You may be wondering why this is a real estate blog, yet I haven't focused specifically on green building techniques. Well, that is because if you are trying to help the environment, there are many things you can do that are not related directly to your home itself, but what you do in it, and my passion for the environment drives me to tell you about all sorts of tips and info, rather than just focus on business. Also, green building is costly, and with the current economic conditions, it might be hard for people to make the commitment to go green when the technologies are still quite costly compared to traditional building (though, I think the environmental benefits are worth it). Plus, the majority of houses bought and sold are not new and unless major renovations are taking place, most green "building" is not applicable.
However, today I will talk about green choices for the home since there are many earth-friendly ones homeowners improving their interior can make that won't break the bank. If you happen to be a potential seller, it can't hurt in the marketing of your home since the general public is becoming more aware of the need to "go green", whether they are true believers in the cause to combat global warming or are caught up in the hype. Here are a couple quick things I would suggest to people updating their home (of course more will follow in future entries).
Thinking about new floors? Think bamboo instead of laminate or hardwood, especially if you live on the coast. It's as durable as hardwood with a great resistance to moisture, it's a quickly renewing resource, is easy to care for and it looks great! Additionally, it costs about the same as hardwood.
Need new paint just to spruce up? Go with the low VOC (volatile organic compound) varieties. So many companies are making them now, you can even get them at the big box home improvement stores for a pretty affordable price. This is not only good for the earth, but for your health. Check out the EPA's website on the subject at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html#Health%20Effects.
That link addresses household cleaners, too, and I'll need to save all of my discussion for green cleaning for another blog post. I have used so many different products, and some of them are completely amazing... so much better than traditional. Please comment on the blog or contact me directly if you want to talk more about green choices of traditional products.