Caruso’s Earth Week ~ Save the Butterflies


 

Butterflies play a critical role in maintaining the health of our environment. They help pollinate fruits, flowers and vegetables; provide food for other animals; and enchant children and adults alike with their beauty and flight. But like many other creatures, more and more butterflies are becoming endangered as the wild places they inhabit are lost to development or as they fall victim to pesticides.

Here’s what you can do to help bring the butterflies back:

Garden for wildlife. Grow plants butterfly caterpillars like to eat. In many cases, these will be plants that are native to your region; they’ll attract native butterflies as well. Consult local gardening directories or contact your nearest agricultural extension agent for planting recommendations.

Choose nectar-rich plants. Fill your garden not only with plants caterpillars will want to eat, but also with those from which butterflies can drink. Options include buddleia, heliotrope, milkweed, mint, verbena, and zinnias.

Build a house. If your yard doesn’t provide enough dense foliage to allow butterflies to hibernate and nest, build them a box they can use that offers protection from predators and harsh weather. The interior walls of the box should be rough enough to allow butterflies to grab a foothold. Scatter small twigs and leaves inside to promote hibernation and egg laying, and include thin vertical slats on the front to allow the butterflies to enter and exit. Make sure the box is hung no more than four feet above the ground and has a south or southwest exposure.

Put out some water. A shallow dish or birdbath will provide the moisture butterflies need to thrive.

We Are Now Accepting Qualified Listings
Now providing “Short Sale Services”
Call Today for More Info and our “Spring Thing….”

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

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Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

Stop the noise!


 

The effect of noise on humans

In humans, it’s been shown that exposure to moderately high levels of noise for an eight hour period can increase blood pressure and cause other cardiac issues – even if the person is not particularly consciously disturbed. Noise pollution can also cause gastric problems. Sometimes a person doesn’t even realize their body is stressed by noise until the noise is no longer present – they just feel a sudden sense of relief.

Exposure to excessively loud noise over long periods can also lead to partial deafness. Approximately 10 percent of people living in industrialized areas have substantial hearing loss and youngsters in the USA have an impaired hearing rate 250% higher than their parents and grandparents.

Noise also lies at the root of some violence – many assaults and murders can be attributed to a noise issue that spiralled out of control. Where noise is used to irritate or disrupt others, in my opinion it’s also a form of assault.

Do you know the effects noise has on the environment?

In nature, noise causes many adverse effects on animals and even plants – here are some examples i have gathered through the internet:

  • Birds in a city need to call longer and louder than their country counterparts
  • Birds that rely on hearing to help locate prey are seriously disadvantaged by industrial noise
  • Noise disturbs feeding and breeding patterns of some animals and has been identified as a contributing factor of the extinction of some species. 
  • Aircraft noise and sonic booms have been implicated as a cause of lowered reproduction in a variety of animals.
  • Military sonar has been responsible for the deaths of possibly thousands of dolphins and whales.
  • Even outboard motor noise can confuse some whales and dolphins.
  • In dairy cows, excessive noise reduces feed consumption, milk yield, and rate of milk release
  • Noise causes increased incidence of miscarriages in caribou
  • Intense noise can affect growth of chickens and egg production
  • Canaries can suffer hearing damage at relatively low decibel levels if the noise is sustained
  • Noise has also been shown to have a detrimental effect on the reproduction of some plants through interfering with pollinator or seed spreading activity.
  • Traffic noise could be hampering the reproductive process of frogs in metropolitan areas by drowning out the mating calls of males.
  • When squid, octopus and cuttlefish are subjected to low frequency sound, sever lesions can develop in their auditory structures

Imagine a world without noise

Ever wondered how much quieter the world would be if every single combustion engine was switched off and all electrical equipment shut down for a few minutes simultaneously. After all, noise doesn’t really disappear, like all energy it just changes form or dissipates. Given this, even if you’re out in the middle of nowhere, does the sum total of all the human-generated noise in the world still affect that area? Finding easily accessible quiet places, really quiet places, where the only noises are those of nature, is becoming increasingly difficult.

Noise is very much underrated when it comes to environmental issues. We have our “turn out the lights” days, “don’t drive” days – I’d love to see a “no noise” hour initiative. Unfortunately, most people don’t know what quiet is  and if we don’t teach our children, they will never appreciate the concept of a noise-free experience.

Our usual reaction to dealing with noise is to add more noise – for example, turning up the TV or yelling. We simply don’t know what we’re blocking out, and what we don’t know, we don’t miss.

Playing your part in reducing noise

Noise is something we can all do something about; whether it’s fixing a faulty muffler on your car, turning down our music a little so our neighbors don’t have to listen to it  or making the effort when out in the wild not to yell and shout unnecessarily. Here are some other tips for noise reduction:

  • Cell phones ringing annoy the hell out of many people – keeps yours to the lowest level practicable
  • If you have to raise your voice to have a conversation, something is wrong; so see what noise sources around in your immediate environment that you have control over.
  • Discourage your dogs from barking unnecessarily for extended periods. Barking dogs feature heavily in disputes between neighbors.
  • Institute a quiet time in your household’s routine
  • Make special efforts to keep noise to a minimum at night and early in the morning as these are times when people are trying to unwind or sleep
  • Believe me, very few people want to hear your music, no matter how cool you think it is. There’s other ways to make social statements that are likely more effective and will have a more positive response 🙂
  • If you do want to turn your stereo up; ensure the doors and windows are closed and reduce the bass levels as bass travels even through brick walls quite easily.
  • If your lifestyle is a particularly rowdy one, consider planting more shrubs and trees around your property. Not only will this reduce noise affecting your neighbors, you’ll provide shelter and food for animals and also play a part in greenhouse gas reduction.

 

We Are Now Accepting Qualified Listings
Now providing “Short Sale Services”
Call Today for More Info and our “Spring Thing….”

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

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Caruso Never Sleeps ~ Spring Forward to Water Efficiency


 

As winter begins its transition to spring, the weather will soon become warmer and our water habits will start to change. It’s natural for MNWD customers to use more water in the warm spring and summer months, but it remains critical all year long to use only the water you need. Follow these four simple steps this spring to become more efficient with your water use:

 

1.)    Tune-up your sprinklers: Make sure your timer is set to only water a maximum of three days per week, replace any broken sprinkler heads and adjust the spray so there is n overlap or watering of your patio or sidewalk.

2.)    Add California-Friendly plants to your garden: As you begin to replant this year’s garden, make sure to add in California-Friendly flowers and shrubs. These plants come in a wide variety of attractive colors and sizes and use very little water.

3.)    Check for leaks as part of your spring cleaning: Make sure to look for leaks inside and outside of your home as your spruce things up for the warmer months ahead. One leaky toilet can waste enough water to fill several swimming pools!

4.)    Apply for rebates: MNWD offers rebates for the purchase of a wide variety of water-efficient products. Visit www.MNWD.com to learn more.

 

We Are Now Accepting Qualified Listings
Now providing “Short Sale Services”
Call Today for More Info and our “Spring Thing….”

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

 

Caruso Never Sleeps ~ The Carmel Creeper


 

The California plant of the month is the Carmel Creeper! Want to add a burst of color and fragrance to your yard? Plant the Carmel Creeper. These beautiful, aromatic and hardy plants are a member of the lilac family, and have a place in even the most water-efficient gardens.

 

Carmel Creeper can fulfill almost any need in your garden. It can be pruned short to be used as ground cover and it can reach heights of up to 6 feet tall if allowed to grow, making it an ideal hedge. Carmel Creeper is available with blossom colors ranging from white to lavender and dark blue. Whatever the color of the blossoms, they are strikingly set off by a background of lush, dark green leaves and fill your garden with a lovely lilac aroma.

 

Because Carmel Creeper is a California native, it requires only minimal care and almost no water once it is established. It will grow best in your garden in an area that has good drainage and full to half sun. Carmel Creepers blooms come to life in the spring, so now is the perfect time to add it to your California friendly garden!

 

Quick Facts:

Season: Spring

Size: Up to 3 ft. wide, 6 ft tall

Color: White, Violet and Blue Flowers

Water: Low

Sun: Full to half sun

 

We Are Now Accepting Qualified Listings
Now providing “Short Sale Services”
Call Today for More Info and our “Spring Thing….”

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

 

Caruso’s Green Tip of the Day ~ Remodelers Most Used Items


 

 

If you are considering a home remodel try going green with your remodel! The National Association of Home Builders surveyed re-modelers to find out the energy saving items they installed most often in projects during the fourth quarter of 2011. Here are the most 

installed energy savers for a home remodel:

  • Low E Windows
  • Upgraded Insulation
  • Insulated Exterior Doors
  • Argon Gas Windows
  • High-Efficiency HVAC systems

 

And that’s your green tip of the day!

 

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

 

Caruso’s Green Tip of the Day ~ Cleaners


Make your own cleaners.

Household chemicals, including some cleaners, contain volatile organic chemicals, which contribute to indoor air pollution and may cause disease.

A cost-effective way to make your home greener is to make your own household cleaners.

Many homemade cleaners use non-toxic ingredients and clean just as well as commercial cleaners.

 

*Making your own cleaner costs about 10% of the price a bottle of commercial cleaner, according to Karen Logan, author of “Clean House, Clean Planet.” She says a bottle of her all-purpose cleaner costs 23 cents to make, versus a price tag of $2.69 for the off-the-shelf equivalent. If making your own cleaners isn’t an option, look for cleaners carrying the Green Seal. Green Seal is a nonprofit organization that certifies products based on their environmental impact, biodegradability and other factors.

And that’s your green tip of the day!

 

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

Be Michael Caruso's Friend! Watch Caruso TV! Are You LinkedIn with Michael? The Voice of Orange County Review Michael Caruso! Tweet Michael Caruso!

Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist  Member of The Institute Luxury Home Marketing   Million Dollar Guild Member  Member of Proxio Pro - The International MLS

 

Caruso’s 12 Days of Christmas ~ Day 1


 

On the 1st day of Christmas, Caruso gave to me 1 Christmas Green tip…

 

Christmas tree collection will begin on Monday, December 26th for a two week period through January 6th. If your tree is 6’ tall please cut it in half and place at the curb on your regular collection day. You may also place small trees inside you green waste cart (if you have one). Christmas trees are organic waste, which means they can be composted, mulched or even converted into fuel. A tree is only organic if it’s stripped down to its original form, which means removing all the lights, ornaments and tinsel. The “flocked” tree which is sprayed with artificial snow for a more “wintery” feel is not compostable. Flocking your tree pretty much guarantees that it will be land filled and not composted. You may also consider purchasing an artificial tree with Christmas tree flocking and reuse the tree year after year. Consider your options while you’re dreaming of a white Christmas.

 

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.     

www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900