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How to make your home more environmentally friendly
Have you gone green at home? Doing so not only helps clear the air, reduce landfill waste and preserve nature, it also helps you keep more green (as in cash) in your wallet. Here are some ways to be environmentally friendly (and frugal) at home. 1. Develop a green thumb. Plant an herb garden. It’s easy, and when summer is over, you can move the plants inside to keep adding spice and flavor to your meals. Collect rainwater for your plants and conserve water by not overwatering your lawn and garden. Create a compost to fertilize your garden with organic waste rather than store-bought chemical fertilizer. 2. Kiss your incandescent light bulbs goodbye. When these bulbs burn out, join the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by replacing them with CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs). When one of your appliances dies, replace it with an energy efficient model (they carry the “energy star” label). 3. Bid farewell to expensive water sold in plastic disposable bottles. Rely on a reusable water bottle and fill it up with tap water that you purify with a filter. While tap water is regulated with strict safety standards, 10 of the most popular bottled water brands contain pollutants, such as fertilizer residue and (yikes) arsenic, according to a study by the Environmental Working Group. Plus 75% of the plastic bottles are not recycled, becoming environmental eyesores. 4. Tune in by turning off. Turn off lights when you leave the room. Completely power off your computer at night. And unplug unused chargers and appliances, such as toasters and cell phone chargers. About 30% of a typical household’s electricity bill is due to appliances left in stand-by mode. 5. Use a programmable thermostat to control your furnance and air conditioner. Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in winter and a few degrees higher in summer. Doing so can save you 3% for every degree. 6. Mind your laundry. Only wash and dry when you have full loads, since full or not, you’ll be using the same amount of power. Wash with cold water when you can because it helps your clothing last longer and 85% of the energy to machine wash clothes goes to heating the water. Clean the lint traps for your dryer regularly so it runs efficiently.
Sources: simplemom.net, worldwatch.org, naturalnews.com, ways2gogreen.com and ewg.org
in this issue
1 How to grill a hamburger masterpiece
Who makes the best burgers: men or women?
2 Bringing the outdoors into your house
How to grill a hamburger masterpiece
What’s the best way to grill a hamburger? Ah, that’s a question that barbeque experts will debate until the wee hours. Here are some points – and counterpoints – to consider from various grillmeisters. 1. Choose the right meat. Fresh (not frozen) ground chuck that is 20% fat is the most favored choice. The fat keeps the burger juicy and tasty. 2. Prepare the patties ahead of time. Form the meat into 6 ounce patties (about 1 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter). Spice up the burger now – or not. Some burger minimalists suggest including a pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Others sing the praises of mixing into the patty additional ingredients, such as red wine, Worchester sauce, onions, garlic – and even cheese. With your thumb, insert a small dimple in the middle of the patty. (This enables the burger to cook evenly without bloating.) Also, to ensure the patties won’t split apart, refrigerate them for a few hours or a day prior to your cookout. 3. Fire up your grill and cook your patties at 160 degrees, the best temperature for ground meat, according to the USDA. Use an instant thermometer if your grill lacks a temperature gauge. Also, have a spray water bottle handy in case you need to tame the flames. 4. Sear the patties to create a crisp crust and keep the insides juicy. How? Flip them only once and, for medium-rare burgers, cook them three minutes on each side. At least that’s one school of thought. Meanwhile other grill gurus insist that burgers are better if you flip them once a minute – or even every 15 seconds. See what works best for you. At any rate, the experts agree that you should never squish the patties with a spatula while you grill them. 5. Remove your masterpiece and let it rest a few minutes while you toast the buns. Then, according to your taste, apply your favorite condiments.
Sources: artofmanliness.com, grillingcompanion.com, about.com and kitchendaily.com
The beauty of trees
3 Do you know someone in the market
for a new home?
4 How to make your home more
v Mortgage Loan Rates
As of June 6, 2012 Type Interest Rate FIRST MORTGAGES 1/1 ARM 3/1 ARM 5/1 ARM 5/1 ARM (Interest Only) 7/1 ARM 7/1 ARM (Interest Only) 10/1 ARM 2.500% 2.500% 2.500% 3.250% 2.750% 3.500% 3.750% 3.596% 3.435% 3.293% 3.558% 3.281% 3.623% 3.762% 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 APR* Points
visit our website at www.alliantcreditunion.org
office closings Independence Day– Wednesday, July 4, 2012 Labor Day– Monday, September 3, 2012 Alliant is available 24/7 via our Member Contact Center, Website, Self Service Telephone, ATMs and Mobile Banking. Visit our website, www.alliantcreditunion.org, for product and other information.
This newsletter is for members’ personal use only. Reproducing and/or selling the contents of this newsletter without prior written permission from Alliant Credit Union is prohibited. Copyright Alliant. Articles are prepared as an educational service for Alliant members. They should not be relied on as a substitute for individual financial or legal research. Articles in this newsletter are not intended to be used (and may not be relied on) for penalty avoidance.
PO Box 66945, 11545 W. Touhy Avenue Chicago, IL 60666-0945 www.alliantcreditunion.org 800-328-1935 (24/7)
SECOND/VACATION HOMES 1/1 ARM 3/1 ARM 5/1 ARM 7/1 ARM 10/1 ARM 2.750% 2.750% 2.750% 3.000% 4.000% 4.075% 3.875% 3.700% 3.660% 4.109% 0 0 0 0 0
Who makes the best burgers: men or women?
Which sex makes the best burgers? Men, of course, according to artofmanliness blogger Matt Moore: “Armed with a spatula in one hand and a cold beer in the other, there’s no better way to celebrate summer than by hosting a cookout with friends. There’s just something primal and manly about watching raw meat roasting over an open flame.” Steven Rachlein, author of the best-seller “The Barbeque Bible,” begs to differ: “I’ve always maintained that women make better grillers. After all, men lack the patience gene.”
Sources: artofmanliness.com and girlsatthegrill.com
Rates, terms and conditions subject to change. Loan approval, APR and downpayment required based on creditworthiness, amount financed and ability to repay. APR=Annual Percentage Rate. First Mortgages available in all 50 states. Rate is higher on fixed rate mortgages of $417,001 and above and on ARMs and Interest-only fixed rate mortgages of $500,001 and above. Refer to the Alliant website for additional details and requirements. ARM=Adjustable Rate Mortgage. *The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) assumes a 20% downpayment on a loan amount of $250,000 with a 30-year term. The results above assume an origination fee of $1,445 plus $180 in additional prepaid finance charges plus 15 days of prepaid interest.
PO Box 66945, 11545 W. Touhy Ave. Chicago, IL 60666-0945 www.alliantcreditunion.org
<<Name>> <<Address> <<City, State, Zip>>
Bringing the outdoors into your house
Summer is a splendid time to spend time outside and (weather permitting) to open the windows and let fresh air flow through your home. But, did you realize you can bring a bit of the outdoors inside all year round? Here are some ways: 1. Adorn your rooms with fruit, vegetables, plants and flowers. It’s chic to spruce up your house with bowls of fruit (such as lemons and limes) and with pots of herbs (such as mint and basil). Plants can provide the sense of an indoor garden. Plus, vases of flowers can be a mood pick-meup all year round. clear. To maximize the value of your view, 6. Make a home for natural objects. Decoplace mirrors opposite or at right angles rate your house with sea shells, rocks and to the window. If your drapery is heavy, interesting-looking branches. Add nature replace it with billowy curtains of shear photographs and paintings. And include fabric that filter light. (If you lack a backfurniture, baskets, rugs and lampshades yard, install a window box to grow plants made of natural fibers, such as rattan, during warm seasons.) hemp and wicker. 3. Play with color. Consider repainting walls, window frames and old furniture with a nature-related color scheme. The hot color this season is an ice blue that suggests the sky, says decorator and HGTV host David Bromstad. Other popular colors include neutral tan or gray earth tones and a green reminiscent of grass and plants. 4. Light the outdoors. Enjoy your backyard at night by adding floodlights or by draping strings of lights around railings or a tree. 5. Remodel your home. Add skylights to upstair rooms. Consider new, bigger windows and French doors leading outside. Create a sunroom. And if you have a porch, enclose it with windows that provide insulation during winter and can be opened during summer. Also consider putting nature under your feet by ridding yourself of synthetic rugs and other man-made floors and replacing them with natural wood, cork or bamboo. Another suggestion: use the same flooring on your inside adjoining room as you use on your terrace, deck or porch. 7. Entice your nose and ears. Add scents, such as floral potpourri and woodsy incense. And occasionally listen to calming nature sounds with CD recordings of the wind, the ocean, bird calls or the rain.
Sources: freshome.com, wini.com, independent.co.uk, homedit.com, justluxe.com and bankrate.com
Do you know someone in the market for a new home? Pass along this great $100 OFFER!
Help yourself or someone you know save big money with an Alliant mortgage If you or someone you know is in the market for a new home or looking to refinance a current residence, consider Alliant’s great fixed, adjustable and interest-only mortgages. With our online application, it’s fast and easy to apply for a mortgage. Once the Alliant mortgage is approved and closed, we’ll reward the borrower with a $100 savings deposit.1
Here’s how it works… 1. Check out our below-market rates at www.alliantcreditunion.org. (If the person you are referring is not an Alliant member, he/she can easily join online.) 2. Apply online or call our Mortgage Hotline at 800-328-1935. Press option 5, then option 1. (Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm CT). 3. Mail in the Certificate below. Then, we’ll reward the borrower with a $100 deposit1 to his/her Alliant savings account.
2. Brighten your world with windows. Do what you can to ensure you have a wonderful view outside your windows, such as trimming overgrown bushes and removing unsightly objects. Let in natural light by keeping your windows sparkling
1 You must be or become a member of Alliant Credit Union to qualify. You must apply for your mortgage loan by December 31, 2012, to be eligible to receive the $100 reward which will be deposited directly into your Alliant savings account. No substitutions will be made for the $100 reward. Recipients are responsible for any tax liability. Only one $100 reward per qualifying mortgage will be awarded. Original Certificate must be returned within 30 days after your loan closing date to Alliant Credit Union, ATTN: Marketing Dept., PO Box 66945, Chicago, IL 60666-0945, in order to receive the $100 reward. Once we receive the Certificate and verify the loan amount and closing date, we will deposit the $100 reward in your Alliant savings account. Offer not valid on existing Alliant mortgage loans. Offer valid on approved and funded mortgage loans and mortgage loan refinances from other lenders. The $100 savings deposit is considered as taxable income and will be paid as a special dividend and reported on IRS Form 1099-INT..
$100 Mortgage Program Reward Certificate
Summer is a great time to appreciate the beauty of trees and the role they play – in our yards and in our life.
Here are some observations about these perennial woody plants. People in suburbia see trees differently than foresters do. They cherish every one. It is useless to speak of the probability that a certain tree will die when the tree is in someone’s backyard. You are talking about a personal asset, a friend, a monument, not about board feet of lumber.
~ Roger Swain
Individual applying for a mortgage, please complete this section and mail to Alliant.
__________________________________________________________________________ Member Account Number ____________________________ First Name ______________ Middle Name ___________________________ Last Name
Once your Alliant mortgage loan is approved and closed, a $100 reward1 will be deposited into your Alliant savings account.
Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.
Offer expires December 31, 2012
COMPLETE AND RETURN THIS CERTIFICATE TO: Alliant Credit Union Attn: Marketing Department PO Box 66945 Chicago, IL 60666-0945
1 You must be or become a member of Alliant Credit Union to qualify. You must apply for your mortgage loan by December 31, 2012, to be eligible to receive the $100 reward, which will be deposited directly into your Alliant savings account. No substitutions will be made for the $100 reward. Recipients are responsible for any tax liability. Only one $100 reward per qualifying mortgage will be awarded. Original Certificate must be returned within 30 days after your loan closing date to Alliant Credit Union, ATTN: Marketing Dept., PO Box 66945, Chicago, IL 60666-0945, in order to receive the $100 reward. Once we receive the Certificate and verify the loan amount and closing date, we will deposit the $100 reward in your Alliant savings account. Offer not valid on existing Alliant mortgage loans. Offer valid on approved and funded mortgage loans and mortgage loan refinances from other lenders. The $100 savings deposit is considered as taxable income and will be paid as a special dividend and reported on IRS Form 1099-INT..
~ Joyce Kilmer
As the poet said, “only God can make a tree,” probably because it’s so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.
~ Woody Allen
__________________________________________________________________________ Street Address (include unit #) ____________________________ City ____________________________ Phone Number ______________ State ___________________________ Zip Code
Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.
~ Bill Vaughan
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.
~ Chinese Proverb
Not in the market for a mortgage? Pass along this Certificate to someone who is.
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