Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Green Homes



 -- Quote of the Day -- 

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“Just getting people together and talking about issues is, I really think, is the most effective way to make changes in this world – sitting alone and thinking about issues is all fine but unless you are actually doing something it is hard to make changes.” 

~ Robert Henri


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Today’s quote originates from the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio episode that aired back on Feb 12th. Access the full episode via:





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Tips For Staying Green While Renovating Your Home


By Amy Sawyer
* Amy is a guest writer from AnyJunk – a professional man and van rubbish removal company in the UK who can clear your home ready for renovation works.






Renovating a home can be a difficult business if you’re trying to achieve the renovation process, as well as the end results, within the boundaries of being environmentally friendly. The process of renovation itself is inherently wasteful and consumes a lot of energy, and it can be tough to stay within your budget if you’re trying to build yourself a green home, as many environmentally friendly methods of lighting, heating and decoration tend to be more expensive. However, there are ways to make sure that your project is as green as it can be – here are a few of them.



1. Don’t rush in.  
The secret to achieving all your green aims when renovating your home is to take your time in the planning stages. In most cases, last minute additions, emergency alterations or bad planning will send the green options straight out of the window. Sit down with your objectives and pull everything together into a master plan that allows time for untested methods to potentially go wrong, an additional budget for essential green alterations and going back to the drawing board if something ground breaking just doesn’t work.



2. Work with like-minded people.   
If you want your project to be green from start to finish then you need to be working with people who understand what that entails. Find a contractor who can help you renovate your home to be water, energy and resource efficient and keep the project on the green track throughout.



3. Avoid new buy. 
Reclaimed and salvaged furniture has become increasingly popular in recent years but it does require a bit more effort than simply purchasing brand new. However, by using and reusing old materials – from 1950s wardrobes, to old pieces of timber - the end result will be far more green than filling your home with freshly manufactured materials.



4. Consider your light needs. 
When renovating your home you may be able to make it more efficient by making better use of natural light. Look at the placement of walls and windows in order to get as much light in as you can and opt for energy efficient lighting that accepts LEDs and compact fluorescent light bulbs. You may also want to consider motion sensors in each room, so that the lights go off when the room is not in use.



5. Monitor your materials. 
A truly green project will require acute attention to detail, looking closely at everything from paint to insulation. There is no specific formula for getting the green renovation right but try to use materials that are recycled, locally sourced and will age with your home, rather than needing to be replaced frequently. Look out for the Green Seal on paints, the Energy Star for appliances and windows, Cradle to Cradle for fabric products such as carpets and sheets, and Forest Stewardship Council for any wood products that you want to incorporate.



6. Look at the bigger picture. 
The ultimate aim for a green home is that it is a construction that doesn’t need to be constantly updated and maintained. Look at how your home will have aged ten years down the line and try to imagine whether the materials and features you’re choosing will still be going strong or are likely to need replacing.



It may seem like a considerable challenge to stay green whilst renovating your home, but it can be done. Those who choose to renovate this way often say that the effort was worthwhile, both because of the end results and the satisfaction of knowing that you have managed to reduce the impact you have on the environment too.






Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

9 comments:

  1. The effort to make homes more eco-friendly is at an all-time high. And with the cost of materials coming down all the time, it is easy to implement more environmental concepts in construction. <a href="http://www.customsmarthomes.net/'>Green homes are especially popular in Tennessee</a> where I live. Not only are people renovating their existing homes, the majority of new construction is incorporating aspects of eco-friendliness as well.

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    1. Yes - a lot of cities are not requiring new buildings to be set up for alternative energy upgrades like solar, to include rain collection, to have water saving and energy saving initiatives in place, to have green space - like a green roof and green balconies, and more. New neighborhoods are required to have green space, bike and pedestrian paths, and community gardens - even on the roof.
      It's an amazing time that we live in that is for sure!
      Lillian

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  2. I've been looking into living a life closer to nature. Are there any green homes in Las Vegas that are for sale? It feels weird to live my life now while being in an enviornment that is so opposed to my current lifestyle.

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    Replies
    1. I do hope you find what you are looking for. I totally understand what you are saying when you talk about wanting to live in a home that actually represents who you are and what you believe in.
      in appreciation,
      Lillian

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  3. Green home renovations are a great way to add value to your home while helping the environment. This post is worth a re-post as there are some really good tips for renovating sustainably.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the article! Yes, it really is so easy to green the home in small and large ways - everything does add up. People can simply upgrade appliances, install low flow shower/sink faucets, replace windows or doors, caulk gaps and cracks, change the lighting, and many other small upgrades. It is easier than it seems to go green that is for sure!
      In appreciation for your comment,
      Lillian

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  4. The method of restoration itself is naturally wasteful and uses a lot of energy, and it can be tough to keep within your budget if you’re attempting to build yourself a green house, as many eco-friendly methods of lighting style, heating and decoration seem to be more costly.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Skip - Thank you for the comment. While it is true that buying new materials or appliances does come with a manufacturing/shipping environmental cost - the improvements to the home/office will reduce how much energy it consumes for the life of that home, and many home owners or renters that live there. The financial cost is often recouped in 2-10 years, depending on the upgrade. It also makes the building worth more upon resale. One can go insane with upgrades or be choosey as to which offers the least cost and the best rate of return.

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  5. Of course - a great deal of cities are not requiring brand-new buildings to be set upwards for alternative energy renovations like solar power, to contain rain variety, to get water conserving and power saving initiatives available, to get green place - as being a green ceiling and natural balconies, and much more.

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