Tag Archives: Green

Green House and Its Requirements – Its Relevance For the Environment

When you look around seriously for a green house, among many features, the surroundings of your dream house should be a primary concern. The other aspect, as important as the primary concern, is the features which are essential for the less consumption of energy and fuel on a day to day basis.

The proposed home is located at such a place where everything essential for normal living is available easily. Then it can be classified as a green home rather than a home which is located far away and you have to drive around a lot for trivial things. A house requiring so much travel can not be considered as green home even if the ambiance of the atmosphere is too environmental friendly. This is because of the simple reason that you will be expending more time and money than necessary for fuel expenses.

Many people dream of self sufficiency for a green home. Self sufficiency means producing enough food for a normal family from a well maintained garden, solar energy panels or a wind/water mill within the compound.

Both the above conditions proposed have a common point. They do not need the support of the local grid fully or partially. An apparent contribution towards the environment is evident, that is they are not part of high consumption of energy.

If your search has landed you in a place where you are not in a well placed location and instead have many facilities for self sufficiency then, your concentration should be on a well designed home. The designing has to be made in such a way that the place is cool in summer and warm in winter, with the bare minimum need for air conditioning and heating.

With this type of environmentally healthy design along with the use of certified energy content appliances, you will contribute significantly towards energy saving. But for many, the initial investment is prohibitive and this will pay off handsomely in the near future.

The acquiring of a green home is not the only avenue for helping the environment. We have to insist for the products which cause less damage to the environment during production. Additionally, we can stick to the use of products which are bio degradable for cleaning purposes etc.

We will be significantly contributing to the well being of the environment. So be a part of the elite who are hell bent on creating a healthy environment for self and future generations.

Going Green With Eco-Friendly Products – Products That Help the Environment When You Use Them

Which products help the environment when you use them? This is one of the important questions in finding eco-friendly products. There are a number of ways of going green, and we should do all of them because our environmental situation is urgent. Buying eco-friendly products are one of the crucial ways of going green. So which ones are eco-friendly?

Which are the products that help the environment when you use them? Here is a quick list of products that help the environment, organized into 3 categories:

Those that reduce our need dirty for energy and help produce clean energy:

-Solar panels on the house

-Wind generators on our house or in the neighborhood

-Solar chargers, flashlights, etc.

Those that lower our energy consumption:

-CFCs

-Energy-Star appliances

-LED light bulbs and screens

-Digital reading gadgets

Those that reduce or eliminate harm done to the environment:

-Plant-based cleaners

-Hybrid cars

-Bicycles (it’s not too late to take up this past-time and get in shape while saving the planet)

-Push lawn-mowers (yes, another habit-changing device)

Take out a pencil and see if you can’t come up with a list of more eco-friendly items or products that help the environment with their use. Think about those things that you have in your house already that help the environment. Expand your mind to consider more than just “Green” or “Eco-Friendly” products. Think about those products you could use to replace current energy-hogs or products that are more reusable and/or more easily disposable.

If you haven’t started already, now is the time to start out onto the path of going green. Eco-friendly products are a good way to begin.

Thanks for reading about eco-friendly products that help the environment, a great start to going green!

Green Homes – Green Home Building For Eco Friendly Living

Green homes are houses that are kinder to the planet. They use lesser energy, produce less waste, and are a healthier environment for the people inside. Green homes come out of a philosophy of being more eco-friendly to the environment. They save on electricity, find ways to cut down on carbon-waste and general energy consumption. Green homes can put money in your pocket, and give you the peace of mind you are doing your bit to help sustain our planet.

Energy

Most of us would to make the world a little “greener” by reducing our home energy consumption. There has been improvement in building techniques and materials over the last couple of decades, which means that homes are becoming more energy efficient. Do you dream of a house with no carbon emissions and zero-net-energy use? This can be achieved with a strategy that includes alternative energy sources, and conscientious fabrication methods and standards. We can channel in green energy into our homes without breaking the bank. There are DIY home energy programs that cost thousands of dollars but there are also DIY Solar and wind turbine schemes that will only cost a few hundred dollars, and that can be implemented without great technical skills. You can reach your goal of a Zero Energy Home, and it maybe just a couple of steps away…

Design: Living Green Designer Homes

When we think of eco friendly homes, or sustainable homes, we probably have an image of an odd-looking place? Too many panels and windmills all over it, maybe half buried on a hill, or too high tech for our budget? That may have been the case once but it’s now possible to design a home that is beautiful, and will give you a degree of independence from both present and future water and energy cost increases and shortages There is evidence of a growing concern about environmental and design issues. There is information available from government from which you can learn about design of green buildings for energy conservation. Good modern design standards readily integrate sustainable features such as rainwater collection, alternative power sources, grey water recycling, solar hot water and water efficient landscaping.

Sustainability

In December 2006, The Code for Sustainable Homes was introduced as a voluntary code in the UK and by May 2008 has become a national standard. It rates the key elements of design and construction which impact upon sustainability and efficiency. It is used by architects, builders and consumers alike in helping them plan and design new homes. The code awards new homes a star rating from 1 to 6, based on their performance against 9 sustainability criteria which assess the overall environmental impact. These are model green home building guidelines!

Building regulations require at least One Star. Six Stars reflects exemplary sustainability.The sustainability criteria by which new homes are measured are:

Energy and CO2 Emissions

Water H20 & Surface Water Run-off

Materials

Waste

Pollution

Health and Well-Being

Management of the environmental impacts of the construction and operation

Ecology

The key is to achieve sustainability without compromising either design or quality. The Code introduces minimum standards for energy and environmental factors affecting the sustainability of a home, and the rating takes into account different elements of sustainability. These include energy, transport, pollution, materials, land use and ecology and health and well-being. The UK Government has set the industry a target of delivering zero-carbon homes by 2016.

The aim of sustainable homes is to deliver real improvements in key areas such as carbon dioxide emissions and water use.

Carbon

Carbon reduction is high on the political agenda of all nations, yet there is a clear struggle for governments to come to terms with the measures that must be taken to achieve the reduction goals that our best science tells us is needed. Much can be achieved by action at the household level that can drastically reduce the enormity of the tasks that faces governments looking at the problems on a macro scale. Motivation for the changes that are needed is key, as it is in anything great but difficult that we strive for. One ‘carrot’ in the budget for households is the direct benefit of reduced energy bills achieved by making an effort to reduce their own carbon pollution. In the UK, London Green Homes service uniquely offers a free telephone advice service, a website and a paid-for green service to provide a free tailor-made package of carbon saving lifestyle improvements. The service has great flexibility, offering Londoners advice on a broad range of actions to reduce carbon emissions from lifestyle changes; and explains how best to save money on energy bills. It is the UK’s first one-stop-shop for information on how to make homes more carbon efficient.

Environmental

A US survey has shown that 87% of home buyers want to know how their homes rate in terms of environmental performance in order to make an informed decision when moving house. Further, 84% would pay an average 2% more for an eco-friendly home. Environmentally friendly homes are no longer a luxury reserved only for the richest Americans. Environmental concerns, dependence on foreign oil, water shortages, vanishing species, are all factors in an increasing the awareness of the call for us to be better stewards of the earth and its resources.

In this environmentally aware world, we are hearing more about green homes, eco friendly living and sustainable homes. Green homes that are designed to be energy efficient, use environmentally friendly and healthy materials and conserver water are becoming the standard. In addition to new building standards, there are simple environmentally friendly, DIY projects that will help curb energy costs, and improve your homes value.

Space is still the most important consideration for home buyers, but environmental considerations and use of eco-friendly materials are very high on the list of priorities. Architectural firms today are often committed to developing creative yet environmentally sustainable components of space for the betterment of lifestyle and family in a way that supports responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources. Green living and building, with an emphasis on health, energy efficiency and environmental conservation, has never been more relevant than it is today. As time goes on, there will be more attention given to advocating for socially just and environmentally-minded rebuilding solutions. Home-building imposes very significant environmental and social costs at all levels. Impacts of new home construction include:

quarrying to provide basic raw construction materials like aggregates,

water consumption, and the widespread use of toxic

chemicals in building materials.

Conclusion

Green homes can put money in your pocket, they don’t need to be thought of as an expensive way to do what’s demanded of us for the environment. Sustainable homes give you peace of mind from knowing that you are doing everything you can to help sustain the planet. Sustainable homes don’t have to be unattractive anymore, and unsuitable for residential architecture. Green homes are better for the environment because they use less energy, less water, and have a lower impact on the environment

4 Easy Tips To Go Green And Thus Attract More Tenants

Going green is the trend these days, and it’s because more and more people are becoming environmentally conscious. As a landlord, you should be able to identify this trend and use it to your advantage to make your house look more attractive to the tenants. There are several ways in which you can make your house green. Here are 4 easy environment-friendly tips on attracting more tenants:

1. Introduce Green Replacements

If you are about to renovate your house before putting it back on the rental market, or even before doing something as small as fixing a broken bulb, consider getting green replacements. This is generally better if your tenants are already living in the house, as it reduces the downtime.

Check if the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer have Energy Star ratings. Replace older shower heads with low-flow models. Other small things that you can pay attention to include light bulbs, carpets, window coverings, and paints.

2. Use Solar Energy

It has been found that heating water using electricity is a major contributor to power consumption and electricity bills. While solar panels have been making a leeway into apartment complexes, you should make it a priority even if it’s an individual house. Solar heat pumps are available on the market, and the government has been supporting the idea with subsidies. The future will see better storage technologies for solar power, and your house will appear smart to the tenants with this choice. And hey, it would reduce the bills too!

3. Insulate Your House

Insulating your home is a direct step towards encouraging sustainability. You can trap cold air in the summers and warm air in the winters. This reduces the annual costs involved in using air conditioners and heat radiators. There are ample cheap, recycled insulators in the market that are made of wool and polyester. You should definitely consider getting them.

4. Get Compost And Recycle Bins

You can get your tenants some inexpensive recycle bins. It would be great if you can get compost bins too, as these will promote waste reduction and proper recycling of food waste. You can even buy some fruit gardens to use the compost. Tenants will really appreciate this.

These days, more and more house hunters are looking to live in environmentally friendly areas. Follow these simple steps to not only ensure that you attract green-savvy tenants, but also help the house live long.

Ways to Make Your House More Green

Building a new home is a perfect time to integrate green features in it. A green home not only reduces cost of construction, but also makes it more marketable in the future. Let’s see how you can make your house more green.

Make your walls and roof well insulated

Effective insulation makes your apartment warm during winter and cold during summer. Through wool, glass fiber batts and reflective foils, you can insulate the walls and roof of your house. Heating and cooling process account for more than 50% of the home’s total energy consumption.

Replace old and leaky windows

Replace old and leaky windows with energy-efficient models. You can also boost efficiency of the windows via weather-stripping. Replacing old windows with energy-efficient ones is a common practice followed by green homeowners.

Install plenty of ceiling fans

Installing ceiling fans in every room is a great way to reduce carbon footprints. Ceiling fans are cheaper than air conditioners and consume less power. They reduce your monthly electricity bill and protect the environment.

Use energy-saving light bulbs

Compact fluorescent lamps are a part of eco-friendly houses. These bulbs, though expensive, consume less energy, produce less heat and last longer than traditional bulbs. You can save a lot by using these energy-efficient bulbs.

Plant trees around your house

A good landscaping is essential to make your house green. Hence, plant plenty of trees and shrubs around your home. They not only improve the home’s overall look, but also generate pure oxygen – an absolute must for a healthy living.

Use energy star appliances

Energy Star is a renowned symbol on energy-efficient appliances. Energy Star is a program started to cut greenhouse gas emission. Energy Star appliances are cheaper as compared to others. When appliances meet certain criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency, they earn this label.

Have cross ventilation

Cross ventilation helps a house to cool down fast. You can make cross ventilation by opening doors or windows on the opposite side of your home. This allows free-flow of breeze. Don’t just open a single door or window. Have higher ceilings and wide entry halls for more circulation of air.

Opt for renewable source energy

Opting for renewable source of energy reduces dependence on coal-burning power plants. These plants emit a significant amount of greenhouse gases. Install solar panels on roof to harness the power of sun. Your electricity bill will scale down manifold when you opt for natural sources of energy.

Upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system

Upgrading your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system reduces your energy cost by nearly 30%. Divide your heating and cooling system into multiple zones in your home to save money.

Is There Really A Need for Sustainable Green Housing?

Anchored on the growing issues of climate change and global warming, sustainable green housing plans and developments have been at the forefront of many real estate company portfolios. The reasons that green housing are more sustainable than the traditional or conventional houses become a primary key point in lobbying these types of homes to modern-day home buyers. The demand for more eco-friendly houses is seen to be doubling incredibly. But sans its purchasing price, is there really a need for sustainable green housing. The rest of the article attempts to explain.

Energy-efficiency

One of the main thrusts of sustainable green housing is to provide home owners with houses that are energy-efficient. This means that the entire household, through various means, can cut down its power-related expenses. Aside from the use of construction materials that facilitate natural movement of cool and hot air when needed, energy efficiency also lies on the use of appliances that are certified Energy Star compliant. With its logo depicted in a household appliance, expect to cut down on your electric bill to as much as 50% compared to non-compliant models.

Resource conservation

A new construction home uses a lot of materials that required raw ingredients to be used during their manufacture. Wall, floor, and roofing materials all consume some of the earth’s natural resources. If you are going to use new materials each time – you become liable for the depletion of natural resources. For instance, materials made of wood directly increase the number of trees being cut down. And for every tree being cut down, an area of the forest becomes depleted. In green housing, the use of fully-recycled or partly-recycled construction materials is promoted. This is a great answer towards resource conservation.

Healthier indoor and outdoor setting

Green housing also aims to provide home owners with houses that maintain healthier indoor and outdoor setting. By standards, the use of construction materials that emit harmful components like gases is avoided. This means that green houses are to be free of paints with VOCs, asbestos, and other materials which are hazardous to the health. Don’t you want a healthier indoor air that is free of these respiratory hazards?

For a healthier outdoor setting, sustainable home gardening is encouraged. Not only ornamental plants are advised for planting, but also those which are herbal, and those which yield fruits and vegetables. Isn’t this healthy? To make it healthier, make it organic by avoiding the use of synthetic fertilizers. You’ll have tasty garden fresh ingredients for use in your already-appetizing recipes. How’s that for sumptuous meals?

Green housing aims to make lives comfortable not only with the appeal and design of the house, but also of its healthier approach to functionality.

Beat The Rising Energy Costs With Green Building Trends

Green building trends are becoming increasingly popular among builders, architects and homeowners with every passing year. With growing environmental awareness, more and more people want recycled and sustainable materials to be incorporated in renovation or construction of their houses. They also favor homes which use design and construction techniques developed to improve the indoor air quality and energy efficiency of the house. Apart from enabling the homeowners to feel great about reducing their carbon footprint, eco-friendly building techniques also provide them lifelong savings on the utility bills.

A green home does not need to be like a geodesic dome or a yurt, like the eco-houses that were built a few decades ago. The idea behind building green homes is to save energy. So, it does not matter what size, style or design you opt for, as long as the house is energy-efficient. All types of green buildings have low cooling and heating costs, as they incorporate the principles of solar designs. Today, green building has emerged as a budding segment of home renovation and construction market. This is the reason why, nowadays, you can find numerous vendors exhibiting eco-friendly building services and products.

Nearly all architecture firms specialize in green or sustainable building designs and offer products, like energy-efficient appliances, recycled plastic roof shingles and many more. These companies can offer great help to families that are struggling financially, by helping them lower their rising energy bills. In fact, real estate agents too feel that eco-friendly architecture components act as an added benefit for their property listings. This is because in the current relaxed residential property market home buyers often get more selective while choosing a house. The long-term savings of green houses therefore make for a tempting property package. This also means green homes sell faster than traditional houses and also, at a better price.

Besides, banks and other financial institutions are also realizing the great investment value of green construction. So, you would also see many of them offering more encouraging terms for loan to customers, wanting to borrow money for buying green homes. All these factors are responsible for the increasing popularity of green building trends. Just as people are turning away from the vehicles consuming high amount of fuel and opting for the ones that are fuel-efficient, they are hesitating to live in the traditionally designed homes.

Today, skyrocketing utility bills is a big concern for every homeowner. Thus, buying a green house or making green renovations in the current house is a great way to beat the rising energy costs. To make the most of green building trends, you can look for a capable green architect, builder or constructor, who can help you build or design an eco-friendly house. Apart from proffering financial benefits, green living can also give you numerous health benefits. For instance, improved indoor air quality significantly reduces the risk of many respiratory diseases.

Interesting Tips to Make Your Home Green

If your sky-rocketing utility bills are upsetting you, then it is high time to make your house more energy-efficient. In the last decade, home improvement sector has evidently exploded with environment friendly practices and products, which guarantee to save homeowners a lot of money in the electricity bills. These green products are basically made from sustainable or recycled materials that last longer, in comparison to their conventional counterparts. However, with so many green products available in the market, it is not easy for the homeowners to make right choices. Considering this fact, given below are some interesting tips on how you can make your home green.

* Evaluate insulation and siding – A significant aspect of green lifestyle is decreasing one’s carbon footprint. This can be done by using lesser energy in various parts of the house. One great way to decrease energy consumption is to make sure that your house is properly insulated. Using eco-friendly or green insulation, made from materials like wool, cotton, recycled fabrics such as soybeans, denim etc, is a great way to go. Besides, evaluate the outdoor siding of your house by poking the walls. If your house is old and needs a face lift, then go for green products, such as fiber-cement siding, insulated-vinyl siding etc. Both would last for several years and need no or very less maintenance.

* Improve air quality inside the house – People living in environment friendly houses with better quality of air are happier, healthier and smarter. One great way to improve air quality inside your house is using low or zero VOC paints. These are easily available at any home improvement store at almost same price as traditional paints. Besides, the type of flooring you have also determines the air quality in your house. Traditional carpets, over time, trap allergens, mold, pet dander, and dust mites, making it difficult to get rid of them. The worst it does is deteriorating the quality of air inside the house. The best way to deal with this issue is either choosing environment friendly carpets with no or low VOCs or go for the hard floors fabricated from materials, like bamboo, cork, hardwood etc.

* Update the dated appliances – A kitchen loaded with high-end stainless steel machines and appliances looks beautiful, but functionality and practicality is more crucial to consider. Kitchen appliances, like stove, dishwasher and refrigerator use high amount of energy. It is therefore best to replace older appliances with the new ones, having energy star ratings.

* Window or door replacement – Those who have an old house with drafty doors and windows, a window or door replacement project would definitely be a great idea. It can actually make a great impact on your energy bills. While shopping for the new doors or windows, go for top quality products, such as Energy Star labeled windows, which use recycled materials or sustainable woods, and triple-pane windows/doors, which would keep your home comfortable year-round.

Remember remodeling a house is not about spending a lot of money. Even with small changes you can create a significant impact. So, employ all these interesting tips and get set to make your house a healthier and happier place to reside.

Benefits Of Going Green In Real Estate

There are a number of reasons why you should go green. A green lifestyle is not only good for you but also for the environment. Moreover, making eco-friendly changes in one’s life is not as costly as many people believe. For instance, walking instead of driving whenever possible is an easy green lifestyle alteration that does not cost anything, but still helps in saving the environment. Some of the most important benefits of going green are listed below –

* Home value – The value of your home would increase, if you consider using sustainable and eco-friendly materials in your house. For example, water saving toilets and solar panels can save you a lot of money on the utility bills.

* Water bills – Using appliances with energy star ratings can help you save a lot of water and cut back on your monthly water bills. The newer low flush toilets are also highly efficient and use lesser amount of water.

* Energy bills – If more and more buildings are updated with energy saving green units for water and electricity, then people would apparently consume lesser energy annually. By making such upgrades, you can also enjoy deductions and refunds on the taxes by the government.

* Durability – Eco friendly homes tend to last longer, as compared to traditional homes. Moreover, green homes do not really need painting or treating for the outdoor projects, such as decks.

* Less toxicity – Materials that are toxic in nature come out of cleaners and paints that have volatile organic compounds in them. Green or eco-friendly houses do not support the use of such materials and thus, have a good indoor air quality.

* Less waste – By building or renovating a home, using green products, the waste can be significantly reduced, as eco-friendly products are recyclable.

* Adaptability – Green homes last for more number of years, in comparison to traditional homes. Many eco-friendly houses incorporate big open areas, which are easy and simple to rearrange and remodel.

* Preserve the surroundings – Green homes have the least footprint on the surroundings and thus, work towards safeguarding the nature.

* Conserve the natural resources – The green building practices focus on conserving the natural resources by supporting the use of recycled materials, rather than new trees.

* Affordability – Majority of the green building materials and products available in the market are available at more affordable rates, than the traditional materials. Moreover, the green alterations that you make in your life also help you save a great deal of money.

To summarize, going green offers a lot of benefits and thus, it is important for each one of us to support the “green movement” and lead an environment friendly life. By going green, you would not only be able to have a better health and improved lifestyle, but also save a great deal of money. Above all, you would be able to play a significant role in protecting Mother Nature.

A Green Home Buyer’s Guide On Choosing An Eco-Friendly Home

Eco-friendly living is the way forward, and it is currently the best time for you to follow this trend. So go ahead and own a green abode that reflects your personality. Below, are a few points that you should consider on your pursuit to acquiring a green home.

Building A Home Vs. Buying One: How Do They Compare?

Every house is energy efficient and eco-friendly one way or the other, which usually saves a considerable amount of money. But buying a home does not give you the freedom to use your own ideas on the house from the ground up, as opposed to building a house according to your plan.

Renovation Can Do The Trick

If you have a non eco-friendly house and you want to convert it into an eco-friendly unit, you can spend money on modifying the house based on your ideas. For instance, you could replace an old light bulb with the latest LED ones, which are proven to consume less energy. Note that reworking on your house could cost a significant hole in your bank account, but in the long run, it is definitely worth it.

Other Important Priorities

Living green will likely be next to impossible, if you are on a budget and looking to stay close to popular hubs. The same could be said, if you want to have restaurants and other recreational facilities around your neighbourhood.

Be Ready To Relocate If Necessary

Is living in an eco-friendly house a top priority for you? If the answer is yes, then you need to consider relocating to a location where it is possible, I.e, a place where there’s plenty of sunlight and a place that suits your budget. But most times, this would mean that you would have to relocate to another region. You would have to settle in an entirely new location, where you will need start all over again, which is a bad idea if you are not looking forward to change.

Get Hold Of A Green Agent

Now that green living is becoming more and more popular, there is a rise in the number of real estate agents specialising in the scouting process of such houses. Get in touch with one of them to get a tour of affordable alternatives that are available.

Although eco-friendly living is a great step towards a self-sustaining life, it also requires you to invest a lot of time, effort, and money that is usually not a sound alternative for working-class families. You should go for this lifestyle, only if you are absolutely sure it is a serious decision, and not just a hobby.