Archive for the ‘Green for Life’ category

Green Kids in a Green Home

06/15/2012

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This Sunday is a great day for every dad out there. New dads in particular will always remember it. (One of the best things about building new home communities is interacting with families across all stages of their lives, from first-time parents at Avonlea to empty-nesters at Port Hope.)

Besides being a happy day, Father’s Day is also a good time to reflect on the education you’re giving your children.

One of the most important things you can teach them is how to live responsibly and how to grow into an adult who loves and cares for their family. Because doing will always set a better example than preaching, the best way to instil these important principles is to live by them.

Luckily, you’re setting the perfect example by living in a Mason Home. Your home and community not only protects the environment, but thanks to our Green for Life program, it also protects your loved ones and leaves more money in your pocket to provide for your family.

You can always do more, though. Be a role model — I try to take the following steps on a daily basis and to make sure I tell my son not just to do the same, but to take the time to explain why.

  • Turn the lights off when you leave the room
  • Always use reusable grocery bags
  • These days, most people recycle. Go a step further and recycle things many people still neglect, like running shoes and electronic equipment. You can even get your kids involved by recycling their school supplies
  • These children’s books are geared towards the environment, biodiversity, garbage and recycling

Now I turn it over to you:  what do you like teaching your kids on a daily basis? How do you do it?

Tips on How To Cool Your Home

05/25/2012
Heat Wave

A fun but impractical way to cool down.

Hot enough for you?

With spring in full bloom and summer just around the corner, it’s time to consider how you’ll keep your cool for the next few months — ideally, in a way that doesn’t just save energy but also preserves your pocket.

Last year’s blog post about “Prep Your Home for Summerproved pretty popular, and I have since  learned new tips (some of which I heard from our homeowners).

So without further ado, here’s a list of simple tips you can follow to make your home cooler:

Use natural ventilation. If it cools down at night in your neck of the woods, consider opening your windows and turning off the cooling system. Shut the windows when you wake up in the morning, not forgetting to close the blinds as well. This will effectively trap the cool air inside your home.

Don’t underestimate fans. They don’t just support air conditioning (see the next tip) — they can even replace it if you want to open your windows and enjoy the breeze. Besides table fans and ceiling fans, window fans are a great option. Today’s units are cheap and even include thermostats. Consider getting two: place one on one side of your home, blowing outward so that it expels hot air, and place the second on the opposite side, blowing inwards so it cools your home. (If you live in a two-storey home, place the outward-blowing unit upstairs; since hotter air rises, the fan will remove it sooner.)

Fans need not rule out air conditioning. In fact, they can support it. Using a ceiling fan allows you to raise the thermostat setting up to 15°C higher without reducing your comfort.

Use the thermostat to your advantage. There’s no need to turn your home into the North Pole. Set your thermostat as high as it’s comfortably possible. The smaller the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.

Seal it. Proper insulation is as important in the summer as it is in the winter. Sealed cracks and openings will prevent warm air from finding its way into your home.

Of course, if you already live in a Mason Home, this isn’t a concern for you, thanks to the Energy Efficiency component of our Green for Life program that keeps perfect temperature year around, all while keeping dust, moisture and pollen where they belong — outside.

These Simple Earth Day Tips Will Benefit You as Well as the Planet

04/20/2012

Did you know Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22nd?

In fact, on that day events will be held in over 175 countries. Their aim? To increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment.

Having blogged last year about this important date (and having already linked to this page where you can find related events in your area), I’d like to talk about the simple steps that will preserve the environment and provide immediate, measurable benefits for your family and you.

  • If you already own a Mason Home, you’ve already taken a big first step. Our Green for Life program ensures you preserve energy (which saves you money), plus it provides your loved ones with great indoor air quality and helps you lessen your dependence on your car.
  • Using plug-in kettles rather than stovetop ones will help reduce energy consumption.
  • Buying local food also brings about positive consequences for the earth (reduced energy consumption) and for you (fresher, more nutritious, more delicious food). I often tweet about farmers’ markets. (Hint: follow me here.)

What are your favourite tips? I’d love to hear about them!

Mason Homes Wins EnerQuality Award

03/02/2012

Avonlea, our community in Peterborough, has also won important awards. Learn more here.

Recently, Mason Homes won EnerQuality’s Best Green Marketing Campaign award for our “outstanding work in successfully integrating energy efficiency and a green message into [our] overall marketing program.”

In other words, we won because we see to it that our homeowners are familiar with the green benefits they derive from buying a Mason home. These include increased health and well-being, as well as better savings through reduced water and energy consumption.

Thanks to our Green for Life program, all of our homes are Energy Star-qualified as a standard rather than an upgrade, and contain many other green features and benefits. Moreover, our neighbourhoods are pedestrian-friendly, featuring plenty of parks, ponds and nearby amenities.

We are honoured to have received another award and will continue to work hard to help ensure our homeowners’ well-being and comfort.

Of course, none of this would be possible if it weren’t for the countless families who honour us by purchasing a Mason home. A big thanks to all of you — you and your families keep us going!

Peterborough: a Great Town to Raise a Family

02/24/2012

At Mason Homes we try to build great communities. This is why we rely on New Urbanism principles, ensuring our communities feature ample parks and plenty of local amenities nearby while emphasizing walkability.

Of course, how well these principles work depends on the town the community is located in.

Bridge

Take Avonlea, our community in Peterborough. Besides building Green for Life homes and creating a community that won the Places to Grow award, we were happy that Avonlea residents can call Peterborough their hometown.

Peterborough, after all, is affordable, clean, and safe, located only one hour away from Toronto at the gateway to the Kawarthas and known for its natural beauty and quality of life.

Thanks to its diverse economy, quality health care, recreational opportunities, and an established school system, Peterborough has become the hub for east-central Ontario.

For testimonials on what it feels like to live here, consider this short essay, written by an 8th-grader who calls her hometown “a wonderful place to live.”

Or read through this one, penned by established writer Michelle Berry, where she has this to say:

Sometimes I feel as if I’m in a 1950s sitcom – Leave it To Beaver – the neighbours all calling back and forth across the street, coming over clutching snacks and wine, or coffee, joining me on my porch. It’s idyllic. (…) How is it possible that my eleven year old can play flashlight tag in the hot summer evenings until way past dark, running back and forth between people’s back yards (with their permission even!), or my 14 year old can hop the back fence to her friend’s house still wearing her pj’s late on a Saturday morning. Isn’t this 2011?

Doesn’t this sound like a fantastic place to raise your family?

Come check it out, and while you’re at it, drop by our Sales Office, located 1224 Chemong Rd. and open Mondays through Fridays from noon to 7 pm and on the weekends from 11 am to 6 pm.

You’ll hopefully see Avonlea and Peterborough form a natural fit.

New Mason Homes Community Coming Soon to Barrie

02/17/2012
Barrie Ontario Waterfront

Barrie waits for you.

With our community Just4U in Barrie having sold out so quickly, it was a no brainer that we should build a new community in the same city.

Barrie is, after all, both family-friendly and full of possibilities for those of you who are looking for a little more excitement.

For example, it hosts a popular Farmers’ Market, plenty of amenities, a Winterfest and Festival of Ice, and Barrielicious, which sees local restaurants offer affordable prix fixe menus.

Like Just4U homes (in fact, like all our homes), our new community will be Green for Life. This will ensure your wellbeing and save you money through reduced energy consumption, all the while helping preserve the planet.

Our new community will soon be opening for registration, so please be sure to watch this space for updates! Or if you haven’t already, follow me on Twitter or “like” our Facebook page.

Why Are We Green?

02/03/2012

No matter how you look at it, the concept of green is becoming more and more important.

Consider the recent backlash against the Keystone pipeline, or the uproar over Canada pulling out of Kyoto. On any given day, a glance at the Science section of Google News will likely reveal at least a couple of stories dealing with green technology and climate change.

To be sure, international treaties and technologies tackling climate serve lofty and extremely important goals. Yet there’s more than one reason why one should go green.

We at Mason Homes have had our Green for Life philosophy for a long time now. Designed to ensure comfort and happiness for your family, our program ensures you take care of the environment as well.

A green lifestyle should be a happy lifestyle.

How do we strike this balance? By emphasizing green features that benefit you first and foremost. For example, our green neighbourhoods, featuring ample parks and plenty of nearby communities, are not just beautiful and relaxing — they also help you cut down on car usage, which protects the environment and saves you gas.

Moreover, our Energy Star qualified homes (which come standard in every Mason Homes community), allow you to save money spent on heating costs while using around 30% less energy — a win-win for both the planet and your pocket.

I could go on, but my point isn’t (just) to promote Mason Homes. Rather, I’d like to highlight my longstanding belief that for green practices to succeed, they should do their best to enhance your life in a near immediate way, one that brings about noticeable improvements and also helps you save money if possible.

Politicians and scientists will take a long time to introduce major changes. Let’s not wait for them to improve our world and our lives.

This, I find, is the best way to recruit people to the green philosophy.


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