Posts tagged investing

Tax Refund: Investing in Your Home

So you just finished standing in line at the post office, trying to get that dreaded paperwork off the the IRS in time to get your tax refund this year.  At least it’s easier to take when you think of all the green that will soon be coming your way.  

Tax refund check

If you’re really thinking, you can use that green to green another area of your life… your home.  Here’s a link to a great article from Forbes about how the Federal government allows for tax rebates when you remodel or improve your home.  It’s worth a look through to see in which ways you can actually make that refund work for you in the long run.  While the focus of this article is not expressly on green technology, you can easily apply green building principles to any of the remodeling projects you do decide to undertake.  Just remember to check the list to see what qualifies.

If you’re not looking to start knocking down walls, perhaps you can look into upgrading ceratin appliances in your house to Enrgy Star rated versions, or consider making small investments toward off-grid power use, such as buying a clothesline for your back yard.  (What?  You’re not even getting that much back?  Times are tough…)  Or you could consider spending a day at the local garden store buying plants, which will add value and utility to your house.  The apple or peach tree you plant today will be a welcome respite from the future sun and also provide you with food for barter or decreased dependence on the supermarket. 

Keeping your house in shape will also pay off in the long run because you won’t have to put major funds toward total replacement of items that you keep in good repair.  If we ever hope to green the world, we’d do best to start with our own spaces, leading by shining example, rather than, as the bible puts it, sweeping our neighbors porch when our own remains dusty.  So make an investment in YOUR environment, and put Uncle Sam to work for you.

Leave a comment »

Who’s Hiding in Your Kitchen?

Scryve.com

Scryve.com

“Scryve is a collaborative web resource and browser tool combination that provides a resource for environmentally and socially aware Internet browsing. Look up company ratings using the search box below, or Download our browser tool to see the rating of any company whose website you are on in the top right corner of your browser. If you like the rating, keep browsing, if you don’t like it, click on it and we’ll show you why the company is rated that way and give you alternative companies to use.”

I figured I’d just let them speak for themselves, this time. The browser interface is very nice, though the recommendations seem to be based on a keyword algorithm that sometimes return humorous results. As is it obviously designed to be a user-driven site, right now, in its youngest stages, there are a lot of basic ratings and company information. Probably with a little more time and user traffic to get the recommendations streamlined, this site will become a valuable resource. For now, it functions best as a lesson in who owns what in the world. You might be surprised just how few people that could really be.

Going green and/or running from the grid are drastic changes to make in one’s standard lifestyle. But not because they require you to sell your soul or start making pemmican professionally from a National Forest treetop. It also has a lot to do with looking at the greater picture of things, which is a skill that translates across to successes in all walks of life. When I realized how easy it is to make a few simple changes and effectively shut out the power (both literally and figuratively!) of the people that I didn’t want telling me how to live each day, well, I was hooked. Success coaches stress the importance of success as a mindset. We would all do well to start out giving ourselves small goals that we actually achieve rather than big ones left half done. Try picking one alternative company to your mega mart today. Then, once you’ve adjusted your routine, pick another. Then you build with a solid foundation for future change.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: