Sustainable living is no longer decided solely by whether you have solar panels, geothermal heat, good insulation, bamboo flooring, tankless hot water heaters, etc. Being able to walk or even bike to the important places in your life is not only healthy for your body and the planet, it’s money in the bank when sell your home. You may pay a premium for buying in a highly walkable neighborhood but what you save in transportation will surely make up the difference. Think one car instead of two, lower insurance, less money on gas and lower car maintenance costs too!
Managing water is a growing concern in the United States. Communities across the country are starting to face challenges regarding water supply and water infrastructure. Launched in 2006, WaterSense is an EPA-sponsored partnership program that seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by promoting water efficiency and enhancing the market for water-efficient products, programs, and practices..
Save water at home with a few easy fixes:
- Replace your toilets. If your toilet is from 1992 or earlier, you probably have an inefficient model that uses at least 3.5 gallons per flush. New and improved WaterSense labeled models use less than 1.28 gallons per flush-that generally 60 percent less than their older, less efficient counterparts saving you money each year.
- Fix a Leaky Faucet. Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water each year
- Make it a Full Load. The average washing machine uses about 41 gallons of water per load. High-efficiency washing machines use less than 28 gallons of water per load. To achieve even greater savings, wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate load size selection on the washing machine.
- Take a Shower. A full bath tub requires about 70 gallons of water, while taking a five-minute shower uses 10 to 25 gallons. If you take a bath, stopper the drain immediately and adjust the temperature as you fill the tub.
- Water Your Yard Wisely. The typical single-family suburban household uses at least 30 percent of their water outdoors for irrigation. Some experts estimate that more than 50 percent of landscape water use goes to waste due to evaporation or runoff caused by overwatering.
- Install drip irrigation systems which will use between 20 to 50 percent less water than conventional in-ground sprinkler systems. They are also much more efficient than conventional sprinklers because no water is lost to wind, runoff, and evaporation
“Defend the Soil With Your Life!”
“…the living world is complex, and beholding it should leave us all aching with awe. So start with topsoil, the beginning place. Remember, one million creatures per tablespoon. It’s alive, and it will protect itself if we stop assaulting it. It protects itself with perennial polycultures, with lots and lots of plants intertwining their roots, adding carbonaceous leaves, and working together with mycelium, bacteria, protozoa, making a new organism between them, the mycorrhiza that talks and nourishes and directs.
“Defend the soil with your life, reader: there is no other organism that can touch the intelligence of what goes on beneath your feet.
“So here are the questions you should ask, a new form of grace to say over your food. Does this food build or destroy topsoil? Does it use only ambient sun and rainfall, or does it require fossil soil, fossil fuel, fossil water, and drained wetlands, damaged rivers? Could you walk to where it grows, or does it come to you on a path slick with petroleum?”
– The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice and Sustainability by Lierre Keith
myEnergyLoan is a network of lenders and mortgage brokers providing loan incentives that reward energy efficiency and can make any mortgage a green mortgage.
Among the valuable benefits that myEnergyLoan provides real estate buyers and investors are funds to make energy efficient upgrades, an efficiency credit to reduce closing costs, the opportunity to lower borrower’s long term interest rate, reduced monthly utility bills, a myEnergyLoan Efficiency Credit certificate validation, and a
trained network of lenders.
Kaua’i Tropical Properties has become the first fully dedicated Real Estate Brokerage on Kaua’i. All of it’s Brokers and Realtor Associates have completed either or both the National Association of Realtors “Green Designation” or the “Ecobroker Certified” courses enabling Kaua’i Tropical Properties personnel to better serve their clients as they seek to buy or sell properties. Realtors who care about our environment and are taking action to better promote awareness of energy savings, toxicity levels and comfort in homes. For more information and a Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency go to: http://www.dsireusa.org
The state of Hawai’i is a leader in both solar water heater and solar panel installations. Conversion of government vehicles from conventional gas power to alternative energy sources is well under way. There are three wind farms currently online and another six in various stages of construction. In the past the island state has been over 90%dependent upon fossil fuels as it’s main source for electricity but has set a new goal to use as much as 70% renewables by the year 2030.
Three things a “Green” home must have.