Reduce • Reuse • Recycle
Being Green – it’s the little things…
Yada, yada, yada… we’ve all heard the slogans, and unfortunately too many of us don’t give enough attention to these important maxims. Did you know that the typical U.S. family spends over $1,600 per year on home energy bills and a large percentage of that energy is wasted. In addition, electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home deposits more carbon dioxide into the air than two cars. However, there is a lot we can do to save energy and money at home by making small changes and becoming more green (see the tips below).
Energy-saving improvements not only make your home more comfortable, but can yield long-term financial rewards as well. Reduced utility bills more than make up for the higher price of energy-efficient appliances and improvements over their lifetimes. In addition, your home could bring in a higher price when you sell. The tips and information on this page shows you how easy it is to reduce your energy use all around your home.
Use wood – build organically – it’s LOGical
Logs are organic and don’t emit VOCs or other noxious waste. Wood is the only building product that is renewable, biodegradable, recyclable, energy efficient and exceptionally attractive. Logs as basic building components, generate the least amount of air and water pollution, emission of greenhouse gases and solid waste.
Concrete or steel requires tremendous amounts of energy to produce. Fossil fuels consumed in the manufacturing process lead to greater emissions of greenhouse gasses. In fact, steel and concrete require 2.4 times and 1.7 times more energy than wood to produce and 1.42 times and 1.67 times more airborne emissions with potential toxic or negative health effects. Go here for more information on the benefits of wood.
Go Green – Go Log!
Green building is an exhaustive topic encompassing everything from building materials, landscaping, construction designs and practices to appliances and waste disposal. For our purposes, we will primarily address green as it applies to log and timber homes.
BuildingGreen, LLCis an independent company committed to providing accurate, unbiased, and timely information designed to help building-industry professionals and policy makers improve the environmental performance, and reduce the adverse impacts, of buildings. Find both print and electronic resources to help design and build construction projects from a whole-systems perspective and take an integrated design approach that minimizes ecological impact and maximizes economic performance. Learn more…
CAUTION – Green isn’t always green!
You’ve heard of “whitewashing“, which is typically lies of omission in which errors or offenses are deliberately concealed or downplayed. This practice runs rampant with supposedly eco-friendly products and it even has a name… “Greenwashing“.
Easy low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy
- Install a programmable thermostat and set it a little lower in the winter and a little higher high in the summer.
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 F.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
- Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
- Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
- Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power).
- Take short showers instead of baths.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR® products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy
- When planning your landscaping, xeriscape your property. Landscape in ways that do not need irrigation. Xeriscaping means utilizing water-conserving landscaping – drought-tolerant plants and shrubs.