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Apr 19

Tips for an Eco-Friendly Home

With Earth Day right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to make some changes to cut back on waste and energy consumption. Caring for the environment doesn’t have to be costly or require big changes. Here are some simple and easy tips decrease your carbon footprint and make your home more eco-friendly!

Tip 1: Opt for ENERGY STAR appliances

Improve your home’s energy efficiency with ENERGY STAR appliances. These products can help to lower high energy bills, improve comfort and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ENERGY STAR appliances are independently certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality. ENERGY STAR certifies a wide range of products such as washing machines, TVs, dishwashers, ceiling fans, and light bulbs.

Tip 2: Use CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) bulbs

Another small change that will significantly impact your energy consumption is switching to CFL bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs are the least efficient type of lighting because 90% of the energy the bulb uses is given off as heat and only about 10% results in light. By replacing your home’s incandescent light bulbs with CFL bulbs or any other bulbs certified by ENERGY STAR, you can save energy and money. These light bulbs can last anywhere from 3-25 times longer and come in many different colors and light levels.

Tip 3: Turn off the lights (sometimes)

The cost effectiveness of when to turn off lights depends on the type of lightbulbs you have. In some cases, it is more cost effective to leave them on since some bulbs’ operating life are dependent on how many times they are switched on and off.

For CFL lighting, the general rule of thumb is: if you will be out of a room for 15 minutes or less, leave it on; and if you will be out of a room for more than 15 minutes, turn it off. The operating life of LED lights is unaffected by turning it on and off. Incandescent bulbs should be turned off whenever they are not being used because they are the least efficient type of lighting.

Tip 4: Recycle properly

Recycling regulations differ from city to city, so make sure you comply with your own city’s recycling guide. The City of Chino Hills has developed a simply sorting guide that was designed to make recycling effortless for its residents. The City of Santa Ana has implemented several green programs to reduce its residents’ waste. For the residents of Dublin, the City had published an easy how-to-guide to help comply with recycling and garbage regulations.

Tip 5: Grow Houseplants

Growing indoor houseplants is a great and easy way to improve the air quality of your home. NASA published a list of “Top Ten Air Cleaning Plants”. This list features beautiful plants like the Peace Lily, which is known for its ability to filter toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the surrounding air.

Tip 6: Switch to tankless water heaters

Tankless water heaters, also known instantaneous water heaters, provide hot water only as it is needed. Since they don’t produce the standby heat losses associated with storage water heaters, tankless water heaters can save a typical family $100 or more a year. Tankless water heaters also have a longer life expectancy than regular storage water heaters. Although installation of a new water heater may be tricky, many Trumark homes are now offering tankless water heaters installed in the garage.

Trumark Homes has taken a step towards building more eco-friendly and sustainable homes. Many of their homes have low-e glass vinyl-framed windows throughout, which can reduce energy loss by as much as 50%. These low-e windows have a special coating that increases energy efficiency, which allows sunlight to shine in but also suppresses heat flow. Additionally, many of Trumark homes also offer solar panel conduits in the attic as well as electrical vehicle conduits in the garage.


Apr 13

Steps Toward a Healthier and Happier Pup

Nothing is better than coming home after a long work day and being welcomed by your cuddly pooch. These fuzzy animals can improve our mood and reduce stress levels. One of the most popular pets in the US is dogs. Whether your pooch is a new puppy or an older dog, check out our tips to keep your dog happy and healthy!

Doggy Training

Attending an educational doggy training course can be fun and beneficial for you and your pooch. No matter how old your furry friend is, all dogs can learn new tricks. A positive training experience will also serve as a pivotal bonding moment between you and your dog. When choosing a dog trainer, it is essential that they use positive reinforcement such as treats, attention, praise or play.  There are many different class formats to choose from: private lessons, dog-only lessons, self-help training, and group lessons. Group classes are great because dogs can learn to respond to their owners despite distractions and can also learn to interact with other dogs.

Keep your dog active

Now that winter is over, it’s time to get your dog’s exercise back on track. Depending on what breed and how old your dog is, the amount and duration of recommended exercise varies. Most dogs need about 30 minutes of hard aerobic exercise daily. If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise, he may be at risk of becoming overweight, heart disease, or even respiratory disease. Dogs require year-round consistent exercise, however small apartments or intense seasonal weather conditions may make this difficult to achieve. In addition to daily walks, inside games like tug and fetch are great ways to stimulate your dog’s mind and body.

Healthy dog treats

Treats play an essential part in dog-parent life; therefore it’s important that you’re feeding Fido the best treats possible! Avoid dog treats that include unnecessary additives such as extra salt and sugar or artificial flavors. Choose treats that are protein-packed and minimally processed, like Stella & Chewy’s carnivore crunch. If you’re looking for a treat that also cleans your dog’s teeth and gums, Greenies are a great choice.

Create a sleeping sanctuary

An average adult dog needs about 12-14 hours of sleep per day, while puppies need as much as 18 hours of sleep per day. Quality sleep is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. Make sure your pup gets enough sleep by creating a sleeping sanctuary. While many dogs share the bed with their owner, it’s important for them to have their own designated sleeping space as well. Their beds should be placed in a quiet area away to ensure that they will have good, restful sleeps. Choose a cozy, dreamy dog bed that also includes a machine washable cover, so you able to keep the bed clean and fresh.

Quality toys

When your dog isn’t snoozing the day away, keep him engaged with a quality dog toy! The best dog toys are durable against teeth and claws, safe, and able to keep your dog preoccupied for prolonged periods of time. The Spurce named the KONG Wobbler Treat Dispensing Dog Toy as the best overall dog toy in 2018. This toy dispenses food and treats for hours of fun and can even be used as an alternative to a dog bowl to help slow and extend mealtime. The Wobbler’s twist-off dispenser makes it easy to fill and clean.

If you’re looking to adopt your own furry friend for National Pet Day, there are many lovable pets looking for their forever home at your local animal shelter. Before you bring your new furry friend home, check out our tips for creating a dog-friendly home.

Apr 05

Spring Community Activities in Dublin, Chino Hills, and Santa Ana

Get involved this spring with these local community activities that will get you and your family excited for this sunny Spring season!


Support your local farmers and check out live music and entertainment at the Farmers’ Market in Emerald Glen Park on Thursdays 4-8pm, from April 5 to September 27. The City of Dublin’s Farmers’ Market also features cooking demonstrations, wine and beer tastings, and arts and crafts vendors.  

Celebrate springtime with the whole family on the dairy farm with farm activities, live music, and farm-fresh foods straight from the garden at Dublin’s Spring Fair held at Dublin Heritage Park and Museums on May 5. Learn spring gardening tips, enjoy tractor-pulled wagon rides, and participate in hands-on farm activities.

Give back to the community by volunteering during Dublin Pride Week (April 28 – May 5). Volunteers are needed to help with school and park beautification, senior assistance, creek clean-ups, and non-profit support projects. Donations for the food drive will also be collected at grocery stores in Dublin on April 28.  For more ways to get involved this spring, check out Dublin’s Spring Activity Guide.

Chino Hills

The Chino Hills Community Foundation is hosting their 2nd annual Jazz & Blues Festival on April 21st. The festival will be held at Big League Dreams Chino Hills Sports Park from 3-10pm. Come listen to Barbara Morrison & The Blu Crew and The Lao Tizer Band featuring Karen Briggs while perusing through the delicious offerings of local food vendors.

Chino Hills also offers a wide range of enrichment, music, dance, and fitness instructional classes each season. It’s not too late to sign up for spring classes. However if you’re hoping to sign up for Chino Hills’ Summer recreation programs, come check out the Community Service department’s Open House on May 5. You’ll get a chance to enjoy class demonstrations, face painting, crafts and activities and meet your instructor. As an added perk, open house visitors will qualify for early bird registration for summer courses and the first 200 families will receive $10 off their class fees.

Santa Ana

Try the season’s fruits and vegetables at the peak of their freshness at Downtown Santa Ana’s Farmers’ Market. In addition to the delicious, Southern California grown produce, the farmers’ market also offers live music, arts and crafts vendors, and food trucks. Make sure to bring the whole family because there’s always something new, fun and tasty at the DTSA Farmers’ Market.

Take your significant other or whole family out for movie night in downtown! The Frida Cinema is a year-round film festival that shows quality independent, classic, student, and avant-garde cinematic programming. Located the heart of Downtown Santa Ana, the Frida Cinema is dedicated to enrich, connecting, and educating communists through the art of cinema. Check out their upcoming showings here.