Green Building and Green Homes Help Protect the Environment
Making the World Better for You, Your Kids and Grandkids
Green homes and green building practices help protect and preserve the environment we all depend on. Protecting the environment is important for insuring we have and keep having a world that supports the way we and future generations want to live. A world with plenty of clean air, water, energy and the other resources we need. It’s about helping keep climate change from causing more hardship, if not helping make things better. And if you haven’t noticed, things are not getting better environmentally.
Protecting the environment is not about “Saving the Planet.” Our planet will be here no matter what we do to the environment. But if we don’t take care of the environment, our planet will not be a very pleasant, easy or friendly place to live. And it’s no longer theoretical.
The problems are obvious and growing. The western part of the country has been experiencing the worst droughts in centuries. There are longer periods in the summer of very high temperatures. There are more wildfires. More and more areas have water shortages so severe they require water use restrictions. The eastern part of the country is experiencing hotter summers, winters with more large snow storms, bigger and more violent hurricanes. The midwest is having more and more violent weather and flooding. Because of the sea level increases we have had already, parts of Florida are experiencing tidal flooding they didn’t in the past and, during Hurricane Sandy, parts of New York City were flooded for the first time.
If we don’t protect the environment, the environment won’t protect us, our kids and our grandkids. Building and living in a green home is one important way you can start doing your part to help.
Green Homes Help the Environment
The design, construction, energy use, materials and systems of our homes can help protect the environment for us in many ways. Here are just 10 of the ways green homes help make the environment better:
Help us use non-renewable sources of energy more slowly and more wisely
Make use of clean, renewable and plentiful energy sources
Reduce your “carbon footprint” to help slow climate change
Reduce air and water pollution
Help maintain clean water resources
Reduce the use of slow growing and/or endangered natural resources
Help protect biodiversity (plant and animal)
Generate less waste
Help make the environment less toxic
Use more local building materials, which reduces pollution and use of carbon-based fuels caused by unnecessary transportation
Each New Green Home Built Helps Several Ways
Each new green home built today does its part in helping protect the environment in ways such as utilizing materials from sustainable sources, reducing water waste and using less electricity.
Allowing Technology to Improve and Costs to Go Down:
As more homes are built using green building approaches and technology, the cost of materials, systems and products used goes down while the technology gets better, because of demand and economies of scale for production.
For example: The cost of building and installing solar photovoltaic panels has dropped by about 90% in the past few years while the efficiency at which they create power has increased significantly. Efficiency is so high that even in places like cloudy northern Europe, solar power is growing in leaps and bounds. The cost per kw of power for solar energy is now competitive with or better than from fossil fuels. Battery technology has improved greatly and costs are starting to go down so that it is feasible in some cases for power generated by a home during the day to be stored and used at night or on cloudy days. Not long from now whole house battery storage may become widely used.
Raising the Bar and Creating Demand:
Homes that are not built green and energy efficient will eventually become less attractive because of their higher operating costs. So just as higher MPG cars have pushed old gas guzzlers into extinction, so will each additional green home help increase demand for homes that exceed conventional standards for comfort, durability, energy efficiency, and environmental responsibility.