Recycling and Going "Green"

Looking to save some $$ on your energy bills and have a free meal while learning about low cost energy saving ideas too?

Northwest Natural and Energy Trust of Oregon sent me this info to pass on to you.  The event is in Albany, but attendees are encouraged from surrounding areas too.

Call asap to register!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

WHAT: NW Natural and Energy Trust of Oregon have teamed up to offer Oregon residents a timely, valuable and interesting workshop on how to save money and reduce the carbon footprints of their homes. Along with a delicious dinner, attendees will receive the easy-to-digest book, Cut Your Energy Bills Now, by Bruce Harley as well as access to Energy Trust cash-back bonus packages when participants make multiple energy-saving improvements.

Learn more about:
ü Basic building science and energy use in the home
ü Local and regional energy sources and potential impacts
ü Low-cost and no-cost tips to save energy
ü Impacts of lifestyle choices
ü Actions that can improve the safety, comfort and efficiency of a home

WHERE: NW Natural Offices 7150 Supra Dr. Albany, Ore.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 5, 2010. 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

COST: FREE!! But to reserve your seat and a meal, please pre-register with Kip Much, or (800) 422-4012 x 8300 or online at under events and education.

About the Author:  Margaret Oscilia, partner of Creative Concepts and Contracting is a Professional Home Stager specializing in redesigning spaces and preparing homes to sell.  Re-purposing items, recycling and saving clients energy and $$$ are always priorities!

Using the right tools can make all the difference — even in small situations!

Love glass tables but they have to sparkle!

As you can imagine, we clean lots of glass and mirrors.  We have many glass tables that look great when they are smudge free and when we stage a home, we want everything clean and sparkling.

I’ve never put too much thought into glass cleaners (ok I confess, I’m not usually the one cleaning the glass!), and thought all glass cleaners were created equal.  Wrong wrong wrong!

Recently, we were staging a home which also included some cleaning.  Our awesome cleaning person Judy had cleaned the large mirrored doors, and they still had streaking and smoke residue despite her efforts.  A client had given me a glass cleaning product from the Legacy of Clean line so we decided to do a product test.

The Legacy of Clean product costs about the same as leading brands of window cleaners, but we were blown away by how quickly, streak free and well it worked.  Plus it SMELLED GREAT! No ammonia smell – and it’s an environmentally friendly product.

Okay, I’m sold – and so was Judy.  She will be switching to this line of cleaning products for all her clients and we are adding it to our bag of tricks as well!

They also have other cleaning products in this line (I’ve tried the multi-purpose cleaner and it is great).

No one wants to spend extra time cleaning so – save yourself some time and effort, reduce your environmental footprint too. We’ll be giving this entire product line a try!  So glad Amber had us give it a try – (Thanks Amber!)

Here’s the link!

Moving or improving? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

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I’m not going to be able to attend this seminar, but think that even those of us who already try to conserve energy would be able to learn some new tips and ideas!  This workshop will teach you how energy works in a home and what impact your actions can have. You’ll develop a deeper understanding of home-energy use, the effects of appliances and systems on your energy bills and how changing simple behaviors can reduce your energy and carbon footprint. You’ll also learn about what you can do to increase comfort and indoor air quality, how to distinguish do-it-yourself techniques from projects that may require professional services, and understand what diagnostic testing can do for your home.

Workshop topics include:

  • How to take a whole-home approach to energy efficiency
  • The most cost-effective home energy improvements
  • How to reduce energy costs and shrink your carbon footprint
  • How efficiency improvements can improve home comfort, health and safety
  • Cash incentives and tax credits that make improvements more affordable
  • Distinguishing do-it-yourself projects from those that may require professional services

Seminar is May 8th at the Salem Public Library.  For more details and to register here’s the link!

Energy Trust of Oregon

Moving or improving? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

View our website See our YouTube Videos Connect with us on facebook! Subscribe to our blog

Did you know that 50% of the waste that ends up in landfills in Marion County could be recycled or composted?

Or that the United States consumes 25% of the world’s resources — but is only 5% of the world’s population?

Today in honor of Earth Day – change one habit.  It can make a huge difference on our environment!  This article by Ceil Petrucelli highlights a few simple changes you can implement to make your home a greener and healthier place to live.

  1. Take your shoes off when you come into the house. We bring in a lot of dirt on our shoes, so place a mat, bin, or tray by your main entry and take your shoes off when you enter. I have a tray by my front door (no real “mudroom” at my house) and I leave my “outside” shoes there and keep a comfy pair of slip-ons or slippers to wear around the house. My “inside” shoes don’t usually go outside.
  2. Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Did you know that CFLs use up to 75% less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than regular light bulbs? They’ve come a long way over the past few years, too. Yes, they are a little more expensive, but worth the investment in the long run. Just replace your other bulbs as they burn out.
  3. Shop with canvas or cloth bags versus using paper or plastic. Keep a few in your car so you’re not caught without one when you go grocery shopping or running errands. Think of the trees you’ll be saving. The production of plastic bags uses up large amounts of non-renewable petroleum; they are not biodegradable; most end up in landfills (or in the ocean) polluting the soil and water and often pose a serious threat to wildlife and birds.
  4. Replace your paper napkins with cloth ones. Cloth napkins are available at many retailers, or you can make your own from a yard or two of inexpensive fabric. You may also be able to find them at tag sales and flea markets.
  5. Begin using non-toxic and natural cleaning products.

click here to read the article in its entirity.

A few years ago I had no idea that toxins from paint were still in the air long after the paint smell was gone!  We’ve implemented most of these changes in our home and business and love giving new life to items by repurposing or updating them.

Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

View our website See our YouTube Videos Connect with us on facebook! Subscribe to our blog

We use an extra large Swiffer when cleaning wood/vinyl floors in vacant homes.  It covers a lot of space quickly but I hate it when I buy the Swiffer refills for it — they are about a dollar a piece, and adding more to the trash.  We’re always trying to think of way to recycle and reuse items, and hate how we can burn through a box of dusting cloths!

Here’s some clever ideas on how to beat the cost of buying replacement Swiffer cloths and creating a reusable cover.

  • Knitted (cotton or wool yard appears to pick up dust the best)
  • Fabric scraps (I can see flannel or fleece working well)
  • Socks with holes in them

This link has tons of ideas!

I’m out of covers right now so think I’ll sew a couple and see how they do.

I just love ideas that incorporate saving money and reducing what heads to the landfills too!  Couldn’t resist in passing along this tip!

Selling or improving your Oregon home? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.  What can we do to help you today? Contact Margaret Oscilia at 503-881-0886!

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

View our website See our YouTube Videos Connect with us on facebook! Subscribe to our blog

I confess – I don’t like to clean.  I love to make things beautiful and I like things clean, but to me cleaning isn’t fun. My latest little secret is that when I’m cleaning I’m thinking about a spa!  Think that cleaning and spending a relaxing time in a spa are similar is crazy?  It’s true!  When is the last time you felt inspired or invigorated spraying a cleaner?  It’s time to put some inspiration and joy into our routine!

Why do we love walking into a luxurious hotel or spa?  Because it is so nicely decorated and so spotlessly clean, right?  Well this cleaning line not only cleans, has beautiful containers but smells incredible! I find that once I start cleaning I’m looking for things to clean just so I can see how great it works and how good it makes the room smell!  If I’m inspired to clean I’m certainly recommending them to my clients as well!

I love love love the cleaning product I’ve been using from Caldrea. It is the Countertop Cleanser in Ginger Pomelo.  cleaning products you'll loveEach time I use it the wonderful scent reminds me of a lotion I received from a swanky hotel in California – delicious!

They have seasonal scents as well and “From relaxing herbal to energizing citrus, these distinctive fragrances bring luxury to every household task.”

Caldrea Countertop Cleanser is safe and effective on all non-porous surfaces.  Since I was so thrilled with this product, I had to check out their website and see what other items they had available!  Loved the opening line on their website that said “We believe that luxury and utility are perfectly compatible, so every product is made to perform beautifully.” Guess I’m not the only one that feels luxurious using these products!

So many of my friends will especially love the fact that this is that it is a environmentally friendly product line.  Their tag line is “Beautifully clean – Elegantly green”!

green cleaning productsI’m going to give myself a treat and get their window cleaner – maybe I’ll like cleaning them better without the ammonia smell!

The countertop cleanser was purchased at Pomagrantes in Silverton and you can check here for a local store that carries their product line.  In addition to cleaning products they have a variety of laundry, baby, skin and cleaning tools that look interesting.  I can imagine how great their dryer sheets must make clothes smell!

Maybe it’s time to have a spa day here at my house.  Think my friends may be disappointed if I invite them over for a “spa experience” and we clean using these products? I’ll have to work on this idea!

home staging business in Oregon

Creative Concepts and Contracting is a home staging and contracting business serving Salem Oregon and surrounding areas.  Preparing a home for sale or starting a remodeling project can be stressful and we can help! Specializing in vacant and occupied home staging, interior redesign, repairs, updating and remodeling.

Nearly every home I visit has a stash of no longer used “valuables” — an old computer monitor, cameras, pdas, game consoles. These items were expensive when we purchased them, and even if no longer in use, it’s hard to give them away and finding someone to buy them may be challenging.
recycle electronics

Here’s a great option I just came across that I had to share! recycling electronicsCostco has partnered with Gazelle and is offering Costco cash for your unwanted:

* Cell Phones
* Digital Cameras
* MP3 Players
* Laptops
* PDAs
* GPS Devices
* Gaming Consoles
* Camcorders
* Video Games
* And More

Sounds easy . . enter what you would like to trade in and Gazelle lets you know the value. They send you a shipping box and pay for the postage. You get a Costco Cash Card and don’t send these items to a landfill! Sounds like a win-win to me! I’ll be checking out the value on my old pda . . . and a few other things we’ve got kicking around here as well. For more information or to give it a try check out the website here.

If you haven’t used it in a year do you really need it? Thinking about decluttering and finding it overwhelming? Creative Concepts and Contracting has great tips and ideas to make the process streamlined and effective. Whether you’re moving or improving, home staging can help you create the spaces you love!