What Makes a House a Green Home

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Green living. It’s the new thing for Americans as more people become environmentally conscious. Some people have taken the whole green living thing a step further by transforming their home into an environmentally friendly house. Others have started anew and built houses that were environmentally friendly by using recycled objects. Every great thing starts with a single step. People can start out towards a green life by starting to compost, recycle, and reduce waste.

But first, the basics are: What makes a home “green”? The California Association of Realtors, http://green.car.org/homeowners/whatisgreenhome/, came up with a list for this. A home should be able to conserve natural resources, of course. This means using energy efficiently through the use of alternative energy and/or using energy saver appliances and light bulbs. Small wind turbines and solar panels can harness the energy of the wind and sun without using energy fueled by fossil fuels.

Another important principle of green home living is to create less waste. That means use all natural cleaning supplies and be sure to recycle your paper based things, aluminum, and glass objects. Last but not least of all, have a compost pile for food waste. The regular household trash can be reduced dramatically if more people composted their goods, which in turn provides excellent fertilizer for gardens.

Some homes are more environmentally friendly and “green” than others. These homes are made out of recycled objects such as tires and sometimes, aluminum cans and glass bottles. These homes are called Earthship houses and they keep tires out of the landfill. The tires make up the walls and they create excellent insulation. The goal with a true Earthship house is to be as off the grid as possible. A true Earthship house has a water recycling system where gray water is recycled but black water gets sent out to the sewer.

These homes are truly environmentally friendly but not everyone has the means to go off and build a new house. So in order to have a green home, people need to conserve natural resources and use energy efficiently. If a house is poorly insulated, insulation needs to be added because otherwise energy will be wasted trying to heat up or cool down the house.

Solar panels, wind turbines, extra insulation, energy efficient appliances, among other things can help a house transform into a green home, along with the right mindset of the people living in the home. After all, there are benefits of having a green home, as the California Association of Realtors points out: http://green.car.org/homeowners/whatisgreenhome/benefitsofagreenhome/.

One practical way you can go green is by switching from plastic bags to reusable bags. I encourage you to do an inventory of things you use inside and outside of your home. Discover how you can both protect your environment and save money.

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