4 Green Home Renovation Tips to Tune Your House With Nature This New Year

The New Year is one of the most anticipated and most celebrated holidays. It is during this time when family and friends gather together and share merry-making activities and mouth-watering dishes to give thanks for the blessings that were received the entire year. But before the year ends, many individuals also indulge themselves into various home renovation efforts and re-imagine their house as if new. If you are one of those individuals looking for some tips, here are some suggestions that can overhaul the look of your house while making it more eco-friendly.

Add plants inside out.

The garden is not the only part of your property where plants are supposed to be planted. Even inside your house, you can add some greens in potted forms. Choose those that grow minimal heights. They can be placed in the middle of a center table or a side table. It is better to choose plants that have light menthol scent in order to bring an aroma that mosquitoes and other insects avoid. You can hang ornamental plants in your terrace using empty plastic bottles. Decorate them if you wish.

Use tables made of wood or bamboo.

Wood and bamboo are two materials that will never be out of top lists when it comes to tables. Aside from being cheaper than steel and glass counterparts, they are more eco-friendly too. Their sources are renewable. They can also lessen the carbon foot print of your household.

Colorize your walls with zero-VOC paints.

Paints have long been used to transform the looks and give new life to idle spaces. If you are tired with how your wall appears, this is the perfect time to splat it with new colors and hues through zero-VOC paints. This type of paint is harmless to the indoor air. They are deprived of chemicals and thus are non-hazardous to the health. Choices of color depends on your mood, motif, or what appearance you want to achieve and impart. For the coming year, general recommendations include earth colors.

Inspire your garden with plastic bottle built-wall.

Aside from selling empty plastic bottles to junk yards, another eco-friendly idea with them is for use on walls. With ample amount of cement, you can actually eliminate the use of hollow blocks to form a wall. Plastic bottle-built walls are starting to gain attention because of its sustainability. Some are even making colorful patterns with the use of colored cement. If you are still empty of this idea, you can browse the web and look for patterns and inspirations.

Indeed the New Year is one of the most appropriate times to do home renovation. But a home owner should never forget to keep in mind that with changes, the environment should always be considered, especially these days when green efforts are strongly pushed through.

The Pro-Active Build Green Mentality

There are many reasons to build green. There remains only one outdated reason not to build green. Cost has always been the biggest, most tangible objection to the shift towards sustainability.  

Cost resistance is losing its credibility. Cost at the expense of the environment and accompanied by high energy costs no longer makes sense, or is that cents.  

The Obama Administration has invested in the green movement. Government has shown unprecedented support for the value and future of sustainable construction. The Obama stimulus package has set in motion plans to create about 3.5 million green energy jobs over the next two years. The private sector has been slower than the public sector to respond to the merits of green construction. 

Not all the private sector’s cost resistance is unfounded. In the formative years of the green movement, sustainable technology costs were prohibitive. These costs required a true commitment to the future and to the green movement.  The return on investment was lacking. However, as sustainable technology has evolved and as demand for equipment has increased, the cost of the technology has declined substantially. 

Reports from the National Association of Realtors indicate the costs related to sustainable, green construction have decreased appreciably. Recent estimates put new green construction costs at 1-1.5% above traditional construction costs. Meanwhile, energy savings range can yield a 15-35% savings. 

In the 1970’s, the green movement began to gain momentum. In those early years, the principles of sustainable construction tended to be localized and lacking in definition. What was green to one developer was a waste of time and money to another. 

Over time, architects, real estate companies, property owners and construction companies compiled both tangible and theoretical research that have made sense of the principle of going green.  

The green ideal preserves and restores habitat while eventually producing and exporting resources, materials, energy and water instead of consuming these products. It is a lofty goal. As applied to green building, the principles strive create a building whose life of operation assures a healthy work and living environment while maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing the disruption of the land, water, energy and resources. Green site locations should be minimally invasive and as closely restored to their natural condition as possible upon completion of the project. 

Experienced green developers and architects have discovered that the greener the commitment, the greater the savings and the larger the property appreciation. Green is now in demand. Tenants want a healthy and responsible environment, and they are willing to pay for it. 

To control construction costs, developers should make concept decisions early. Defining the environmental objectives allows for effective construction management but also avoids expensive changes as the construction proceeds. What developers learn is that each green component is supported by another green decision. Proper insulation and use of light and solar power reduce the cost of the heating and cooling system. Proper water retention can reduce operating costs and consumption. Developers should procure a thorough site analysis and work with their architects to maximize the green return. 

Simple Ways to Make Your House More Green

Going green is not just meant for Earth Day. You don’t need to join rallies. Inside your house, there are simpler ways to contribute to a greener and healthier environment. Here are simple ways towards a greener home.

Energy savers

Make your house greener by saving energy. The more energy you save, the less you contribute to greenhouse emission. Instead of using incandescent bulbs, why not switch to CFLs or compact fluorescent lights. They have longer life spans than the incandescent. Unplug appliances when not in use. Make schedules on when to use the washing machine, dryer, and flat iron. Do not use them on few pieces of clothes. It’s more advisable to use them on full load.

Lights are necessary but you don’t have to turn them on all day. Let natural light from the sun enter your doors and windows. Open your curtains, drapes, and blinds. The sunlight can also help lessen the running times of your coolers.

Air refreshers

The quality of indoor air should be cleaner than the air outside. When possible, smoking should be avoided when inside the premises of the house. If there are smoking family members, encourage them to stop the habit.

Utilize the air-sieving capabilities of plants. It will help if you have plants and some trees in your lawn or garden. Their leaves can sieve pollutants and prevent them from entering your house. They also play essential role in the oxygen-carbon dioxide cycle.

Go natural

Sometimes it really pays to use natural things than artificial ones. This is particularly relevant when cleaning agents are talked of. There are many commercially-available cleaners but most of them contain chemicals that are harmful both to the health of your family and to the environment. Baking soda is a popular alternative to cleansers because it is nontoxic. It can serve as a multipurpose cleaner. If you can’t refrain from buying commercial cleaners, it is better if you’ll inspect the labels to see if they contain natural ingredients. There are detergents, soaps, and dishwashing pastes and liquids that are made from natural fruit extracts. Within your kitchen, you can make use of readily-available natural ingredients like citrus fruits and tea tree oil. Vinegar is a very good toilet-cleaning agent when mixed with borax.

You don’t have to spend much just to make your house greener and healthier. You don’t even need to possess fantastic powers to make your house an amazing headquarters of comfort, convenience, and relaxation. Sometimes, it’s all in your hands and minds!

Green Home Building Trends For 2010

Although the building industry had a dark year in 2009, Green building seemed to somehow stick out and shine. According to the Multiple Listing Service date, certified sustainable green new homes actually rose the past year in the northern west coast areas like Portland and Seattle. This trend is believed to spread over the US and green building is expected to grow within new home sales. Already new home sales are on a rise from a year ago with March of 2010 seeing the biggest jump in new home sales in 47 years. So what trends can we expect to see in 2010 in green new homes?

1. Energy Monitoring Home Dashboards. The increasing demand for energy efficient homes, the development of a custom web-based display panel within the home, will show real-time home energy use. This sophisticated produced can break down the real time energy use of homeowners appliances, which will help a homeowner change the way they use their electricity. For example the way an electric car miles per gallon indicator encourages the owner to adapt their driving habits, new homes that offer these Dashboards may encourage homeowners to reach lower energy use. Dashboards will also increase the probability that homeowners of green homes will reach the Energy Performance Score.

2. Energy Efficient Green Home Labeling. Like the miles per gallon label you would find when searching for a new car, energy rating systems for new homes has become popular among legislators. This energy rating system will make it easier for home buyers to see the energy efficiency of one green home compared to another. Each homes score will be available on the MLS.

3. Lenders and Green Homes Make for a Better Bottom Line. Lenders have come to the conclusion that green new homes are better for their bottom line. By seeing a trend of green home owners being more responsible and less probable to default on a loan, due to the fact that most green home owners are more accountable and likely to place higher value on home maintenance. Home owners are also less likely to default due to the decrease in energy coast within their green home. Lenders are now working to get reduced-rate loans and insurance packages for green new home owners.

4. Less Is More. Back when the housing market was booming, a larger homes lead to greater equity. However since that "bubble burst" this is no longer the case. With energy prices expected to rise over time, and the Federal Reserve likely to raise interest rates during 2010, home buyers are likely to feel more at ease with smaller new homes.

5. Water Conservation. Did you know that residential water usage accumulates for more than half of the public water supplied? The EPA decided in December 2009 to implement WaterSense. WaterSense specifies that new homes will need to reduce water use by 20 percent than conventional new home. Mandatory energy labeling in Europe already documents the water efficiency.

6. Net Zero Homes. A net zero home is a green home that generates more energy than it uses over a year. This is done by building a fairly small new home that is extremely energy efficient and uses on site renewable energy like wind, solar or geo-exchange systems.