The best way for one to start the green revolution in their very own home is to start with the architectural aspects and the staples of the home design. Some of the options of “greening” your home are out of reach for most people, but there is something that everyone can do to move closer to zero impact– and of course, a less of an impact on your wallet over time!
One of the things that can make a big difference is the window size and placement. Natural light can easily reduce electric costs, but they do have to be appropriately sized and located. Southern exposure tends to get more sun, eastern exposure has the early and cool sun, while the western exposure has the later hot sun. One thing to always remember is that investing in good quality windows for the home saves a lot of money in the long run.
The other thing to consider is how efficient the Heating and Cooling system is. You do not have to get too fancy with it, but it definitely pays off to have it checked out. In New England especially– it can save you more money than you expected!
You can easily collect rain water and store it for different uses around the home– one being watering the lawn! it is a great thing to do since now it is possible to do so without it being tacked onto your water bill! If you add a water purifier, you can actually use this water for anything from showering to cooking.
Solar water heaters and photovoltaics are quite an investment. It is a way to use the sun to either only heat the water or to produce your whole home’s electricity. It is a way to truly be off the grid– unless you make extra electricity to feed back into the grid and be compensated for it.
When remodeling, look for materials that do not contain harmful chemicals– be it actual details or the glue that holds it all together! Look for CFC/ HCFC free moldings and VOC free glues on the web-site! These chemicals have been proven to harm not only the overall state of the planet, but also your health– it is not something that you would want to live in from day to day.
These chemicals are one of the causes of what McDonough (Author of Cradle to Cradle) “sick interior syndrome”. In this syndrome, we (sometimes due to seeking our convenience and sometimes pure ignorance) surround ourselves with harmful chemicals and they affect us in more ways than we realize. They can change our mental health as well as physical.
The best part about actively making your home green is that you can take all or some of the ideas to whatever level you can and still make an impact!
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