Earth Day will roll around on April 22: How is your environmental footprint doing? There’s no better time to shop for a new green living home than spring, and many home buyers are making the switch to more green living home. Energy-saving products can lower your total cost of ownership and improve the quality of your family’s daily lives.
Know What To Look For
Green living home builders try to source materials locally to cut down on transportation and energy costs in the manufacturing process. They may try to incorporate recycled materials and architectural salvage items. Taking the home’s location into consideration helps to create designs that are more energy-efficient and sustainable. Look for homes that were designed to fit into their surroundings, taking advantage of natural light.
If you’re buying an existing home, consider purchasing one that was not designed to have electric air conditioning; it will have better airflow and heat dissipation. Be aware that constructing any new abode takes an environmental toll as new materials require energy for manufacturing and transport. Purchasing an existing home may cause less damage long-term than building from scratch.
Things to consider for a green living home
New home construction is pricey, but there are ways to help offset your costs. Look for tax incentives to help with the installation of solar energy and geothermal products. Choosing Energy Star appliances may also cut some costs from your bottom line with further financial incentives and rebate programs. Both federal and local authorities offer such assistance to new home builders and buyers.
Don’t overlook the obvious – your choice of home can be critical to the environmental impact of your daily life. A smaller home consumes less energy, as does one with more natural shade and natural light. Consider yards with respect to their water consumption. And always take into account the location you’re selecting. If your home is a one-hour commute from your workplace, any advances you make in keeping the home efficient will be eaten up by your travel time.
Do your homework
Consider bringing in professional help. There are realtors who specialize in environmentally conscious eco-friendly homes and builders who focus exclusively on sustainable designs using natural, non-toxic materials. Conduct an energy audit of potential homes to look for potential heat and cooling losses. Get a full home inspection to check for plumbing leaks and structural issues. This can help you decide where to best spend your money on retrofitting existing homes to be greener.
It’s easy having a green living home
It’s not enough to make smart choices. Instead, you have to commit fully to reducing your energy consumption. A green living house is great, but most of our environmental impact is a result of the way we live our lives. Set up paperless billing in your new home to save trees and reduce consumption. If your local regulations permit it, consider purchasing a rain barrel to collect runoff rainwater for reuse in the garden.
Switch to CFL or LED light bulbs, and install low-flow faucets, showers, and toilets. Eschew the broad swath of green lawns that proliferate across America and choose water-conscious, low maintenance ornamental grasses, shrubs, and trees. You can even choose to grow some of your own food, further cutting down on your carbon footprint. Composting your kitchen scraps and recycling them into natural fertilizer reduces waste going into the landfills.
The benefits of buying a more environmentally conscious home and living a green lifestyle are paid out in lowered energy costs, better air quality and reduced impact on our surroundings. Being good stewards of our world enhances our experience of living in it. We can be happier, healthier and more comfortable with having a green living home.