Thursday, November 08, 2007

Green Sweet Home

It's nice to know that you're green, it even helps if someone says you are. The Wall Street Journal has an article on the different certifications for buildings to be rated as "green". The cost of these certifications aren't cheap, and while fantastic for their marquee value for high profile buildings, it may not make sense for an individual to pursue. Since much of the certification comes from what building materials were used, it can be worse off to retrofit since you'd have to lose some of the existing materials.

Other forms of peace of mind are available, since the goal is that you are as green as can be. Some tips to make your home more Carbonfree.

1) Reduce the consumption of electricity and gas in your home. Can you insulate rooms better, have you sealed openings that cause a draft. Do you have curtains that can seal in heat during winter nights? CFLs and LEDs can help too. Do you have appliance you no longer use plugged in. Little things like that can reduce the energy used to heat your house and reduce carbon emissions.

2) Are you using products that use post-consumer recycled materials?

3) Remodel with sustainable products. If you put in a hardwood floor, consider alternatives such as bamboo.

4) Consider living with less square footage per person. Sarah Susanka in the Not So Big House series of books covers more efficient ways of using space so that less is more.

There are many ways to certify yourself green that will be obvious without the seal.


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