Jeny Smith | Blog
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Tips for Green Moving

Moving is extremely stressful but also hard on the environment. From disposable packing materials, to number of cardboard boxes used to move, to the gas-guzzling moving trucks. Thankfully there are steps you can take to help minimize your overall environmental footprint on your next home or office move.

Choose the right materials.
When it comes to green moving, choosing the right materials is essential. You want to choose earth-friendly materials, but that doesn’t mean you want to compromise on durability and dependability. Fortunately, there are a number of cost-effective ways to safely transport your household items while minimizing your environmental footprint.
• Not only does old newspaper work quite well for most items, but it’ll save you money because you can avoid paying for costly packing materials that you don’t need. If you do have to purchase packing paper, make sure you choose a product that is already made of recycled paper.
• For some breakable items, basic newspaper won’t do, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for bubble wrap that will take hundreds of years to decompose in a landfill! Look for environmentally-friendly packing materials like Geami wrap that is not only 100% recyclable, but is also biodegradable and compostable.
• Think outside the cardboard box when it comes to packing materials. There are a lot more options out there than newspaper and bubble wrap. Blankets and towels also make great packing materials, especially for breakable items.
• Avoid cardboard moving boxes altogether. Don’t spend time and money on cardboard boxes when there’s a more convenient and ecological option. Products like the reusable moving boxes from Brute Box Moving avoid the cardboard mess entirely be delivering reusable plastic moving boxes that are 100% recyclable.
Recycle items and get rid of stuff you don’t need.
Recycling items when you move is extremely important, but you should also consider the items that you’ll be taking with you. There are many ways you can recycle throughout your move, while getting rid stuff that you don’t need at the same time.
• Instead of using more packing materials and boxes in order to pack things you don’t want anyway, consider donating them. In most cases, the donation is tax deductible, so you can feel good about doing something wonderful for the environment, all the while helping those in need.
• Moving isn’t cheap. If you’re looking to fund your big move, consider selling your stuff. Websites like make it easy to connect with potential buyers. If you have particularly valuable items, you can contact an auction house. You can even consider opening up a booth in a local flea market. If all of that fails, you can always have a good old-fashioned garage sale!
• After you’re all moved in, make sure you recycle as many of your moving items as you can. If you did use cardboard boxes, take them to a recycling facility. Put paper and plastic into your recycling bin. You can also ask friends, family members, and coworkers if they would like to use your items for their next move.
When all is said and done, if you spend a little extra time at the beginning of your move, you’ll learn that green moving isn’t hard. Not only will you be helping to protect our precious natural resources, but you’re also likely to save time and money in the long run.

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Homes are flying off the market in SF and the greater Bay Area

SFGate recently published a report that said homes are selling faster in the Bay Area than anywhere else in the nation. That doesn’t mean that all homes are selling. For example, homes at the higher end of the market will take longer to sell. But well-priced homes in good condition in generally good locations are selling – and selling fast.

San Francisco, as you might expect, tops the list. Followed by San Jose, Oakland, San Diego, Orange County and Seattle, in that order. It’s interesting to note that among the 100 largest U.S. metros, 8 of the 10 fastest-moving housing markets are in California.

How fast is fast? Consider this: Out of all the homes listed in February, 2015, only 30% of homes for sale in the San Francisco Bay Area are still on the market this April, vs. 70% of homes in Long Island and Albany, NY metros. In the city of San Francisco, only 26% of homes are still for sale after two months – homes are selling that fast!


If you’d like to know what your home is worth feel free to give us a call, no obligation. We are never too busy for any of your referrals!

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Are you prepared for the next earthquake?


At a minimum, have the basic supplies listed below. Keep supplies in an easy to carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

    • Water—one gallon per person, per day (3 day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home)
    • Food—non perishable, easy to prepare items (3 day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home)
    • Flashlight
    • Battery powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
    • Extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Medications (7 day supply) and medical items
    • Multi purpose tool
    • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
    • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
    • Cell phone with chargers
    • Family and emergency contact information
    • Extra cash
    • Emergency blanket
    • Map(s) of the area

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

    • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
    • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
    • Games and activities for children
    • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
    • Two way radios
    • Extra set of car keys and house keys
    • Manual can opener

Additional supplies to keep at home or in your kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

    • Whistle
    • N95 or surgical masks
    • Matches
    • Rain gear
    • Towels
    • Work gloves
    • Tools/supplies for securing your home
    • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
    • Plastic sheeting
    • Duct tape
    • Scissors
    • Household liquid bleach
    • Entertainment items
    • Blankets or sleeping bags

To see more information, the Red Cross has some very useful documents and 72 is another great place to learn more.

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Exciting news about greywater systems in San Francisco!

greywaterThere is a new greywater resource available from the San Francisco Public Utility Commission!

The San Francisco Graywater Design Manual is available to be downloaded here:

In it are step-by-step instructions for building a laundry to landscape system and general info on other systems, irrigation with greywater, sample operation and maintenance manuals, and more! This manual is in draft form, so please read and use it and submit your comments so it can be improved upon.

You can also apply to be part of a laundry to landscape pilot study and receive free training and parts to build your system if you live in San Francisco, see the website listed above for details.

There is also a great article and video out in Metropolis Mag by some journalism students who did a workshop with Greywater Action.

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Look Out for CA Vehicle Registration Notification Change

As of July 1, 2011, the California DMV is no longer required to mail out advance notices for upcoming vehicle registration. See the Website for details.

They are balancing that change with an additional grace period of 30 days before penalties would be applied.

They are also adding $12 to the registration fee. It appears that the state is trying to cut back on the costs of mailing out the notices and increasing revenue with the increased fee as well as expecting that many of us will forget to pay our registration on time, thus adding more fees through penalties.

Key here is to remind yourselves with post-it notes or iPhone alarms, so we will not pay extra for our vehicle registration.

Check the tag on your plates. It will tell you what month you must renew.

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SF Urban Orchards Program

The San Francisco Urban Orchard Program is accepting applications for the Great January Fruit Tree program! SF Environment is working with Friends of the Urban Forest to plant 200 fruit trees in January 2013. The trees will be planted at twenty locations throughout the city, targeting school and community gardens as well as other publicly accessible private spaces.

Friends of the Urban Forest and their tree stewards will help identify and prepare planting locations within their gardens, assist with tree selection, and provide care to trees until they’re established. Tree stewards will take on day-to-day tree care, such as ensuring the tree is watered and enjoying and sharing the fruit.

To become a tree steward and have fruit trees planted in your garden, for more information and to be placed on the outreach list.

Repost from

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