures. The demand for the residential property is rising and this is the main reason behind the industrial and business growth in Noida.

This city is now well established. It consist of various commercial properties, retail spaces with spacious shops and sprawling malls. Comparing to other NCR towns, the developing city of Noida has property rates much within the reach of many, therefore a larger chunk of NCR citizens are choosing to buy houses for investment purposes where in they can get increased return on investment in the coming years.

This has affected many people not only from Delhi but also from other cities from across India. All the parameters mentioned above are not the only reasons infect there's more, all kind of medical facilities are easily available here.

They have best medical care, now a days metro facility is a must & available at multiple spots there, with the help of metro the travel channel of Noida, Delhi and Gurgaon has become free flowing, convenient and safe. Big entities and corporation are trying to acquire the land in the surrounding areas of Noida, which simply proves the increasing demand for Noida realty.

Most architects, designers and builders are putting their brains to change this city and make it at par with the global standards. Noida at one point was considered to an urban egglomeration of Delhi but in recent past has become the city that gives huge returns to its citizens.

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How To Practice Eco-Friendly Real Estate While Simultaneously Saving Cash

A major issue that is negatively influencing both the environment and the financial standing of the people around the world, is the rapidly increasing power consumption. Electricity bills have become a major constituent of the overall spending for most people around the word. A cost effective way to bring down the power consumption as well as promoting environmental preservation, is sure to kill two birds with one stone. Here are some tips for the same:

Administer A Power Audit

Identifying the main source of power consumption in your house can go a long way in helping you reduce your electricity bill. Once you realize which of your appliances is consuming the most energy, you can limit its use. Not everyone knows the correct way to conduct the power audit, so you can always hire a professional for the job. This will prevent any health hazards that may occur while you tinker around with equipments you are not acquainted with.

Replace Incandescent Lighting

One of the largest consumers of power are incandescent bulbs. You must replace them with compact fluorescent bulbs, as they will help you save up to 44% of energy consumption. Another way to reduce the energy consumption is by cleaning light bulbs, since dust can cut light output by at least 25%.

Change The Cooking Appliances

If you notice a sudden hike in the energy consumption, then the first thing to do is replace all your old appliances with new ones, since they will consume less energy. Also, if you are using an oven for baking purposes, switch to a microwave as microwaves use 40% less energy and will not heat the kitchen in the process.

Create A Hot-Cold Equilibrium

Another way to limit the power consumption is by using a programmable thermostat. This allows you to enjoy ideal temperatures without running up your electric bill. Also, it is recommended that you install a ceiling fan as well as an AC, because AC's are extremely power hungry. You can also insulate your water heater with a water heater jacket. This will keep the water warmer for a longer duration and prevent the need to switch on the heater again.

Invest In A Recycling Station

Instead of throwing away the garbage, what if you could recycle and reuse it in your backyard? This eco-friendly practice is available to you, if you install a recycling and compost station in your home. As a result of this, you will not only help the environment by preventing improper garbage disposal, but will also cut down on your expenses of buying the same articles repeatedly.

In today's smart age, nobody wants to be the one causing environmental degradation. The steps mentioned above will not only help you with protecting the environment, but will also lower your overall spending.

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Powai: A Suburb of the Future

Powai being located in the north-east neighbor hood of Mumbai is said to be one of the most influential locales in the city. The suburb of Powai has seen a staggering growth of residential projects and complexes which has changed the horizon of the city completely. Festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi are big hype in this part of the city with a multitude of people flocking the streets to pay their respects to Lord Ganesha.

Over the years, Powai has evolved to be a residential and commercial hub. Buzzing with a number of gated communities, luxury residential complexes, and shopping shopping malls, Powai is the place to be in Mumbai. Be it the upmarket residential locales, or the happening nightlife, Powai is considered to be the face of modern-day Mumbai.

The Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai or IIT- Bombay was built in Mumbai in the year 1958. Since the advent of this prestigious college Powai has seen a surging growth in all sectors of the society especially the real estate sector. Powai is an important landmark due to its great connectivity to both the eastern as well as the Western Express Highway and also its proxies to the airport. There are a large number of commercial projects that are happening in the heart of Powai. With over 150+ offices in Mumbai and multinationals moving in, Powai definitely has a very promising future.

Thousand of job opportunities opened up due to set up of major corporate like Bayern, Deloitte, CRISIL, Nomura and Larsen & Toubro which have led a lot of people to flock to this suburb for a job. The setup of these offices has also led to an exponential increase in residential as well commercial spaces in this locality resulting in the growth of this region.

When you buy a flat in Powai you feel like you are in heaven with its large and spacious rooms which also come with modern amenities such as increased parking space for visitors, indoor gymnasium, swimming pool and recreational center for kids. The dense skyscrapers in Powai have Roman architecture to it which gives the building a classical look. These buildings also give you a very scenic view of the night life of Mumbai city.

The demand for property in Powai has been tremendous. This can be attributed to the well-connected road network, fast-paced urban life, and desirable social infrastructure. The road network in Powai is absolutely excellent with its BEST- run AC and Non-AC bus services. The Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, which passes through Powai is a bridge between the Eastern and Western Expressway. This helps the residents of Powai travel to any part of Mumbai and beyond with ease.

Powai is all set to see a new landmark in the form of an upcoming bird park. Powai was selected because it was one of the few locales still in tune with nature. Once completed, this 24-acre bird park will be a major landmark in Powai, infusing life in the tourism industry and encouraging further commercial development.

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4 Easy Tips To Go Green And Thus Attract More Tenants

Going green is the trend these days, and it's because more and more people are becoming environmentally conscious. As a landlord, you should be able to identify this trend and use it to your advantage to make your house look more attractive to the tenants. There are several ways in which you can make your house green. Here are 4 easy environment-friendly tips on attracting more tenants:

1. Introduce Green Replacements

If you are about to renovate your house before putting it back on the rental market, or even before doing something as small as fixing a broken bulb, consider getting green replacements. This is generally better if your tenants are already living in the house, as it reduces the downtime.

Check if the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer have Energy Star ratings. Replace older shower heads with low-flow models. Other small things that you can pay attention to include light bulbs, carpets, window coverings, and paints.

2. Use Solar Energy

It has been found that heating water using electricity is a major contributor to power consumption and electricity bills. While solar panels have been making a leeway into apartment complexes, you should make it a priority even if it's an individual house. Solar heat pumps are available on the market, and the government has been supporting the idea with subsidies. The future will see better storage technologies for solar power, and your house will appear smart to the tenants with this choice. And hey, it would reduce the bills too!

3. Insulate Your House

Insulating your home is a direct step towards encouraging sustainability. You can trap cold air in the summers and warm air in the winters. This reduces the annual costs involved in using air conditioners and heat radiators. There are ample cheap, recycled insulators in the market that are made of wool and polyester. You should definitely consider getting them.

4. Get Compost And Recycle Bins

You can get your tenants some inexpensive recycle bins. It would be great if you can get compost bins too, as these will promote waste reduction and proper recycling of food waste. You can even buy some fruit gardens to use the compost. Tenants will really appreciate this.

These days, more and more house hunters are looking to live in environmentally friendly areas. Follow these simple steps to not only ensure that you attract green-savvy tenants, but also help the house live long.

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5 Simple Energy Conservation Ideas For Your Home

While most potential home buyers, consider their monthly mortgage payment (including principal, interest, and escrow / taxes), many, fail to adequately consider other monthly expenses, associated with home ownership. Perhaps the most significant one, is the cost of energy – related activities, including electric, and heart. The purpose of this article is not to examine the many alternative heating alternatives, including solar, geo-thermal, etc, but rather, to review some simple steps, one can somehow easily take, to make their home more energy – efficient, and friendly . Let's look at 5 simple, basic, energy conservation ideas / steps.

1. Windows and doors: What is the Energy Efficiency Ratio of your entry doors? What material are they made of? How are they hung? How much air is seeing out, through the spaces created, because of their alignment? Simply, assuring your door has a bottom sweep , and the spaces around the top, and sides, is reduced / eliminated, will prevent heat escaping in the winter, and air conditioning, escaping during the summer. What type of blinds, or curtains are you using, and are you using them, to let sun in, when it is cold out, while reducing the entry of the heat of the sun, when it is hot? When was the last time you checked your windows, in terms of air – intensity, energy rating, and tinting (if your local climate indicators doing so)?

2. Insulation: Every form of insulation comes with some R rating . This number indicates the amount of insulation, but are you certain, all exterior walls and ceilings are properly insulated? Doing so, may potentially save a significant amount of unnecessary energy costs.

3. Energy efficient appliances: Certain home appliances, especially refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners, have become far more energy – efficient, in recent years. How old are yours? Look at the rating, and it will indicate how much energy a particular appliance might be using. When I recently replaced my refrigerator, the new one was far more efficient (therefore, cost less to run), than my 15 – year old model. Similarly, today's oil and gas burners and boilers are far more efficient, than they have ever been!

4. Water and toilet: Are there any dripping faucets or toilets that continue to run – on? Eliminate the drips, change faucet heads (especially in the shower), and check the efficiency of your toilets.

5. Lights / fixtures: Begin by making the effort to turn lights off, when you leave the room! What type of light bulb are you using? Many bulbs today are four, or more times, more efficient (use less energy / wattage), than older ones. Do a lights and fixtures – review on a regular basis!

These 5 ideas may seem basic and obvious, but you'd be amazed how few people consider these. Without you like wasting energy, and spending more than you need to, using these simple, conservation methods, will save money, and reduce energy waste.

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6 Green House Considerations

Because of the many environmental concerns, threats and considerations, many buyers, as well as homeowners, today, have become more – and – more concerned with various factors, often referred to as green real estate. There are many considerations, and variations, as well as degrees of greening individuals are interested in. Some (though a minority) are real environmentalists, and want their home, to exhibit their concern and attention, to this very important issue. Others merely want to proceed in a somewhat balanced manner, and want to include reasonable green characteristics. This article will be a basic one, and discuss, general terms, 6 considerations, regarding making your home, a gener one.

1. Windows and doors: Obviously, energy conservation is a major environmental concern. We often talk about a business' carbon footprint, but, obviously, certain homes are far more energy – efficient than others. When were your windows replaced and / or upgraded, and are they efficient? Do they keep out most of the cold, in the winter, and minimize the amount of heat, which enters in the hottest weather? What materials are your windows and doors, made of? Do your doors leak? Begin by having someone do an energy inspection, and see if you are losing much heat, because of inefficiencies. Doors can often be made more efficient, by having them re-hung, and putting in a properly installed, sweep, on the bottom of the door. How much money, and energy are you wasting?

2. Solar, geo-thermal, etc: Some houses are qualified for solar panels, while others are not! What direction does your roof face? Are there any large trees blocking your roof? How many hours a day, of sun, does your roof, experience? Have you had your home examined, to discover whether you might be a good candidate for geo – thermal? This often requires a combination and evaluation of your property, pitch, location, and layout.

3. Energy – efficient burners / boilers, and air conditioners: When was the last energy efficiency assessment, you had performed? How old is your burner / boiler, and is it efficient? What type of air conditioning do you use, and what it the Energy Efficiency Rating?

4. Roof: Light – colored roofs reflect heat, while darker ones, absorb it. Therefore, does not it make sense, that warmer climates should use lighter ones, and colder ones, darker? What is the material being used? Is it efficient, effective and safe? How old is the roof?

5. Insulation: What is the rating of your insulation, and how well insulated, is the house? Have the walls (especially outside ones) checked, for efficiency? Older homes tend not to have updated insulation, or may contain less than the safest materials. An ounce of prevention, makes lots of sense!

6. Materials: Are you using safe, sustainable materials, in your house? This is generally more relevant, in newer homes, or extensions, but if you are concerned with the environment, you should consider the sustainability, safety and impacts of your home!

There are numerous environmental considerations. Whether you are truly committed to the environment, or purely want to be responsible, and save money (and be safer), it makes sense to think green !

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The Irresistible Flats in Zirakpur for You to Buy

Amidst the three basic necessities of our life, home is one of them. It is the hearty desire of every individual and family to own at least a house in the preferred location. If you have not yet owned any home, there is no need to worry at all. Now every single family will have the golden opportunity to become the owner of a flat in the fully developed capital city of the state Haryana.

The many of the reputed builders have come together and made the people realize the limitless benefits of flats to buy. There are some companies engaged in the construction of residential and commercial projects at the different locations for the people to make the purchases. The residential projects include 1 BHK, 2 BHK, 3 BHK, and 4 BHK with fully furnished home and ultra-modular kitchen. The marbles, tiles, stonework, furniture works and other attractions are captivating enough to win your sweet little heart.

The Unlimited Benefits of Buying Flats in Zirakpur

Some of the Flats in Zirakpur and at other places are so well designed by the restructured architect that a single look is enough to captivate your mind. It gives you the feeling of staying in a five star environment at home. So why to wait now? Rush to visit the actual site and take a close look at the ready to live flats available for the possession for you in your own dream city near Chandigarh. You are sure to gain many other features in addition to the unavoidable deals on your bookings.

One should not miss the chance to win the attractive property deals. There are many advantages of owning your own house. It is indeed a matter of proud to become the owner of a Flats in Zirakpur, Chandigarh- the beautiful city in the country.
There are many good reasons that will encourage you to make your stay in the city. Some of the major attractions include

(i) 2 states: it is a union territory administrated by the Central Government. It is the capital of two states ie Haryana and Punjab.

(ii) Well Planned city: It is the first planned city in the nation. The town planning is done in a systematic manner in order to avoid the unwanted problems occurring due to natural calamities and manual activities.

(iii) Tricity: The neighboring cities of Chandigarh, Panchkula, and Mohali together form the 'Tricity'.

It has been observed that growth and development is the ongoing process in the city as a result of it the rate of the property is constantly increasing. It is indeed a very good decision to make the investment in the booking real estate market in the city.

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Anaheim Hills Houses Are in High Demand Because It Is the Perfect Place for Settling Down

If you want an ideal setting for your home, then Anaheim hills is the perfect place for you. In this era of global warming and unpredictable weather fluctuations, Anaheim hills maintain a pleasant weather throughout the year, which is the main unique feature of the place. Anaheim Hills is a prosperous planned society encircling the eastern portions of the city of Anaheim, in California's Orange County. Anaheim Hills is located south of Yorba Linda, California, which is opposite to the 91 freeway at Imperial Highway. The western border is located at the 55 freeway reverse to the city of Orange, California. The community extends past Gypsum Canyon on the northeast side, which is bordered by unincorporated areas of Cleveland National Forest (east) and Orange County. To the south of Anaheim hills is the Santa Ana foothill. The whole of Anaheim Hills is surrounded by the city limits of Anaheim, California.

There are some famous personalities from all over the world settled in Anaheim Hills for the overall beauty and serenity of the place. It has well planned neighboring hoods, good schools, and a number of beautiful natural spots which have attracted the attention of the well-to-do people in society. Anyone who visits Anaheim hills will want to set down in the place. Such is the natural beauty of the community that it offers a temptation that can not be ignored. Therefore the demand for Anaheim hills homes are on a rise and the real estate companies operating in the area are having a really hard time to put up with the steady demands. There are theme parks and convention centers that are major points of tourist attraction and also the main source of e-learning in the city. In today's economic condition, which does not look promising from any angle all over the globe, Anaheim is thriving because of the various tourist pots which people keep visiting throughout the year round.

The education system in Anaheim is another major draw. It has a number of good schools and anyone who plans to settle down in the city will not have to worry about the education part of their children as it would have taken care of by the best. There are elementary and middle schools, and also one high school in the community itself, so you will not have to send off your children to study. There are also provisions for educating children with special needs, for which there are specialty schools in the city. No wonder then that the people who visit Anaheim sometimes plan to stay back and set up their permanent home in the city for its all around positive environment. That is why the Anaheim hills houses are snapped up as soon as they come into the market for sale. Having a house at such a beautiful place beats staying at a hotel, and even if someone plans to take yearly vacations, then owning a property in such a pretty location makes sense. It is also a good investment, as when you need to sell off the property for any reason; there will not be a dearth of buyers in the market.

For college graduates, this city provides enough employment opportunities so that they also fall in love with the place. The major job provider is Walt Disney, which provides meaningful employment opportunities to tons of fresh graduates. Other major areas of employment are the Anaheim Convention Center, sports centers, Adventure City, golf courses, museums, not to mention the largest of them all … the Disneyland resort. No wonder that young people who want to start life on a good footing find this city the perfect place and they also consider settling down in the city. Therefore, Anaheim Hills homes are sometimes bought by these young crowd also, adding vitality to the place, a dash of energy and modern culture.

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Luxury Condos Can Be Eco-Friendly, Too

These days, the 'green' label gets thrown around a lot. There's no end to the list of things advertised as less harmful for the environment than their traditional counterparts. Far from following the trend, the housing industry has long been ahead of the curve. Residential development continues to sit at the forefront of this commitment to green building, with alternative insulation materials going mainstream, solar panels popping up on rooftops across the country, and water-saving technology becoming the norm. But while these additions and renovations can be great, many eco-minded homebuyers do not realize just how efficient and environmentally friendly it can be to live in multi-unit buildings. Luxury condos are green by their very nature!

The Benefits of Population Density

The more that a single structural element, utility, or appliance can be shared, the more efficient it is. In a luxury condo, a shared wall does what two separate walls would in houses. That translates to half as much building material to construct the wall, whether it's wood, brick, concrete, etc. It's also common for utilities to be centralized in a condominium complex, meaning that the hot water heater serves multiple units, a far more efficient use of energy than heating multiple small water heaters. The same holds true for air-conditioning and heating, which benefit from scaling up and serving multiple residences. By combining these functions that would need to be replicated at each individual home, multi-unit homes maximize efficient use of building materials and electricity.

Space to Breathe

On the other side of the equation, minimizing sprawl by sharing structures and appliances leaves more room on the property for outdoor features. Luxury condominiums have a much smaller footprint, on a per-unit basis, than individual homes. This means that the grounds can be larger and more luxurious, with water features and even small community gardens that would not be possible on many small lots.

The Cutting Edge

While luxury condos are, by their very nature, environmentally friendly, developers are increasingly using multi-unit residential construction to push the boundaries of green living. This is owed, at least in part, to the overwhelmingly green values ​​and trends displayed by young, hip urbanites. Young professionals have shown especially significant interest in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for buildings. LEED certification encourages developers to incorporate alternative energy sources like solar panels for electricity or hot water. Another LEED innovation is the use of so-called gray water systems to recycle sink and drain water into the landscape. This water-saving technology is especially popular in the arid West, where drought has forced cities in California and Arizona to mandate cuts in public water.

Today, many homebuyers are interested in spending on environmentally responsible housing housing choices. Whether it's a first home or a retirement pad, more and more buyers should look to luxury condos as eco-friendly options.

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Smart Solutions in India: A Step Towards Developing Smart Cities

Good ideas come in many shapes and sizes, and are designed to improve quality of life. They may involve technology, institutional or administrative reforms, and the involvement of citizens. The choice of solution is only smart if it is right-sized to the challenge it aims to address; bigger is not necessarily better.

What's The Real Mean of 'Smart City'?

A city can be defined as 'smart' when investments in human and social capital and traditional (transport) and modern (ICT) communication infrastructure fuel sustainable economic development and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory action and engagement.

Experts predict the world's urban population will double by 2050 – which means we're adding the equivalent of seven New York Cities to the planet every single year. As our planet becomes more urban, our cities need to get smarter. To handle this large-scale urbanization, we'll need to find new ways to manage complexity, increase efficiency, reduce expenses, and improve quality of life.

With this rapid growth ahead of us, imagine if our cities could talk-if they could give us live status updates on traffic patterns, pollution, parking spaces, water, power and light. Imagine how that kind of information could improve the economic and environmental health of the city for residents, merchants, and visitors. Imagine how it could improve working conditions and productivity for the people who maintain the city.

Smart City: A smart city is one that has digital technology embedded across all city functions.

Smarter City uses digital technology and information and communication technologies (ICT) to better quality and performance this engage more effectively and actively with its citizen. The Smart City includes government services, transport, traffic management, energy, health care, water and waste.

Case Studies – A Step towards a Smarter India

Case Study 1:

HUBLI: PREDICTING WATER SUPPLY THROUGH MOBILE TECHNOLOGY

To help citizens plan better, Hubli partnered with a civic startup to develop an system that would alert residents 30 minutes in advance that water was about to be released for their neighborhood.

The Problem

Water supply is unpredictable in many cities across India. The citizens of Hubli in Karnataka, too, do not have access to a regular supply of water. In many neighborhoods, water is not available for days, affecting the quality of life of residents. Predicting when an area would receive water is difficult because the municipality does not have the resources to update neighborboods on time.

The Solution

Hubli city partnered with NextDrop, a Bangalore-based civic startup, to alert residents about the availability of water in their households. Valvemen, responsible for turning water on, notify an automated system when they are about to release water for a neighborhood. The system sends the information to NextDrop, which in turn sends a text message to residents that have subscribed to a 10-rupee service that water would be available within 30 minutes.

The Results

Over 25,000 households in Hubli have signed up for the service. With access to timely information, users of the service find it easier to make necessary arrangements for storing water. The system has improved efficiency and allowed for better access to water.

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Case Study 2:

NAGPUR: PROMOTING ENERGY MANAGEMENT PRACTICES TO IMPROVE WATER EFFICIENCY

The Problem

A 2005 water audit by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation recorded water losses at 62%. Energy costs in 2004-05 were 21.1 crore rupees, accounting for nearly 50% of the city's water operation and maintenance. The city knew that it had to improve its energy management, both to save resources and to help prolong the life of the city's water supply equipment.

The Solution

After the audit, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation's initiated a study of its water situation that found that pumping system efficiency was low and there was significant potential to both increase energy efficiency and decrease operational costs. The audit recommended setting up an automated water management system. Based on the recommendation, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation rationalized water distribution and pumping systems to reduce static and friction. It replaced old, inefficient pumps with energy efficient pumps; improved pump machinery; and installed remote monitoring systems to operate the pumps at prescribed efficiency levels.

The Results

The city's strategy led to a 106.96 Kwh / MLD reduction in energy consumption. It also helped the city to recover 7 MLD of backwash water and save more than 10 crore rupees in operation and management costs. Pumping efficiency rose from 40% to 75%. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation's experience shows that a structured approach, specific investment funding, and timely implementation can help to achieve tangible savings.

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Case Study 3

HYDERABAD: SOLICITING CITIZEN FEEDBACK TO IMPROVE SERVICE DELIVERY

The Problem:

Citizens were reporting problems with garbage delivery, road maintenance, and street lighting to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), but the city encountered difficulties responding to all citizen complaints in a timely manner.

The Solution

The GMHC established an online complaints and reviews system to improve services available to citizens. The system includes 4,687 citizen service centers, a 48-hour response deadline and an additional crowd complaint option that allows multiple people to escalate a complaint by contacting local officials and lodging any grievances. The government also makes 12 monitoring vehicles responsible for monitoring 2,000 kilometers of Hyderabad. These vehicles gather photographic and video evidence to help government identify and address local problems.

The Results
The complaints system enabled the GHMC commissioner and other senior officials to closely monitor including garbage delivery, manhole coverage, street lighting, stray dogs, toilet facilities, potholes and illegal constructions. Today, 30% of complaints to GHMC are made online, and the government has also launched a mobile app in partnership with the private sector that will make reporting grievances even easier.

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Case Study 4

MUMBAI: BRINGING SANITATION SOLUTIONS TO URBAN SLUMS

The Problem

In 2011, more than 50% of homes in Mumbai did not have toilets, meaning a large proportion of the population depended on public toilets. The result: toxic bacteria in the air and the water, which spreads disease.

The Solution

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and community-based agencies worked together with communities to install 330 modern and technological “toilet blocks” – including 5,100 toilet seats.

The Results

Mumbai's Slum Sanitation Program created enough sanitary facilities to serve 400,000 people in the slums of Mumbai, improving the health of citizens and infrastructure of the city. The new facilities received a 15% higher approval rating from citizens than the contract-run toilets that replaced.

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Maximizing Small Space Through Rooftop Farming

Homes and facilities with little to no space for farming and gardening is something common to urban places. In urban places, people have learned to adapt their desire to start farming or gardening through different methods that allow them to start planting even with just little space.

If you have a space to spare in your rooftop, you too can start rooftop farming in your home or office. Rooftop farming is a practice that lets people make use of any rooftop space that they have for farming as well as gardening. Different crops can be grown depending on the space that you have. You can plant herbs and small vegetables if you have a small to moderate sized space. If you have larger space, you can also employ vertical farming on your rooftop.

The benefit that can be acquainted with rooftop farming is similar to the benefits that can be gained from other farming practices such as vertical farming and urban farming. Rooftop farming can possibly be considered as urban farming since urban farming seems to cover a much larger scale of farming practice in urban areas.

What makes rooftop farming unique is that even ordinary citizens can take advantage of it so long as they have a rooftop space to use. In addition, the materials and tools needed for rooftop farming can range from simple wood crates to farming rails as well as ceramic and herb pots to complex ones with hydroponic systems. Here are some simple rooftop farming ideas that you can possibly consider.

  • Usage of Pots

You can purchase ceramic pots or those which are made specifically for herbs and small crops. These can be used indoors as well as outdoors.

  • Usage of Wooden Crates

Wooden crates can be used so that you can layer them up to appear like a vertical garden. You can plant different crops that do not require to be planted deep in the ground. You can also plant green vegetables. These crates can be those that are used for storing and delivering profits in markets or can be as low as 1 foot in height.

  • Usage of Recyclable Materials

Recyclable materials like plastic containers, doors, frames, bricks, and wood scraps can be used to start a rooftop farm. You just need to assemble them neatly so that you use them to grow crops.

  • Usage of Greenhouse

If you can afford it, you can also use a greenhouse to start a farm in your rooftop and build a vertical farm. A vertical farm on your roof would come out to be very beneficial as you will be able to produce a lot of crops while using only a small amount of space.

It is not required that you use only one method to build your rooftop farm. You can mix and match any of these so you can maximize your space as well as your crop yields.

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Basic Urban Farming Tips

With very little space in your home, how can you grow your own produce or even manage a farm? This is actually quite possible! You should not allow limited space to hinder your goal of starting your own farm.

People living in urban areas think that farming can only be done in rural areas and countryside places. However, with a little effort as well as appropriate know-how, you will be able to start a farm even in your own house! This is called urban farming. This is a farm practice that lets you cultivate your own produce even if you live in the city. You can start with potted herbs as well as small vegetable batches. Here is how you can start farming in your small space.

  • Take time in visiting urban farms around you.

Visiting urban farms around Singapore will allow you to check out what possible herbs, plants, or vegetables you will be able to grow in the small space that you have. Doing so will help you in learning some tips that you can possibly apply in your own farm.

  • Gather what you need.

After visiting farms around Singapore, you can start gathering the tools and materials that you need to start farming in your small space. You can begin by purchasing small pots for herbs that you can grow even in your own kitchen. You can also get wall rails that will help you build your indoor garden around your window. Metal baskets would also be quite helpful if you plan to plant various herbs. Ceramic pots are also good options. There are also what they call “germination kits” that you can purchase for cheap amounts. Of course, do not forget the seeds.

  • Start attending urban farming workshops.

You will also do well in attending farming workshops so you can be sure that you are making the most out of your small space. Such workshops will help you in terms of where and how you should begin as well as with you tips directly from farming professionals. Some workshops also include farm tours to inspire you and give you idea on what you can do with your small farm space.

These are just basic ideas on how you can get started with your own urban farm. Whether you have a small rooftop or some space in your kitchen, urban farming know-how can help you enjoy fresh produce for a cheaper price.

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Vertical Farming: Singapore’s Way to Start Going Green

Living in a highly urbanized place brings its own set of advantages and disadvantages. One of the most predominant disadvantages would be the inability to start planting greens or cultivate farms. Due to the little space as well as other minor factors involved in living in an urban place, residents find it quite impossible to even start a mini garden. However, in Singapore this is no longer impossible thanks to vertical farming.

What is vertical farming?

This type of farming is a practice under urban agriculture that allows people to plant fresh produce in vertically stacked layers. Although there are several ways on how this can be implemented depending on the location where you want to start farming vertically, most are not very difficult to maintain and use. Here are some of the perks that you can get from implementing vertical farming in Singapore.

  • Grow fresh produce with only little space needed.

Since temporary space is mostly occupied in Singapore, using the method of farming vertically is a wise way to produce food even in buildings or high-roofed areas. Sky Greens has developed a technology using a vertical system that is low carbon and hydraulic water-driven. This system is the first in the world. It allows maximum yield in fresh produce with just a small amount of water, natural resources, and energy. At home, this farming method can also be implemented using farming rails.

  • Future preparation for urban countries like Singapore

Countries like Singapore mainly imports food from other countries as growing it is quite difficult. With vertical farming methods implemented, food can be homegrown and importing can be lessened. In addition, this can even create clean environment as well as contribute to decreasing global warming and climate change.

  • Increase production of crops

Another known benefit of vertical farming is increased crop yield. Compared to growing crops the old way, you will be able to double or even triple your crop yield since vertical farming allows you to plant more – from ground up. In addition, you will also be able to produce any crop all year round.

  • Lower risk of weather damage

Unlike traditional farming that is often done outdoors, vertical farming is implemented indoors. In this sense, there is lower risk of experiencing weather defects such as flooding, extreme weather temperature and the likes.

Vertical farming is a great way to do farming even in a highly urbanized location. However, you need to make sure that you know all of the basics so you can be sure to grow healthy crops.

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