5 ways to ‘go green’ on the cheap

Invest in home features with short payback period

I seldom make borrowed content the meat of a post but today the 5 simple tips seem reasonable and align with my philosophy.  People ask me for my favorite tips. Or another variant is, “What are the easiest things to do to be green?”

I’m glad adding CFLs were not among the top 5 by architect Peter Pfeiffer.  CFLs are finally after decades are getting acceptance.  When my mother talks about CFLs and my retired neighbors use them I know we have market penetration!

Before  the 5 tips from Austin based Pfeiffer. BTW, let me assure you Peter has credibility with these awards plus a portfolio of green homes from haciendas and craftsmen cottage to modern green.  Austin is a cool town with an established green presence. Check out his designs. I was impressed.

  • 2006  Fellow of the American Institute of Architects for his commitment to mainstreaming green building in North America.
  • NAHB  honored him as its Green Advocate of the Year in 2003.
  • In 2006, Residential Architect magazine cited him as one of the 10 most influential residential architects of the past decade.

1. In new kitchens, use a light colored countertops  as they reflect light upward, thus reducing lighting costs for the room.

2. Zone your heating and cooling systems, he said. “The bottom line in green building is, ‘don’t use power,’ ” he said. “The next level is to use power efficiently.”

3. Consider the payback on tankless water heaters and upkeep on solar panels  before purchasing.  The payback period may be too long even with incentives to save $35/month.

4. Add deep roof overhangs for two important reasons, shade and protection. This simple design element that was commonly used in the first half of the 20th century has fallen out of favor and needs to make a comeback, Pfeiffer said. And contrary to popular notions, they don’t make houses seem darker.

5. Separate your garage from your house to prevent automotive exhaust seeping indoors. “Detaching the garage is one of the most important things you can do if you care about your respiratory health,” he sai

GOOD IDEAS each and every one from someone in the know!  Today’s tips came from an Inman News column with the same name.

What’s my suggestion?  You know I couldn’t resist.  What I usually tell people when asked the standard how to green my house question is asking a question back.  “What part of green is important to you?”  The answer sets the stage for what to do next.  The typical answers are saving money, helping the planet and feeling better indoors. Make that your priority and consider each opportunity to make a choice in regular recurring  purchases, upgrades and replacements.

If indoor air quality (IAQ) is  your hot button, start paying attention to product labels and additives.  The links between chemicals added to products and good health are well established.  I’ve heard stories of children’s behavior changing dramatically, school performance improvement, mood changes and fewer chronic health problems such as colds and headaches.  All of these positive changes resulted after switching to products with no added fragrance or less toxic ingredients.

My bottom line, think before you buy.  Make your purchases based on your personal health needs, planet survival and economics.  Never underestimate your power as a consumer!


About trianglegreenhomes

EcoBroker, Realtor, Environmentalist and tireless advocate for green housing. Helping clients find a high performance home or make their current home more energy efficient, environmentally friendly and improve the indoor air quality.
This entry was posted in carbon footprint, Indoor air quality IAQ, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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