The Green Lifestyle and Your Home

Ecological awareness is very important to our modern society. As our globe and populations mature, we are beginning to understand the personal effect they are having on our globe, resources, and health. Each day we are becoming increasingly aware of our carbon footprint. This awareness can be factored into any remodeling or construction of the home. Now, building and gaining certification of a green home is a possibility with the LEED, a program that is helping citizens in America to achieve an Eco-friendly lifestyle. While this program is not for everyone, as it is very expensive and laborious, it is important to know your home possibilities and small steps you can take in your home to be more environmentally conscious. Engaging in LEED, whether in major construction project or minor upgrades, can lead to increased value of your home, healthy home environment, and decreased price of bills.

Now, what is LEED exactly?
The LEED Program, “Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design”, offers people the best and latest possibilities in green living (USBGC 1). They are sponsored and given certification through the United States Building Council. LEED offers its clients with any range of “energy and environmental design”, whether it is commercial, residential, small or large (USBGC 1).

How can I obtain certification? What does this mean for me?
LEED certification happens when your home has meet the level of green requirements, built into the program. Based off of a point system, costumer’s can be either a “certified, silver, gold or platinum” builder, based on the number of requirements you have met (USBGC 2). In becoming certified, your home will be effectively a green building, further increasing the value of your home.


Flickr Creative Commons: Shelia

Okay, but does this program really apply to me?
Of course! Even if you’re not certified, looking into their plans of green construction can give your ideas of how to make your home ecologically friendly. What’s more, is that if you do indeed plan to participate in LEED, they have many different possibilities. Whatever your decision is, their main objective is to provide any costumer with homes that are “healthy, provide clean indoor air, and incorporating safe building materials to ensure a comfortable home. Using less energy and water means lower utility bills each month” (USBGC 3).

Cool, but why should I considered changing my home and lifestyle?
1) Having an ecologically forward home, point blank, increases its value! As stated by Michelle Wardlaw in , “Going green has proven to be more than a trend; many people now seek out this way of living and want homes and communities that are more resource efficient and sensitive to the environment”(1). Thus proves that the demand and value for green homes in on the rise.
2) You have done your part to aid the environment!By taking even the smallest steps to green lifestyle, you are decreasing the environmental strain that you put on your environment.
3) You have helped your community! Not only have you cleaned up and preserved your neighborhood, but by participating in the program, you agree to build locally. By only purchase local materials, you are decrease the carbon emissions produced in their transportation. In addition, you are supporting your local economy!
4) You will save money! Also stated by Michelle Wardlaw, in, “the higher a home’s energy efficiency, the more money is potentially saved in monthly heating and cooling costs”(1). Meaning that the more ecological efficiency your home has the lower your bills will be.
5) You have done a great thing!Be proud of yourself! You have done a great thing and set a great example to those around you!

Given the facts above, and the information about global warming, think about making the switch to incorporating the green lifestyle into your home. You truly can only benefit!