"Going green" is seemingly the latest theme of the day.
A trend that can be seen in everything from the newest cleaning solutions on the market to the invention of solar paneled roofs, how to make a green home is central to the design schemes utilized by today's architects.
What is the purpose behind building green living homes?
Simply stated, green energy efficient homes contribute to the cause of saving the planet.
And besides the energy saving aspect, building a green home changes the overall affordability of owning real estate.
For example, those who live in energy friendly homes do not have the need for the general utility set-ups (such as electricity) that are required for residents of non-green communities. And because the demand for these utilities becomes lower as a result of green neighborhoods, the prices go down for everyone who still has to rely on other methods for their power.
In addition, the construction costs for green built homes are often much less than what would be spent on a creating something conventional – a fact that also gives green residences a better chance at being approved for a building permit.
Another advantage of green home real estate is that it provides a way to maintain the environment so that the occurrences of detrimental atmospheric events have a chance at slowing down. As a matter of fact, government studies have shown that if all buildings in the United States followed the standards set by green construction, the end result would have been a 10% decrease in the emissions that create global warming.
A measured 70% reduction in waste from using green materials for construction is a further plus of modern green homes.
This waste reduction is possible because much of the time the materials used in green friendly homes are recycled – a process which also has the advantage of helping to decrease the overall cost of the project. And, green homes are further able to add to the savings factor because these types of structures have a much longer life span than those homes constructed by non-green methods.
What are some of the green building techniques used to turn a home into an environmentally friendly residence?
A simple way to start on the path to building a green home is by using certain kinds of wood when designing the home's floors. One such wood that meets the standards of green construction is bamboo.
Not only is bamboo unusually durable, but the rate at which it is able to replenish itself (between five and ten years) is a much less amount of time than the fifty to one hundred years of maturation time on other woods selected for flooring purposes.
The paintings used on the inside and outside of the home also make a difference as to whether or not said home can be called "green."
Paints of the non-green variety contain toxic metals, solvents and harmful VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are damaging when inhaled by those performing the painting task. Paints of this kind also create by-products such as more smog and pollution that are added to the atmosphere.
Using zero or low-VOC paint is a green building technique that protects the occupants of the home while also helping to clean up the environment at the same time.
Low or zero-VOC paints do not contain the toxins found in the paintings from the past, nor do these types of paints dry and still continue to release their dangerous substances into the air.
The manner in which a garden is kept is another qualifying factor when it comes to whether or not a home can be considered a green friendly residence.
For example, buying simple hand tools for one's gardening needs (instead of purchasing items that run on gasoline or electric power) helps to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that escape into the air, while giving the user a bit of exercise at the same time.
Raking and sweeping leaves and other yard debris instead of using a leaf blower to do the job is a second way to go green in the garden – as leaf blowers operate on gasoline and then release those carbon dioxide emissions that are best avoided when possible.
Best of all, choosing not to rake the leaves and instead using them to surround the garden's plants is one way to create a natural mulch – and pairing these leaves with used coffee grounds will cause an extraordinarily lush garden to bloom.
Using non-toxic pesticides to make insects and other animals stay away from the garden is another method aimed towards making the environment a more green place to co-exist. It can be as easy as placing earthworms and ladybugs into the foliage to keep these pests away.
And, toxin-free pesticides also have the advantage of keeping the water supply in a cleaner state, as there is no risk of the run-off from dangerous gardening chemicals contaminating the water if said chemicals are not being used.
Whether it is the actual materials used for construction of the home or the tools mean for the garden, there are many ways to incorporate green techniques to make for a much healthier place to co-exist.