It has never been more important to be environmentally-friendly than it is today. Since we are all aware about the hazards of global warming and excessive pollution, we should all do our best to protect and help save the planet. We can all contribute by doing simple things such as recycling, conserving energy, using fuel efficient cars and green building. Going green is a great way that we can all contribute in making a difference in the world. When we make environmentally friendly choices when building and renovating, this is another brilliant way we can help save the planet. A home renovation project such as a kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel, paint remodel or flooring remodel project are excellent ways that you can implement green environmentally friendly building solutions.
Understanding Green Construction and Green Building
According to the EPA, a green building is a structure that is both environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout its life-cycle. Green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by:
- Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources
- Protecting occupant health and improving productivity
- Reducing waste, pollution and environment degradation
For example, green buildings may incorporate sustainable materials in their construction (e.g., reused, recycled-content, or made from renewable resources); create healthy indoor environments with minimal pollutants (e.g., reduced product emissions); and/or feature landscaping that reduces water usage (e.g., by using native plants that survive without extra watering).
Invest in Quality Energy Efficient Products
When buying new appliance products for your home, such as a washer and dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, you should look for the Energy Star logo. This logo helps you identify that the product is more energy-efficient than the average product without the energy star logo. Although the products can be a bit more costly than average, they will help save you money in the long run because they are using less energy, which will help you save money on monthly bills. The best thing is that despite using less energy they work they perform and work just as good, if not better than non energy star products.
Use sustainable materials
If you’re thinking about remodeling your home, you should try to use eco-friendly products which will help reduce the impact which construction leaves on the environment. Starting from building, flooring, and roofing materials, and taking into account details such as insulation, counters, cabinets, and furniture, always look for opportunities you can select and use environmentally friendly materials. Recycling is really essential here, because you can easily get recycled glass and plastic, reclaimed lumber, vinyl, or even natural products such as cork and bamboo. There are several wonderful natural products which are also made of renewable materials which would be great for both your home and the planet.
Use a Smaller Footprint
It is really trendy to have a large and spacious home, however, if you want to go green, having a smaller home can be a better option. Unlike a larger home, a small home that has been built or renovated using environmentally-friendly techniques will have an environmental impact that’s significantly lower. Since the footprint is smaller, a smaller home is easier to clean and is easier to keep cool, if energy efficient techniques have been used in the construction of the windows, ducts and doors.
Save Energy with Efficient Lighting and Solar Products
There are many ways to save energy in your home, starting from solar panels which will significantly lower your electricity bill, to using LED and CFL bulbs, as these use less energy. Having one big fridge is a better option than having two smaller ones, and if you’re buying a dryer, look for the one that immediately stops the moment your clothes are dry. Also, when there is a broken appliance in your home, don’t hesitate to call a licensed and reliable electrician. This will prove to be a lifesaver in the summer when the circuit for the air conditioner suddenly doesn’t work or the circuit for the range suddenly needs to be repaired.
Building and renovating with green perspective in mind can be challenging, but you will have a peace of mind knowing that you have made a difference. Even the smallest things count, and by making small steps, we are ensuring that our planet stays healthy.
Going Green Can Pay Off
When you make improvements in your home, it is always wise to consider ones that will have an impact on the bottom line when you sell your home. There are some remodeling improvements that pay off more than others. According to research by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyers looking for a new home rank the energy efficiency of a home as “very important”. This often yields a higher price tag than homes that can’t tout their energy efficiency.
Click on the following to read more:
What is Green Building? – U.S. Green Building Council
The Importance of Green Building – Green Building Resources Council