Eco-friendly. Energy-efficient. Sustainable. Responsible. Comfortable. Healthy. Economical. Smart. Fun.
“Green Building is a whole-systems approach through design and building techniques to minimize environmental impact and reduce the energy consumption of buildings while contributing to the health of its occupants.”
— City of Scottsdale Green Building Program
Ready to make the move to a green, eco-friendly, sustainable, energy-efficient home? It makes complete sense: Green homes are built using sustainable practices that conserve not only energy, water and other natural resources, but also preserve our environment, strengthen our local economy and promote a better quality of life for those who live there.
Benefits of a Green Home
Green Home Features
Did you know that…
Have you ever noticed how much cooler it is in a grove of trees, or even how much more comfortable you feel just hearing the sound of the wind rustling in the leaves? Besides the aesthetic pleasure they give, trees can improve our quality of life in other ways as well.
Because they use carbon dioxide as they grow, trees can offset and even reduce CO2 emissions. If you plant three trees on the southeast and southwest sides of your home, you can cut your air conditioning bills as well as clean up the air and cool the globe. According to American Forests, the nation’s oldest citizens’ conservation organization, there are at least 100 million spots around our homes and in our towns and cities suitable for trees. When trees shade houses, buildings and pavement from the sun, they help cool down the “heat islands” that build up around pavement and other dark surfaces. “Nature’s air conditioners” also help clean up he air, by filtering airborne particles with their leaves and branches.
Trees and the forests they create play a critical role in maintaining the health of our environment. Their root systems prevent erosion and thereby protect water quality. Their leaves filter the air and, through the shade, they cast, reduce global warming. The natural community that develops around forests also helps protect the planet by providing a safe and nurturing environment for all kinds of fish and wildlife.
Unfortunately, forests in this country and around the world are being squeezed by increasing demands for wood and paper. For example, between 50 and 100 acres of tropical rainforest — an area the size of ten city blocks — are destroyed every minute. At that rate, there will be no intact tropical forest left within one hundred years. Forests in North America, particularly the ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest, are also under stress.
Many offices and individuals have already begun to address deforestation issues at home and abroad by recycling paper and by buying recycled paper products. Here are a few other actions you might consider to minimize your need for wood:
Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? What did you resolve to do? If you’re like many folks, you may have resolved to quit smoking, to exercise more, or to keep in better touch with far-flung family members. Whatever resolutions you made (or even if you didn’t make any at all) we have a great suggestion to add to your list: make a commitment to do three things to make your life a little greener.
We’re not talking major, life-changing adjustments here. We mean making simple, but effective changes that have a real impact on your life, on the planet, and in many cases, on your wallet.
To get you started, we’ve put together a list of simple things that you can do to start or sustain a greener, healthier life. Pick three, and see what happens! Of course, there are hundreds of little changes you can make that result in greener living – we’ve compiled a few to get the ball rolling.
You’re eating organic foods, exercising more and generally improving how you care for yourself. Well done! Now it’s time to focus on the health of your home. Research shows detoxing your home of harsh chemicals and synthetics can improve the health of you and your family. And, it’s a lot easier than you think. Look at the list below and choose what’s right for you and venture forward – one step at a time.
These are just a few ideas to create a healthy and less toxic home. Don’t feel as though this is a daunting task. Just take one idea and try it. Then move one to another. If you would like to learn in more detail about the above ideas, purchase the book Living Organic It’s a beautiful and informative book loaded with practical ideas to detoxify your home. If you are looking for more detailed recipes for natural cleaning products definitely purchase Clean House, Clean Planet as it is a wealth of information on how to clean your home with everyday items. You’ll save enough money in a month to pay for the book. Your wallet and your body will love you for it.
Dimethylbenzylammonium chloride, trisodium nitrilotriacetate chloride, butoxy ethanol. These unpronounceable solvents are some of the ingredients that are common within everyday cleaning products. They are also very harmful to your health and environment. Instead of introducing potentially life harming chemicals into the home in order to clean and disinfect, try using a combination of natural products that work just as effectively without carrying health or environmental hazards.
Since manufacturers of cleaning products are not required by law to list all the ingredients on the label it can be very difficult to determine what products are safe to use in the home. Dimethylbenzylammonium chloride is the active ingredient in Lysol, one of the most popular cleaning products found on the shelf. However, this agent is extremely harmful to fish and other marine life. The cleaning agent trisodium nitrilotriacetate chloride is found in some powdered detergents. It has been listed as a possible cancer causing agent by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as well as having harmful effects on the environment by preventing the eradication of metals in wastewater treatment plants. According to New Jersey Worker’s Right-to-Know Fact Sheet, solvents such as butoxy ethanol should be used with great caution because “it is a poison that can easily absorb through the skin” causing dizziness, light headedness and in extreme cases can lead to anemia through the destruction of red blood cells. This product has also been shown to impair kidney and liver function.
Switching to green solutions for cleaning is simple and easy, with all necessary items usually being found in the kitchen.
Here are some helpful combinations to maximize cleaning power
Enjoy the freedom of having chemical free cleaners in the home which work just as effectively. By making your own cleaning products you can ensure the health of your family while simultaneously having a positive impact on the environment.