Spinning Green into Gold
Eco-nomical Living—building smart; saving the environment and your money too
by Steve Swart
Green is everywhere. Green economy, green jobs, green revolution, even a green TV channel. In
fact, more and more people are going green every day.
Even though green building may sound expensive, it
doesn’t have to be. Here are some easy ways to build an
eco-friendly home that can help save the planet and save
you money, too.
Going green is not an all or nothing proposition. Anything you do to lessen your impact is a good thing. One of
the best ways to be eco-friendly is to use fewer resources.
Passive Solar Design
Optimal positioning of your new home on the
homesite to take advantage of the suns rays during
summer and winter is the easiest way to reduce future
energy bills. Homes constructed as passive solar design
use the natural movement of heat and air to maintain
Home design can maximize the benefits it receives
from the sun with standard construction features. Passive
solar design takes advantage of local breezes and landscape
features such as shade trees and windbreaks. Making the
building the right shape, properly placing its windows and
pointing it in the right direction can cut the building’s total
energy use by 30 to 40 percent at no extra cost.
Homes consume as much as 50 to 70 percent of their
total energy for heating and cooling, so let’s start here.
The easiest and probably least expensive thing to do is
There are many effective green products made from
recycled materials such as cotton, cellulose, wool and
even the age-old standby—fiberglass. Owens Corning
is now one of the largest users of recycled glass in the
world, and now makes a fiberglass insulation with 40
percent or more recycled glass. Using recycled glass to
make insulation cuts the energy needed to produce it
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