Two friends were walking through a wide, hot desert. In the middle of their journey, while enduring the scorching heat of the sun, they got into an argument. Their argument led to one of them bursting in anger. Carried away by anger and frustrations, he slapped his friend. Feeling hurt, physically and emotionally, the one who got slapped became quiet.
He did not take any revenge against his angry friend. Instead, he stopped and wrote in the sand, "Today my best friend slapped me”.
As their journey across the desert continued, they found a breath-taking oasis. The two friends were delighted. They decided to stop by to refresh, to rest, and to take a bath. But in an unfortunate turn of events, the one who had been slapped got stuck in the swampy mire of the oasis. Feeling helpless, he screamed for help.
The other friend immediately rescued him from the situation. He grabbed him out of the swamp. After recovering from a near-drowning experience, he wrote a heartfelt thought on a stone, "Today my best friend saved my life."
Looking at the words carved on the stone, the one who got angry earlier expressed his curiosity about why his friend wrote in the sand without feeling vengeful even after the slap. "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?" he asked. With a smile on his face, the other friend looked him in the eye and replied in the most heartwarming way. "When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away," he explained. "But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can never erase it," he added.
The GTA Housing Market Report
TORONTO, ONTARIO, April 6, 2021- For the third straight month of 2021, record home sales continued in March across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) with buyers taking advantage of favourable borrowing costs and continued improvement in many sectors of the economy.
GTA REALTORS® reported 15,652 sales in March 2021 – close to double that of March 2020. While sales were strong, it is important to remember that for the second half of March we are comparing against the initial impact of COVID-19 in the second half of March 2020 when sales activity dropped off dramatically. With this in mind, it is important to consider annual sales growth for the pre-COVID period (March 1 to 14, 2020) and COVID period (March 15 to 31, 2020):
There were 6,504 sales reported during the first 14 days of March 2021 - up 41 per cent compared to the pre-COVID period in March 2020.
There were 9,148 sales reported between March 15th and March 31st 2021, an increase of 174 per cent compared to the COVID period of March 2020. This is a stark reminder of the initial impact COVID-19 had on the housing market and overall economy a year ago.
For March 2021 as a whole, new listings were up 57 per cent year-over-year to 22,709. While representing a strong year-over-year increase, the annual growth rate for new listings was well-below that of sales.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark for March 2021 was up by 16.5 per cent compared to March 2020. The average selling price, at $1,097,565 was up by 21.6 per cent over the same period. Following the recent trend, low-rise home sales in regions surrounding the City of Toronto drove price growth.
Making an Energy Efficient Home
Lower Your Thermostat: Adopt the habit of lowering the temperature on your thermostat while away from home. Dropping the temp by just three to five degrees will reduce your monthly utility bill and use less energy.
Seal All Windows: Go the extra mile by sealing the air leaks in and around the windows in your home. If your windows are drafty, consider adding weather-stripping around the frames. Add a bead of silicone caulk over any cracks in your drywall or apply a sheet of shrink film to your windows.
Turn Off Unnecessary Water: Be conscious of running water while brushing your teeth or shaving. Also, bathing typically uses 75 gallons of water compared to a shower that uses about 17.2 gallons on average. You also should avoid running half-loads of laundry in your washer. A full load means more clothes Get washed at once, which in turn conserves water (and money).
Don’t Wash Laundry with Hot Water: Avoid running your washer with hot water and opt for cold or warm water when possible. 90% of the energy used by your washer is used to heat the water, and the other 10% is used to run the machine. This means using cooler water for every load can potentially save a significant amount of energy.
Unplug Unused Chargers: Cell phone and battery chargers that are plugged in but not in use are often referred to as energy vampires. Unplug your chargers when not in use.
Replace Your Desktop Computer: Most tech experts estimate that you should replace your computer every four years. When the time comes for your desktop computer, consider replacing it with a laptop. Laptops use up to 80% less electricity and run on less energy.
Are Solar Panels Worth It?
Depending upon where in Canada you live, electricity can cost you big bucks each year. But the high initial cost of solar panel installation makes many Canadians wonder if it is worth the investment.
Cost for panels: Contact any solar panel company and they will tell you the cost per watt. You will have to consider the amount of sunlight your area gets, whether or not your province offers solar incentives, and the size of the equipment you would need.
How much energy you use vs how much solar energy you can harness: Start by calculating how much energy you use over one year in units of kWh. All you do is look at your hydro bills for the past year (you can usually access these online), and add up your monthly kWh usage for 12 consecutive months. Next, you will need to figure out how much energy solar panels can produce in your area.
Are solar panels worth it? If you can pay off the system with your energy savings in around ten years, then it’s worth getting on board. Remember, solar panels last about 30 years and have almost no maintenance except for clearing off the snow. If your panels are angled at 35 degrees, they will clear themselves of snow without you having to do anything. Findings show that installing solar panels only makes financial sense in areas where electricity rates are high.
The theme of Earth Day 2021 is "Restore Our Earth." The theme is based on the emerging concept that rejects the idea that our only options to save the planet are to mitigate or adapt to the impacts of climate change and other environmental damage. Scientists, non-governmental organizations, business, and governments worldwide now are looking at natural system processes and emerging green technologies to restore the world's ecosystems and forests, conserve and rebuild soils, improve farming practices, restore wildlife populations and rid the world's oceans of plastics.
While the world waits for global political and business leaders to take decisive action to reduce carbon emissions, natural processes including reforestation and soil conservation can store massive amounts of carbon while restoring biodiversity, clean water and air and rebalancing ecological systems. Restoration is pragmatic and necessary to reduce climate change.
Restoration also brings hope, itself an important ingredient in the age of COVID-19. The impacts of the pandemic have illustrated with painful clarity that the planet faces two crises and they are connected: global environmental degradation and its connection to our health. Deforestation, wildlife trade, air and water pollution, human diets, climate change and other issues have all fed into a breakdown of our natural systems, leading to new and fatal diseases, such as the current pandemic, and a breakdown of the global economy.
How To Make 2021 Restorative
Eat plants, waste nothing: Choosing plant-based foods and keeping calories out of the trash could be the easiest habits to adopt to revive the planet. Cut out meat, dairy and eggs as much as possible — your body will thank you, too! Avoid grabbing food you might not fully use, and compost your scraps to return nutrients to the soil and divert atmospheric carbon to the ground.
Slash plastic use: Given its negative effects on ecosystem and human health, plastic pollution is one of civilization’s thorniest problems. Reducing your individual reliance on this material can have a big impact. Opt for reusable or biodegradable containers, utensils and personal care products.
Repair wildlife habitat: It’s not too late to prevent hundreds of thousands of species from disappearing forever. Bringing back well-functioning habitats, from forests to grasslands to reefs, is crucial. If you have access to a greenspace, plant a pollinator garden and trees.
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Not intended to solicit sellers or buyers currently under contract with a brokerage. This newsletter is intended for entertainment purposes only. Credit is given to the authors of various articles that are reprinted when the original author is known. Any omission of credit to an author is purely unintentional and should not be construed as plagiarism or literary theft. Copyright 2019 Wahid Amin. This information is solely advisory, and should not be substituted for medical, legal, financial or tax advice. Any and all decisions and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a qualified physician, attorney, financial advisor and/or other professionals in corresponding field. We cannot be held responsible for actions you may take without proper medical, financial, legal or tax advice.