1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

October 24, 2008

:298 Eco Banking

September 9, 2010 update;

Last week I received a notice from the Feds that Shore Bank has been closed –  another one bites the dust.

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:298 EcoTip:  Today I would like to suggest that if you want to save for a big ticket item (think hybrid car or solar installation) use your do-it-yourself carbon credits (:032) and save them in an environmentally and socially responsible bank like ShoreBank. This means your money will help support the environment while you are saving it, and will bring in some interest until your ready to use it for your purchase.

I’ve been wanting to post an investment EcoTip for some time, but was uncomfortable making stock market suggestions (especially now), but ShoreBank offers an on-line account that is FDIC insured.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:  :032

I received the following message a few days ago:

Hi  John,

Thanks for all your tips for going green in the home! It’s amazing how our little day-to-day choices like installing energy-saving fixtures in our homes (or which bank we choose) can have such a huge impact on the environment. I work with ShoreBank, an environmentally and socially responsible bank that is dedicated to protecting the environment and improving our communities. Right now, ShoreBank is offering 3.5% APY on their on-line high-yield savings account.

Saving with ShoreBank offers amazing value because ShoreBank offers a competitive rate, and you get the satisfaction of knowing that your money is being invested in environmentally sound, profitable and socially responsible projects. And because ShoreBank has been in business for over 35 years, has more than $2.2 billion in assets, and is backed by the full faith and credit of the FDIC, you can also rest easy knowing your money is secure.

You can find more information about ShoreBank and the current rate at http://shorebankvoices.swirlspace.net/blog/.

When you invest in ShoreBank, you help fund companies like Indie Energy, an energy company in Chicago using geothermal energy to provide green energy to customers and increase green employment opportunities. (see video above)

If you have any questions about opening a high yield savings account, please don’t hesitate to contact ShoreBank at shorebankdirect@sbk.com or call 888-864-(HYSA) (888-864-4972)

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May 15, 2008

:136 Tax Rebate

Filed under: :136 Tax Rebate — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:49 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:136 EcoTip: U.S. Tax Rebates are arriving in the mail. The government would like us to spend our way out of the recession. If your going to spend the money – why not spend it green? If you spend it for many of the energy saving upgrades discussed in these 1:5:10:365 EcoTips you should consider it a money saving investment with a carbon payback as well.

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I am pleased to announce that the third edition of my co-authored book Prescriptions for a Healthy House: A Practical Guide for Architects, Builders and Homeowners has just been released!

Modern culture has many benefits but all too frequently convenience and costs are exchanged for health. It’s true for food and it is every bit as true for our shelter. The authors have compiled the most authoritative reference in the field of how to build your home or office to maximize its benefit for your health. I have used this book in the construction of my home and office and highly recommend it. – Dr. Mercola, Founder www.mercola.com world’s most visited natural health site

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January 20, 2008

:020 Manage your Maintenance Costs

Filed under: :020 Maintenance Costs — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

Suggested Review – none

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1:5:10:020 Tip: Preventative maintenance is an important way to lower the cost of maintaining your home.

According to Coldwell banker every homeowner should plan on spending between 1.5% and 4% of the value of their home maintaining it each year.

We regularly tune up our car to keep it in good running order. The same should be true for our home.

Throughout this year, I will be suggesting maintenance tips that will help tune up the performance of your home to increase its durability, comfort, energy consumption and longevity. They may cost you some money up front, but should save you a bundle in the long run. 

For today’s action you will be calculating the value of your home and how much you should be planning to spending on an annual basis for maintenance. 

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Additional Information

First determine the approximate value of your home. You probably already have a number in mind, but if not you can go to http://realestate.yahoo.com/Homevalues 

This is a free yahoo service that claims they won’t contact you, sell your name or store your information, but I still found the experience somewhat spooky. I typed in my address and within seconds my home was located on a yahoo map and some of my homes details was displayed. It told me my house size, lot size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the approximate value. They indicated all the information came from public records. I just hate the idea of all this information not being private. Anyway I will save you listening to that rant for now. 

I am going to suggest you earmark 1% of the value of your home annually for routine and emergency maintenance. This amount isn’t for the big ticket items you can plan for like roof replacement or painting -those should be budgeted separately.

For example the median home price in the United States is around $215,000. So your annual maintenance fund for a home with this value would be $2,150. If you hired a plumber to repair water leaks (tip :007) or gas leaks (tip :012) – those expenses would come out of this fund.

Use this maintenance fund to finance the 1:5:10 projects I will be suggesting. By crediting the savings from implementing the 1:5:10:365 tips back into this maintenance fund, you may find that your home maintenance fund will grow to a point where it can pay for the big ticket items without you having to put any extra cash in. Of course that would take a few years, to build up.

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