Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Potash Is The New Cash Cow

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Saskatchewan Potash is projected to generate more money for the Saskatchewan economy than all other natural resources combined.

Potash is a pink mineral and it has 3 main purposes: fertilizer (95% of the world’s potash is used in fertilizer), livestock feed supplements and industrial processes. In fertilizer, potash is what enhances water retention of plants, increases crop yields, and increases plants’ disease resistance. In feed supplements, the key function of potash is to contribute to animal growth and milk production. In industrial production potash is used to produce glass, ceramics, soaps, etc.

Potash in Saskatchewan is expected to generate $1.9 billion for the province in the 2009-2010 fiscal year and is estimated to make more money than provincial income tax.

Finance critic, Harry Van Mulligen, says that we should be cautious and he questions the economic assumptions behind the potash revenue projections and he points out that the projected sales volume was initially 10.3 million tonnes but that is supposed to decrease by about 10% since the budget papers went to print. Spokespeople for Agrium said that the recent production cutbacks will not be an important factor when it comes to how much money the province takes in.

Kari Calder
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd.

Tips For Saving Gasoline

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

If you are familiar with my blog or know me, you know that I am very passionate about the environment and am always looking at ways to do my part.  I enjoy providing all of my Saskatoon real estate clients and everyone else information on being more environmentally friendly.  Most times, being environmentally friendly also means that you will save money in the long run as you often use less energy, water, etc.  With the recent increase in gasoline prices I thought it would be a perfect time to provide some tips on saving gasoline.

  • A lot of people like to drive over 100km/h on the highway these days but the Canadian Automobile Association claims that driving 120 km/h burn approximately 20% more fuel than when you drive at 100km/h.  In turn driving 90km/h will save you an additional 10%, although I don’t recommend driving below the speed limit as it tends to upset some people.
  • Cruise control is your friend on the highway.  If you have cruise control use it as much as possible as it will keep your speed constant and save fuel.
  • If at all possible don’t run your AC in your car while driving.  It takes a lot of extra energy to run your AC and can eat up an additional 20% of your fuel consumption as a result.
  • Ensure your tires on your car have proper air pressure.  Under inflated tires is a big cause of reduced fuel efficency.
  • Remove unnecessary weight from your car.  I know that many people tend to leave heavy objects in their car even when they are not using them.  I don’t know how people I know that keep sand bags in their trunks year round for winter driving.  The extra weight will eat up your gas mileage.
  • If you have overdrive on your automatic vehicle, be sure to use it at higher speeds.
  • Avoid idling your car for long periods of time.  It takes less fuel to start your car than it does to leave your car idling for 10 seconds.  If you are in a drive thru that is taking a long time, shut off your engine or even if you are just running in somewhere for a quick second.  Do not turn off your car though while in traffic.
  • Plan your trips and avoid areas where you know there will be delays in traffic.  A good example is if you know there is going to be construction on your regular route to and from work, go online and look at alternative routes.  They could possibly save you time and gasoline.

I am always interested in hearing more ways to help the environment and do your part.  If you have any tips be sure to contact me and I’ll post them on my blog.

Kari Calder
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd.

Tap Water Vs Bottled Water

Friday, April 25th, 2008

After the weird Saskatoon weather we have been getting, I think we all notice how global warming is impacting our country and planet.

One of the things I like to do for my Saskatoon real estate clients if give them the information on how to sign up for a recycling program here called Saskatoon Curbside Recycling. I use it myself and love it, so I like to introduce 

I just listened to an interesting story about how plastic water bottles are impacting our environment. Did you know that 90% of these end up in the landfills!

By getting a water filter on your tap a person will keep approx 300 bottles out of the landfills each year.

Most people can’t distinguish the difference during taste tests, the taste tests actually had very surprising results, many people preferred tap water!

Get an under counter system and a reusable bottle each day

Save money and help the environment!

Check out this websitewhich was made by Brita and Nalgene

Kari Calder
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd.

10 Energy Saving Tips For You And Your Saskatoon Home

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Unlike many places in North America, Saskatoon has 4 very distinct seasons.  As a result there are many things you as a Saskatoon home owner can do to lower your utility usage and save money.  Below are a list of 10 ways for you to save money in your day to day lives.  As you know owning and operating a home can be expensive at times especially in the winter heating it and in the summer cooling it.  Why not take a bit of extra time and follow the the tips below to not only save you money but to also contribute to saving the environment.

  • Make an effort to turn off all lights and appliances when you leave a room and they are not in use.  Many people often leave on lights as they travel through their home without turning them off.  Another big one is the television.
  • In the winter at night or during the day when you are not at home, turn down your thermostat to 18 degrees celsius.  This will make a significant difference in your heating bill in the winter.
  • Take advantage of Saskatoon’s sunny winters and during the day in the winters be sure to keep your blinds open.  Although it’s -40 outside the sun will provide a bit of additional warmth in your home.  During the summer be sure to keep your blinds and windows closed.
  • Regularly clean your furnace filters, vacuum them once a month if you can.  This will provide better air flow for your furnace which means it will have to work less.
  • Plan out your trips prior to leaving the house when driving.  If you can make your trips out in your car multi-purpose trips this will lower the amount you need to drive and will lower the amount of gas your car consumes.
  • When washing cloths use cold water and ensure you wash full loads of laundry.  Every store now carries cold water detergent so by using this and cold water to wash your cloths you will see a difference in your utility bills.
  • Try not to let your car idle for more than 10 seconds at a time unless you are in traffic.  Starting your car uses less fuel than letting it idle for 10 seconds.
  • Unless it is an extremely cold Saskatchewan night try to only plug your car in for a couple hours before you intend to drive it.  Block heaters do consume a lot of energy.  If you have a garage it is definitely worth insulating it as this will reduce the time your car will need to warm up.
  • When cooking try to use small appliances for smaller meals.  Microwaves, toaster ovens or slow cookers are a good substitution for a single meal than using the entire oven.
  • When cooking food on your stove be sure to use pots that cover the entire stop-top element.  Many new stoves have the ability and technology to switch the cooking surface.  By using a pot that covers the entire surface you will save energy.

These are just a few tips to save you money in your day to day living.  As a Saskatoon Realtor I will continue to provide information to people on how to lower your utility costs.  If you are like me saving money is always a good thing! 

Kari Calder
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd.

Old Electronic Equipment Has A New Home

Monday, March 24th, 2008

It is amazing how fast technology has changed over the past 30 years.  I still remember being a little kid watching a TV that was so heavy that 1 person wouldn’t be able to move it themselves and it only had a dial that would allow you to switch between UHF and VHF.  Technology has been integrated into our day to day lives.  This includes anything from the TV’s we watch or the computers we work off everyday.  I have several friends that work in the Information Technology industry and when I recently upgraded to a new laptop I asked them where can I recycle my old computer?  My computer actually broke down and found out it wasn’t fixable.  I originally thought about donating it but found out that it was so old that most organizations that accept donations have minimum limits that they accept as well.  I was surprised to hear from my friends that only over the past couple of years, Saskatoon recycling programs have started to develop for old computers and other types of technology.  As a Saskatoon Realtor I often walk into people’s homes and see piles of old computers, televisions, stereos, printers and everything else you can imagine.  I have experienced this myself in my own home as I recently also bought a new television.  My friends were able to direct me a website called which is an electronic recycling program put on by Sarcan.  The types of things you can recycle with Sarcan include:

  • Desktop computers including mouse, keyboards and cables
  • Notebook computers
  • Monitors – CRT and flat panel
  • Desktop printers, fax machines and all in one devices
  • Televisions – CRT, flat panel (plasma or LCD) and rear projection

Be sure to visit the website to find out more information about what you can recycle and locations you can drop off your items.

Kari Calder
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd.

Got Paint?

Friday, March 21st, 2008

I visit a lot of homes in the Saskatoon and surrounding area and one thing that I notice very regularly is that a lot of home owners have paint cans sitting in their basement, garage or some other corner of their home.  We as home owners collect paint on regular basis whether it’s doing renovations or just creating a new project.  Painting definitely is part of owning a home.  Paint is one of those things that people just don’t know what to do with.  You know you can’t toss it away in the garbage or dump it in the sewer so usually paint cans tend to pile up.  I know for myself I have probably 5 or 6 half full paint cans that I will never use again and until recently didn’t know what to do with them.  Sarcan in conjunction with the Product Care Association now provide a way for you to recycle your paint.  Household paint can now be dropped off at over 70 recycling locations across Saskatchewan without charge.  The collected paint is then reused, recycled into other products or used for its energy value.  Every Sarcan depot also maintains a supply of leftover paint for reuse, which is available to the public without charge.  Below is a list of the types of paint they will accept:

  • Interior & Exterior – latex, acrylic, water-based, alkyd, enamel and oil-based paints.
  • Varnishes & urethanes
  • Stains
  • Barn, fence & porch paints
  • Concrete paints
  • Deck & floor paints (including Elastomeric)
  • Drywall paints
  • Primers
  • Undercoats
  • Driveway (non-tar based) paints & sealers
  • Block fillers
  • Stain blocking paints
  • Shellac
  • Wood finishing oils & stains
  • Rust paint
  • Stucco paint
  • Paints for metal
  • Wood & masonry water repellants
  • Marine paint (containing no pesticides)
  • Non-catalyzed & non-nitrocellulose laquers.
  • Aerosol paint cans up to 600g

Be sure to visit the Sarcan and Product Care websites to find out restrictions on what they will not accept and for further information on their recycling programs.

Kari Calder
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd.

Your Recycling Information Centre

Friday, March 21st, 2008

I have always been someone that tries to do their part when it comes to recycling.  I am firm believer that even the smallest effort does make a difference in the long run.  There are so many small things home owners can do to help the environment.  In many cases for home owners, taking the environmentally friendly path will reduce your overall costs as well.  As a Saskatoon real estate agent I always like to provide my clients information on recycling and ways for them to reduce their costs in their homes.  Over the next few months I will provide readers information and tips on recycling in the city of Saskatoon and surrounding areas.  Be sure to visit often and find out how a few small things can make a big difference for the environment and also potentially lower your costs for your home.

Kari Calder
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd.