(NC)—Everyone is talking about how to green our lives: green cars, green travel, green products – but how do you know what is really making a difference – and what isn't? Buying a green home or renovating to meet environmental standards is one significant way to benefit your family, your health, your environmental footprint, and your wallet.
Buying a home is a large investment and it's important to know exactly what you are buying. Green home certifications like LEED provide a nutrition label of sorts, demonstrating in measurable terms how a home incorporates efficiency features. Certifications also provide the added assurance that comes from knowing the final product has been verified and performance tested by experts. Better still, on average a green home will only cost between one and two percent more than a traditional home purchase.
It all adds up to savings and a healthier home for the occupants. For example, a LEED certified home has been designed to maximize fresh air indoors, minimizing exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants, reduce water use by up to 40 per cent, and potentially reduce energy use up to 60 per cent. Less energy use means lower utility bills every month. An average green home saves $22,560 over 25 years, with many homes saving much more. If you are interested in finding out more about how to build or renovate a home to be greener and healthier, visit www.cagbc.org/greenhomes. This site will give you a list of local contractors, tips, and valuable resources to get you started.
Dr. Nancy Mackin stands in front of her green cottage. Photo by Yellow Camera Productions, use with permission, Dr. N. Mackin, Architect AIBC.
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