Going green is hip and trendy. Green is in every aspect of our daily life. You don't have to look far. Home Depot, is the latest addition to the long list of retailers that has decided go green. Levi's -- yes the jeans company launch of the "Eco" organic line sometime last year. Could it be that the movie "An Inconvenient Truth," changed the way people think more seriously about 'our' planet? Who knows.. One thing I know, it helped me raised my awareness to be more 'environmentally conscious' than ever before.
After my overseas trip recently, I noticed that going green is happening everywhere around the world. Asia. Europe. Latin America. Locally, Arlington leads Northern Virginia in becoming an eco-friendly place to live. Fairfax county, recently decided to go green as well. Outside the U.S., Brazil, has become the #1 leader in the production of biodiesel fuel. Indonesia, a third-world country and one of the members of OPEC, the government pushes the use of biodiesel fuel. Pertamina, the state-owned oil company have designated selected gas stations into biosolar (or diesel) in selected cities. It's just a matter of time, before everything that we touch, see, and smell is made of renewable and recycle sources.
There are more things that we can do for our homes, to make our home energy efficient. The Germans have invented what they called 'passive homes.' Those are homes that hardly requires regular (active) heating anymore. What a novel idea! Via Der Spiegel by way of Treehugger.
"So-called "passive" houses, for example, make do with less than an annual 1.5 liters of heating oil per square meter. The name "passive house" derives from the fact that the homes hardly require regular (active) heating anymore. The heat released by small appliances and the body heat of the inhabitants -- which amounts to no less than roughly two kilowatt hours per person and day -- is largely sufficient. Automatic ventilation -- with a built-in heat retention system, of course -- ensures that the rooms don't get too stuffy."
In addition to transforming a house to be more efficient, here are the few places, where you can get a lot of green solutions.
>> Energy efficient mortgages (EEM): Primarily is used to purchase or refinance a) a home that already has energy efficient features, or b) a home where energy efficient is being added or improved.
>> Tax Credit: The Federal tax credits are available for many types of home improvements, i.e. adding insulation, window replacement, heating and cooling. Tax credits also available for solar energy systems placed in service from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2008.
>> Flooring made of renewable sources: Bamboo, cork, linoleum.
>> Energy efficient appliances: New window, cooling systems, water heating, food storage, cooking, lighting, dishwashing, laundry,
Right now, if you're looking for healthy homes -- around NVa., there is EcoVillage, a co-housing neighborhood in Loudoun county. And I think, in not too distant future, we'll see more builders going into building sustainable homes, which is good for the planet we live in.
Tags: green living, eco-living, real estate, real estate trends, renewable sources, renewable energy