When it comes to caring about earth, actions speak louder than words. I drive an SUV and live in a leaky 1938 brick Tudor. Sometimes I even take a long shower and turn up the heat. I piss myself off when I think about this because I also diligently recycle, carry my canvas shopping bags into the store whenever I think about it, and buy energy efficient light bulbs.
More and more often, clients are asking me about energy efficient homes, options for remodeling and how to get to Whole Foods in Cherry Creek. There seems to be a re-surging interest in natural foods, natural building products and how each of us can begin to make a difference, despite our individual lifestyles. Some of us will do more than others, but each of us can make an incremental difference.
50 Simple Things…
Remember the book 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth? It hit the bookstores in 1989 and was all the rage for awhile. I bought it and tried to make a concerted effort to adopt many of the suggestions. You can still find the book at Amazon.com and in some bookstores. These days there are also terrific resources on the internet and through your real estate broker or builder. We’ll need more than 50 simple things, but you gotta start somewhere.
Build Green Resources
Building and buying a built-green house is much easier today than it used to be. There are lists describing what qualifies a house as green, and even if the house isn’t officially “green” there are many components that builders are incorporating for energy efficiency that make living more comfortable and more earth friendly. At Colorado New Home Choices, you can find a list of questions to ask a builder when considering whether the home is a high-performing home.
You can also find similar lists as you work toward retrofitting an older home for energy efficiency. Simple things like switching light bulbs and more expensive ones like replacing single pane windows will prove worthwhile in the long run. My carbon footprint is definitely larger than it should be, but I’m trying to kick the oil habit and conserve water ~ you can do it too!
Rebates and Funding Opportunities
Our lovely state of Colorado offers rebates and funding opportunities through the Governor’s Energy Office. If you live out-of-state, check with your local government to see what they have to offer. This green feeling is even extending down to the micro level – where grass roots take over. My company, The Kentwood Company, was just highlighted in The Denver Post regarding our newly announced green campaign.
You don’t have to be an elf or a leprechaun to be green. Go for it!