Browsing Category: "Home and Living"

Green Living in Bali

Bali remains one of the most famous tourist destinations, and it means hundreds and thousands of tourists come here every year. It also means that island needs to place more efforts in keeping itself clean and green, especially with the multitude of resorts, hotels, clubs and tourist facilities coming up.

It needs to make extra efforts to preserve the natural environment, which it is famous for. Bali entrepreneurial projects and programs are well aware of the new emerging challenges and are already embracing the modern concept of sustainable or the green living. It is making use of new technologies to protect its natural environment and encourage sustainable living.

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Bali and its culture are based on “Tri Hita Karana,” a Sanskrit phrase which means harmony between human, God, and environment. Today, the island is indeed setting an example in the truism industry the way to go green and make tourism eco-friendly.

Green construction

Bali villas and residential homes are turning green as they make use of local and sustainable materials such as straw and bamboo.

Green School is a classic example of green and sustainable living. The school, founded in 2008 is made of bamboo. It prepares its students to be the green leaders of tomorrow and teaches them green living along with the regular curriculum. It is a model of sustainability in education that teaches its students environmental issues very early on in its open-walled classrooms.

Green Village builds further on the positive efforts of the Green School and has expanded the eco-friendly sustainable bamboo homes in the jungle. The project is currently under construction, and some of the villas are near completion. Each villa is made off the ground and placed on bamboo sticks so that it doesn’t interrupt the natural contour of the land.

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Bali springs are lodgings made out natural materials such as coconut wood and bamboo with thatch roofs. Located in the green heart of Bali, you get astonishing views from the springs of rice paddies, Mt Batur and Mt. Abang plus a river gorge. Bedrooms are natural but luxurious, and there is a pristine environment within the rooms. Fresh meals are prepared from organic vegetables and fruits grown locally on the property.

Green living

Little Tree has come up as Bali’s first Green building supply store that promotes the green living and sells related products.

People are refusing plastic bags in the grocery stores and use cloth bags. They are buying organic food for personal and commercial use.

Solar panels, water, geothermal, and wind sources are being used as sources of energy.

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Bali is already promoting the use of renewable materials in its festivals, PT Akarumput; a green youth culture movement is already a buzz word.

Eco Bali Recycling organization tackles local pollution and waste management problems. A team of environmental and educational professionals motivates recycling.

Ubud Organic Farmers Market sells organic produce grown by local, independent growers. The idea is to motivate and promote organic food produce and its consumption.

Green tourism

Some of the lodges and resorts in Bali are now known as the longest-running eco-establishment, and one good example is Sarinbuana Eco Lodge, which is located at the foot of Mt Batukaru. This is just the right spot to begin your exploring the largest stand of the jungle. When you stay here, you also contribute to the rehabilitation of the endangered Bali Starling bird and offer orangutan protection. Bali Eco Stay is another green option and being eco doesn’t mean that you need to compromise on your luxuries. You get to enjoy sumptuous organic meals, great body massage and waterfall swims. The Organic Farm is an organic foodie’s paradise. Situated in the scenic mountains of Munduk, Balinese chefs grow their organic produce, and the best part is that guests can go and pick their own fresh and favorite food. Other buildings and villas are coming up in Bali that are made entirely of local bamboo and recycled wood. Their rooms offer not just the best mountain views, sunrises and sunsets but also catch the nicest breezes. As their pavilions are placed on huge stones sit about 10 feet above the ground, the construction makes them safe to any earthquake activity.

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Eating green

Eating green doesn’t mean eating only veggies. It means that you get to eat fresh organic meals made from local produce. There are already several restaurants, farms, and cafes in Bali that serve only organic food.  Some good examples are Bali Buddha Café and Embun Life Café. Bali Buddha Café serves only organic food whether it is New York-style bagels or its famous traditional turmeric detox drink. The open-aired Embun Life Café offers an adventurous menu filled with hearty recipes prepared from local and chemical free ingredients. A trip to the Sari Organik Farm takes you across rice paddies and offer you a panoramic view of mountains from a deck chair. Contemplate the delicious organic menu amidst all that greenery.

Volunteering to make Bali Green

WWOOF, a global organization, encourages sustainable ways of living and motivates volunteer help for about a couple of hours a day. The organization offers food and accommodation to the volunteers as it teaches them about organic lifestyles. Volunteers make a visit to the Nusa Penida Bird Sanctuary, to rebuild populations of endangered bird species, or they can plant trees or teach English in schools. ROLE or The Rivers, Oceans, Land, Ecology Organization helps create alternate eco-friendly employment for rural women by teaching them how to work with natural fibers and snail farming.

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Planning On Renting A Spare Property? Here’s What You Should Take Care Of

In the world of property rentals, there is a spectrum. Bad landlords and great landlords are to be found in any country, in any location, in both affluent and deprived areas alike. No matter what house or room you are letting out, as a landlord, you have a whole host of responsibilities for your tenant.

The monthly fee you charge them isn’t just a fee for the right to live there, it’s also a bonded contract that ties you to deal with their issues and maintenance woes. It is also a symbol of trust on the part of the renter that you will keep the property safe and up to housing code for them to live there.

As a new landlord or letter, it can be difficult to figure out just what responsibilities you have to your client, and how to be considered a ‘good landlord.’ No one intends to enter into a business relationship without aiming to hold up their end of the bargain, so most ‘bad landlords’ are a result of incompetence, ignorance, and lack of care.

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This article will allow you to figure out if you’re on the right track, and if not, how to correct it.

Fees

To begin with, a new renter will want to identify how much the property will cost them, and what fees they will need to pay upfront in order to secure the property. This is where plenty of landlords and letting agents lose their way. ‘Signing fees, holding fees, administrative fees’ are all terms you might have heard if you’ve rented property yourself. These are, for the most part, meaningless, and renters know it too. There’s just no reason to charge a renter $50 to have the luxury of signing your contract, especially when they have a deposit and likely one or two months worth of rental investment to give you.

Try and limit these unnecessary fees as an independent landlord. If you’re going through a letting agent, discourage them from doing the same. It only serves to dissuade interest in your property and starts the whole business relationship on weird terms.

Health Code

It is your responsibility as a landlord to ensure your property is up to health code before your tenants enter. There should be no leaks, the boiler should be up to date and serviced, and the place should be well insulated. It should also be free of pests and other hygiene issues.

This is not to say it’s your responsibility to clean up and pay for any damage sustained by your tenant while they are in the property. If they take matters into their own hands to repair a fault and end up compromising the safety of the property, you are well within your rights to charge them for that or penalize their safety deposit sum. Lay all of this out in the contract so the tenants know what terms they should live under.

Safety

Your property should be secure and allow your tenant to live safely at all times. You should secure the property with combi-locks and strong window supports. If the property has seen better days, taking the time to review all the methods of security issues that could occur will be beneficial. It will also prevent unnecessary damage to your property.

Energy

You have a responsibility to provide your property with electric/gas and water. It is not your responsibility to include internet usage in the energy bill packages. You can come to an agreement with your tenant when the contract is being drawn up as to how they will pay for it. If they would like to change the service that they’re being supplied with, you must stipulate that they ask you, in writing, permission to change it.

Maintenance

Any repair faults of a sizeable quality should be dealt with from your own property. General wear and tear is bound to happen. Tenant induced damages are not your responsibility. Small fixes, such as light bulb replacement, should be taken care of by the tenant.

Be sure to hire the services of a professional repair or construction firm to help fix big issues at a moment’s notice. Always be quick to solve the genuine worries of a tenant, because holding out on these fixes might cause the tenant to withhold their rental payment, and that can be difficult for everyone involved.

Amenities

If the apartment is furnished, you must provide basic amenities. Providing good amenities like washing machines can help you raise the monthly rental cost justifiably, and can pay for themselves in a matter of months. Consider what would be best for your domestic requirements, such as weighing the home benefits of a gasoline vs electric pressure washer. It’s good to provide refrigerators, and you may need more than one depending on the number of people you bring into the property. If you’re letting out 8 rooms, 1 refrigerator is most likely not going to meet the requirements of those living there.

Despite living as a landlord, remember the times when you first moved out into your own rented apartments, and consider ‘would I be happy with the amenities that I have provided if I was living here.’ If you would be, you’re good to go.

Fair Use

If you decide to ‘bills inclusive’ in the monthly cost of the rent for your tenant, they should adhere to a ‘fair use’ policy. This basically prevents them from leaving the heating on all the time and racking up extortionate bills that through a contractual loophole, you’ll be responsible for. Stipulate clearly in your contract that a certain monetary amount if fine, but past that, the tenant should contribute more towards the payment.

Being a great landlord is as simple as identifying how you’d want to be treated if the roles were reversed. The renting relationship should be one of the best business relationships around if everyone upholds their side of the contract. A bad landlord is constituted as someone who doesn’t fairly adhere to their side. Remember, your tenants are living, breathing people, and have their lives to live. You’re not in the business to make best friends, but if your tenant respects you, be sure to pay it in kind. You’re sure to have a fruitful and lucrative relationship if you do this.

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Out of Storage Space? Don’t Panic!

Storage is one of the most valuable things in our homes. This is because we all have lots of things to display or simply keep safe. Be it old books, memorabilia, souvenirs or electronics. As a result, our homes can quickly run out of storage space and before you know, we’ll be piling up boxes in the living room and other empty spaces in our home, creating a lot of useless clutter that can be difficult to get rid of.

Whether you think you’re outgrowing your one bedroom apartment or your kids are hoarding too many toys and video games, here are a couple of tips to stop the panic and get you some more valuable storage space.

Brown Wooden Book Shelf

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Clear the garage

Our garages are probably one of the most underutilised rooms that we own. In fact, you might not even use it for your car because it’s usually more convenient just to keep your car in the driveway. As a result, the garage is an often forgotten part of the house that we just dump stuff in. Although it might be full now, giving it a quick cleanup and organising it can give you plenty of extra storage space for practically anything you could think of. With so much extra space that should usually be for your car, you won’t run out of storage space anytime soon after a garage cleanup.

Use your garden

If you have a decently sized garden, it means you have a lot of extra land to use as storage space. Consider some backyard sheds to store your items in, but unless it’s a high-quality shed you probably don’t want to store anything valuable in it because it could be stolen, lost or covered in cobwebs before you know it. Sheds are typically used for archival purposes or garden equipment such as spades, shovels and lawnmowers. It can be a great way to add some extra storage space, but don’t rely on it as a safe haven for all your family belongings!

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Your loft has a lot of extra storage space so don’t be afraid to use it. It might be dark and small, but some simple improvements such as adding a light could make it a lot more useable. If your loft is large enough for you to stand in, then it might be worth adding some boards to make it easier to store items or even renovating it as an extra room. This can be fairly expensive, but it’s worth the effort for the amount of extra space you get!

Declutter

Lastly, think about decluttering your home. You don’t want to leave useless junk around if it can be recycled or even sold on an auction website. Old pieces of furniture that you don’t use anymore could be worth a lot and there are times when old electronics could fetch a decent price from collectors. If you want to make a lot more space in your home, then the fastest way is going to be decluttering it and throwing out anything you really don’t need.

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Make An Entrance Every Time You Get Home

The entrance to our homes should, in many ways, be a priority. After all, it’s the first thing you see when you get back from a long day. And, it’s the first impression visitors, or passers-by get of your house. Yet, many of us let our entrances do what they will. At the end of the day, it’s an aspect a lot of us forget about. We already have enough work to be doing inside the house! But, you may find that all your other efforts go to waste if you don’t get this simple thing right. That’s why we’re going to look at the ways you can ensure the leadup to your home is red carpet worthy.

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The Walkway

If you’re now thinking about incorporating a red carpet into your walkway, you can forget it. It would get grubby in no time! But, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your walkway. Some of you may already have a paving stone walkway. Others may have nothing more than a worn trail in their grass. But, now is the time to incorporate the walkway of your dreams. It may be that you love your paving stones but would like to do more with them. Plain slabs aren’t very inspiring. So, take a look at the patterned options you could replace them with. Or, perhaps you want to stay away from paving stones and opt for gravel instead. This would look amazing, though it’s worth bearing in mind that you’d need to top it up occasionally! The right option for you depends on the work you’re willing to put it. Take your time deciding down what route you would like to return home each day.

Going for a Gate?

Think, too, about whether you would like to incorporate a gate and fence around your front lawn and entrance area. This can be a fantastic way to gain a little more privacy, and it often looks amazing, too. You could opt for a metal gate or a wooden option. Bear in mind that both need special measures to ensure they stay in good condition. A metal gate will need rust prevention to ensure it stays in the best condition and looks as good as possible. A wooden option, however, will need varnish to protect it from all weathers. If you’re planning to paint it, you’ll also need to invest in a specialist paint.

Bursting with Color

We all want to make a colorful entrance, don’t we? Make sure you get one every day by incorporating flowers into your entrance. You may want to border your walkway with flowerbeds. This would look amazing, though bear in mind that it could easily get out of control if you don’t take care. An easier option may be to incorporate plant pots along the way. These will be easy to keep neat, while still injecting that splash of color you’re after. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s an option you’re willing to keep neat!

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