In today’s environmentally conscious world, it is more important than ever to think about ways to protect the environment and the precious resources we have in this world to preserve them for future generations. One great way to make a small difference, and also save yourself money in the long run and in the process, is to incorporate some simple green building ideas into your property, which can not only enhance the natural beauty of your home, but also save you money on energy costs in the process. Following are some ideas for a few things you can do to your home, from the simple to the more complex.
The main goal of a completely green house would be one that is totally self sustainable and able to rely on its own energy to function. One way to reduce the water needs on a property is to incorporate native plants into the environment that do not require additional water. In California and other desert areas, it is ideal to use cactus and rocks, which look great and do not require excess water.
In order to maximize the amount of water that falls during any rainstorm, you can install rainwater catchment systems on your roof, which will capture rainwater that falls into the gutters, and reuse them for irrigation of the landscaping on the property. You can also build catchment systems to capture “grey” water, which is water recycled from such household appliances as washing machines and dishwashers, and then reused again for irrigation.
Installing a solar panel system is also an excellent way of making use of natural energy, and incorporating it back into use on the property. Especially in climates that receive a large amount of sunlight, this is an excellent way to capture some of this power. There are also ways of storing the power for future use, by the installation and use of photo-voltaic systems, which capture and store the energy generated through the solar panels, to be used at a later time to provide electricity to the home. Not only do you save energy this way by not relying on man made electricity to power your home, but you also save a little money in the pocketbook when it comes time to pay the electric bill.
There are also things you can do to your windows to make your home more energy efficient. One easy thing to do is to have your windows coated with a low-emissivity (or “Low-E”) invisible film that reflects the UV and infrared light, and also benefits the home by keeping heat inside in the winter instead of transferring out the windows. Replacing your current windows with multiple pane windows is also a great option, as multiple pane windows have spaces inside to contain insulating gas, helping the indoor temperature to not be affected by the outdoor temperature.
As a further incentive, the government offers tax credits for people who incorporate certain green designs into their home. Check with your tax advisor for more information, or you can look up some information at the website of the internal revenue service at www.irs.gov.
Little things you can do in your home may seem like a small thing to do and not take much, but in doing so you are benefiting not only your home, but your community and the rest of the world as well.