Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 11/13/2016

House plants can significantly improve the dynamic of a room.  While some are purely decorative, there are others that can have a dramatic effect on air and indoor pollution levels.  If you are planning on making a few botanical additions to your home, then why not get the added benefit of choosing plants that will work for you, as well as providing an aesthetic benefit?  Here are a few to get you started. Golden Pothos - This vine-like plant is very easy to grow, requiring very little light, and can survive quite comfortably if you happen to forget to water it on a regular basis.  With regular fertilizing, this plant becomes a fast-growing vine that looks fantastic in any room.  Clippings can be taken, put in water, and will develop root structures in as little as a few days.  Because this is a submersible plant, it is also popular with aquarium enthusiasts.  In addition, this plant is a heavy oxygen producer, and can also remove benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from your air. Peace Lilies - Interestingly enough, these houseplants are not true lilies. These attractive members of the Araceae family need only a little light and water in order to survive, and produce brilliant flowers. Rubber Tree - While used as houseplants in North America, these plants have an interesting use in India; the roots are guided over chasms in order to create what is commonly referred to as living bridges.  These plants prefer bright sunlight, and while they can withstand infrequent watering quite well, they will thrive if given enough moisture. Weeping Fig - This is the official tree of Bangkok, Thailand.  In a study by NASA, this plant was shown to effectively remove airborne toxins from its environment.  This plant thrives in warm, sunny conditions, but can also tolerate low-light conditions fairly well.  If it is moved to a new room, it will shed a large number of its leaves, and replace them with new leaves in response to the change in light conditions.  While it is adaptive to changes in light, care should be taken not to place it in an area where it will be subjected to strong, cold drafts.  This plant is also popular among bonsai enthusiasts for its aesthetic properties. Snake Plant - Also known as "mother-in-law's tongue", this plant has been recognized in the same NASA study as one of the best plants to remove indoor air pollution.  Like other pollution-reducing plants, this one can survive quite well with low light levels and irregular watering.  Care should be taken not to over water this species, as the root structure is fairly sensitive. For further reading, you can pick up the book How To Grow Fresh Air, by B.C. Wolverton.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 1/3/2016

Who doesn't love a fresh smelling carpet? Carpet cleaners can contain lots of unknown chemicals and can really do a job on your wallet. Here are a few recipes for homemade carpet freshener.   Recipe #1 Ingredients: 1 cup crushed dried herbs. Use any herbs you like (rosemary, southernwood, or lavender) 1 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons baking soda 1. Combine all the ingredients in a large jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid. 2. Shake well to blend. 3. Sprinkle some of the mixture on your carpet, let it sit for an hour or so, and then vacuum.   Recipe #2 Ingredients: 2 cups baking soda Essential oil (pick your favorite scent) 2 cups lavender, buds 2 cups rosemary 1. Put 2 cups of baking soda in a glass or ceramic bowl; with the back of a metal spoon get rid of the lumps. 2. Add the essential oil (approximately 20 drops) and mix. 3. Add the lavender and rosemary, mix and then put in a plastic bag or glass container. 4 Let it sit for 2-3 days so the oil can be absorbed into the baking soda (the oil can stain the carpet if it is wet). 5. Sprinkle desired amount on the carpet, leave for a few hours then vacuum.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 5/19/2014

There are many ecologically friendly cleaning products available in stores today, however, they can do a number on your wallet. There are great alternatives to these costly store-bought items that you can make in your own kitchen. Orange peels for instance, are an inexpensive and powerful base for an effective all-purpose cleaner. Here is a recipe for an orange peel cleaner: Things You Need:

  • 1 dozen oranges
  • Baking soda
  • 24-oz. or larger glass jar
  • 1 pint white vinegar
  • Strainer
  • Pitcher
  • Spray bottle
  • 1. Scrub a dozen oranges with a solution of 1 part baking soda to 3 parts water to remove pesticides and any trace chemicals. 2. Rinse the oranges thoroughly. 3. Peel the cleaned oranges. 3. Put the orange peels in a clean glass jar, and cover them with the white vinegar. 4. Cap the jar tightly. 5. Allow the mixture to rest in a cool dark place for at least one month. 6. Shake the vinegar concoction vigorously, and strain off the liquid into a pitcher or other wide-mouth, easy-to-pour container. 7. Dilute the mixture with 1/2 cup water; shake or stir again, and strain the cleaner into a spray bottle for convenient use. Note: Lemon and lime peels can also be used with the orange peels.  





    Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 9/29/2013

    Do you have a mildew buildup in your home? Or are you looking to prevent mildew? You can combat mildew buildup with ingredients you have around your home. Many of the ingredients in store-bought mildew cleaners contain hazardous solvents and petroleum based chemicals, which may contaminate ground water and present a problem to waste water treatment facilities. Here is a recipe to remove mildew:   Ingredients: 1 tablespoon powdered laundry detergent 1 quart chlorine bleach 2 quarts water 1. Combine all the ingredients in a pail. 2. Wearing rubber gloves, wash off the mildew. So go ahead and whip up a batch of homemade mildew cleaner. It will cost you only pennies and keep your family safer too.





    Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 2/17/2013

    Going green has been a term that has been floating around for some time the past few years.  As fears of global warming and overall global awareness have increased rapidly, the ideas soon follow.  It's an interesting and empowering idea, reduce your global footprint and preserve the earth.  The best part is that in some cases, you can save money even with little to no investment. If you are looking to install something like solar panels on your house, there is a federal program for both a business or a person that provides an investment tax credit of 30%.  Depending on the state there are state funded programs that are similar and even programs.  The state programs are similar to the electric car incentives in that they are slowly disappearing, which makes now a good time to make a decision.  Energystar.gov has more information on the specifics. As mentioned that is only one path, there have been companies that claim to decrease your electric bills.  This is achieved through leasing.  A low monthly fee to lease the solar panels and a reduction on your total monthly bill - at least that is the idea.  There are many  knowledgeable professionals in the New England and surrounding areas, who may be able to assist you further.  For example SolarCity provides exactly what was described above.  Keep in mind the results will vary depending on where you live and even the seasons.  A free consultation never hurt anyone though, you could spend less and go green in the process.