Being green is all about saving, reducing and conserving the planet's natural resources. How can a green philosophy apply to real estate though?
If you are going to build a new house from scratch, then you have a blank canvas on which you can layer one green innovation on top of another to improve the environmental credibility of your home.
It may not seem as though it is as easy for most people who have no intention of building new real estate and are quite happy living where they are or if they move will choose an already constructed home. However there are a number of ways you can green your property, many of which should save you money either straight away or over a reasonable period of time.
The best time to implement many green improvements is when you need to make a change to your property. Your existing boiler may not be the most environmentally friendly, but the energy used to manufacture it is already accounted for. If it is still relatively new, just throwing it out to get an improved model is unlikely to make financial sense. What you can do is make sure that it runs as efficiently as possible by having it cleaned and serviced on a regular basis, usually once a year.
Adding extra insulation to your property can also help reduce the amount of heat and therefore energy you waste. This can be relatively cheap to install and the money saved will usually pay the cost of the added insulation in about two years. Even more simply, by closing curtains as soon as it gets dark, you will help trap warm air in your house rather than letting it escape through the cold surface of the windows.
Fitting energy efficient light bulbs will cut your electricity bill and switching those lights off when you are not in a room will reduce it even more. Developing good habits in you and your family can take only a few days and will save money.
If you have a back yard or garden, planting your own vegetables is a great way to improve the green credentials of your property. In one simple step you are cutting down on the food miles needed to transport vegetables from the farm to the store and then to your home. You may also find that you waste far less food you grow yourself, because you know just how much effort has gone into producing it.