Happy Green 4th of July
Did you know that Denver Concierge was the very first certified green cleaning company in Colorado? Every year we get recertified with the Green Clean Institute and 2022 was no exception, as we have just been recertified for the year.
Back in 2007 we applied for certification and have proudly carried that with us through today.
What does that really mean for you? Simply it means that you are doing your part for the environment by using a certified company. Every product we use has been vetted as 100% green. Our people are trained in green cleaning practices and we take every step to ensure that we are taking care of the environment as we clean.
We do our best to stay humble over here, so we don’t really like to blow our horns too loudly. That said, we are very proud of this certification and what it means to our clients and the wonderful city we live in.
Also, this month we have a guest writer who covers the benefits of going green in your home. We hope you enjoy it.
We also want to wish you and your families a safe and happy 4th of July weekend. Denver Concierge will be closed on Monday the 4th so our folks can enjoy some time with their families as well.
Finally, some fun facts about the 4th. Did you know that 150,000,000 (yes million) hot dogs will be consumed in America on the 4th of July? “Enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. more than five times,” according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.
We hope you have a fun 4th of July weekend, as always thanks for being part of the Denver Concierge family.
School Enrollment Plummeting
What exactly is going on with Denver area school enrollment?
Of course, it seems that COVID started all of this, but we didn’t expect it to stay this way.
Jefferson County, for example, has proposed a plan to close multiple elementary schools in the district due to low enrollment levels.
From the article on Fox News, “According to Jeffco, the district has the capacity to serve 96,000 students in their traditional schools and currently has 69,000 students enrolled. Jeffco expects the enrollment to continue declining to 66,000 by next year.”
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online and at-home learning became the new norm for students in Colorado. When schools reopened to in-person learning, many failed to return to the traditional in-school education.”
Even as Colorado’s population grew (prior to 20-21), its public-school enrollment shrunk. Enrollment was generally increasing until 2020-2021, when it rapidly fell by a whopping 30,024 students, according to Colorado Department of Education data.
Most definitely a challenging time for education as funding is allocated on a per-pupil basis. Denver Public Schools predict another 6% enrollment decrease in the next 5 years and the plan is to establish criteria for permanently closing schools with low enrollment by 2024.
Finally, it seems we are not alone here in Denver. The New Y0rk Times recently published a piece on this topic and it can be found here.
Wages & Inflation
Before COVID, most of us were pretty happy with that good old 3% wage increase.
These days, it might not be enough.
One of the concepts few employees understand is effective purchasing power.
It is super easy to get intoxicated by a higher wage, but if all the goods and services around you are going up at a higher rate (see the chart above), then purchasing power is lost.
So even though wages have skyrocketed and are up 4.9%, inflation is up 6.2%, a net loss.
Closer to home, and from the DBJ article on this topic, “In Denver, median weekly earnings rose 6.5% over the past year from $1,163.80 to $1,239.38. Meanwhile, the cost of living rose 12.9% since 2019.”
“That combination of factors means what would have been a traditional raise two or three years ago may not cut it for many employees — especially when it’s far from what they could fetch on the open market.”
It is certainly safe to say we are in trying times both as employees try to pay their bills, and companies do their best to retain talent with fair pay.
Sadly, the inevitable conclusion of all of this could likely be fewer jobs, as companies strive to automate and eliminate humans wherever possible.
Meanwhile, we will do everything in our power to keep a happy and well-paid workforce in your homes.
Navy Seals & Neuroscience
So, a Navy Seal and a neuroscientist walk into a bar…….
Just kidding, but it sounds like the beginning of a great joke.
This was a treasure trove of information about how the human mind and our nervous systems actually work. More importantly, how can we use them to our advantage.
For example, do you know what “optic flow” is? We didn’t either but it can relieve stress.
Also, if you are like us, we hit the coffee button right when we rise in the morning.
We learned that the timing of the first caffeine in your body is important and that you should wait 60-90 minutes after waking to ingest it.
This is due to a molecule called adenosine. We won’t bore you with the details, but it’s all in this wonderful article we found on Medium.
The title of the article is 15 Learnings From a Conversation Between a Neuroscientist & Navy SEAL Officer and we found it to be one of the most informative pieces we have seen in a long while.
So, if you want to learn about cool things like adenosine and dopamine, and how a simple sigh might lower your stress, this is the place for you.
Going Green in Your Home
By Guest Writer Ethel Lair
Whether you’re looking to buy a new house or planning some home improvements on your existing property, think about the many benefits of having an eco-friendly home and garden. Going green isn’t just good for the planet, it can also save you money. So here are some things to consider when you’re looking for a house, or if you want to turn your existing abode into an eco-friendly haven:
Save Money on Your Energy Bill
To keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, thus reducing your need for costly air conditioning, make sure it is well insulated, from attic to basement. When buying a home, look for one that has been outfitted with dual pane windows that keep the outside elements from affecting the temperature inside the house.
Solar panels have become increasingly popular over the years, and for good reason: they allow homeowners to harness the sun’s energy to power their house by turning it into electricity. Additionally, installing a solar energy system will increase the value of your home, and may even help it sell faster.
When making home improvements, make sure you take before-and-after pictures of your remodeling and energy-saving projects, and keep all receipts and invoices you’ve received, both for labor and for materials. This will allow you to quantify the increase in value of your home when you’re ready to put it on the market.
Reduce Your Consumption
If you have leaks and drips around your house, you are wasting precious water and increasing your utility bill. Check your appliances such as refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machine regularly to detect such problems early on, and replace your older appliances with high-efficiency machines that use fewer resources.
Upgrading your bathroom fixtures will also help in reducing your water usage. Replace your showerheads, faucets, and toilets with low-flow, high-efficiency options that are as effective as their older counterparts but use a lot less water. It’s a low-cost home improvement that can lead to big savings over time.
In your backyard, install an irrigation system that will help you conserve water while keeping your landscape beautiful year-round. Smart sprinklers deliver a fine mist of water that covers an area more efficiently, and if you install weather or rain sensors, they will prevent the unnecessary watering of your lawn, helping you reduce water waste.
Another way to reduce consumption, especially if you have a business, is to find ways to go paperless. For example, you can rid yourself of the hassles of printing by switching to a digital scheduling tool or a cloud based accounting system. You even save time by having automated processes and using efficient workflows. Plus, you’ll only pay for what your business needs with software that can grow with your business.
Reuse and Recycle
Use less paper and plastic products by investing in reusable cloth bags to do your grocery shopping, and opt for permanent storage containers instead of disposable plastic bags to store leftover food and snacks. Avoid using plastic cutlery and paper plates that end up in landfills, and save on gift bags and wrapping paper by creatively recycling what you already have on hand.
Choose reusable cloth rags over paper towels to clean your windows and countertops, and reusable mop covers to clean your floors instead of disposable ones to keep your home sparkling clean. Avoid harsh cleaning products that contain unhealthy chemicals, and use the power of steam to clean and disinfect your floors and other surfaces naturally. For a certified green cleaning experience created to reduce indoor air pollution, call on the services of Denver Concierge.
Repair and refinish old furniture to give it a new life instead of buying new pieces. A fresh coat of paint and some new hardware will update an old desk or dresser for a fraction of the price of a new piece of furniture. If the item is beyond repair, try repurposing the wood by turning it into a tray, frame, or bookshelf.
An eco-friendly house will save you money over time and protect your environment. Whether you’re in the market for a new home or planning some renovations, consider the green alternatives currently available and invest wisely, both for yourself and for the planet.
Monthly Award Winners
Our monthly award winners for May were Patricia Rodriguez, Gabriela Barrancas, Maria Zapata, Maria Concepcion Reyes, and Guadalupe Caloca.
In the Team Leader ranks, it was Paz Jimenez and Mayra Soto
We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week.
We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times.
Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of May.
Queen Bee Corner
I just completed 21 years with Denver Concierge. I have been working alongside the same two women in the office and several of our Team Leaders during the entire time. Pretty impressive.
However, I would be remiss to not include in my congratulatory mood, the many, and there are many, of our clients who came to Denver Concierge the same time I did.
Imagine 21 years of bi-weekly cleanings, given a holiday here and there. 21 years of births and marriages, celebrations and anniversaries, remodels and construction, leaky ceilings, and flooded floors. The good the bad and the ugly; we’ve been there for you through it all.
When I take on a new client it really does feel like I am welcoming them into the Denver Concierge family. We are so proud that we have stood the test of time with our clients. It is no small feat. The service industry can be brutal.
As always, thank you!