How Can I Be More Green

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Preferred Properties

 

What Can We Do With Our Homes ?

We keep hearing about Global Warming and the fact that we need to do things to help the environment. We can cut down on the number of miles we drive on I-459 every week, and buy a more fuel efficient car. We can turn the thermostat up (in summer) and run a fan to help cool the house. We can change out light bulbs and get that blue glow going!! But what else is there?

Are you thinking about making home improvements to your Hoover Alabama home? It makes good sense to go green when you make home improvements and renovate your home.  But What does that mean?

Green remodeling, includes designing the home to work with the environment and using construction materials that are made in an unwasteful way. That includes the impact on energy, water, and materials consumption; waste generation; and harmful emissions -- indoors and out -- according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The council also says a green home is one that uses less energy, water and natural resources; creates less waste, and is healthier for the people who live there.

Consider Design. If you are not using space in your house - such as the Formal Living Room - consider giving it use such as an office or playroom. Using the space you already have for another purpose would be more "green" than adding more space. Just because you have furniture in there doesn't mean you are "using the sapce". Avoid windows that look west to cut energy costs during the summer. If you have west facing windows, replace them with low-E glass, or glass with a solar screen that filters out the heat and sunlight but lets the visible light through.

Consider composition. When choosing a green product, consider the raw materials used to create the product and their origin. Composite decking is a great example. Manufacturers use recovered wood fibers and recycled milk jugs, plastic grocery bags, and water bottles to create their materials. Products using recycled materials help by creating less waste, by keeping materials out of landfills and by reducing the need for raw materials like petroleum (you would be surprised to know all the uses for petroleum).

Consider value. When looking for green products, you may find that going green costs more - this is frustrating.  But look at how long the product is likely to last.  The deck made from composite will cost more than wood, but it's life cycle will be longer and therefore is a better value - for your pocketbook and the environment.

Consider sustainability. Choose products that are going to last a long time in their intended use. For building products that will be used outdoors, look for durable products that can withstand the regional climate over an extended period. Sustainability should also be practiced by the manufacturer and during the production process. Manufacturing processes can use a great deal of energy and resources, as well as release toxic chemicals and gases. Look for sustainable companies that have implemented environmental processes and procedures to reduce emissions and energy, as well as reduce the amount of waste through recycling, reusing and other environmentally responsible practices.

There is so much to learn about building in an environmentally friendly manner.  I know I have so much to learn. You may want to check out this website just to get some ideas. We can all do things to help our world.

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Toni Bird

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