Why should I go green?

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On the surface, going green seems like a decision you’d make for a better environment, but it also means a healthier home for you, your family and even your pets.

Here are the key reasons to think green as you make home repair and renovation decisions:

  • A green home means better health. Using toxin-free materials lowers indoor air pollution, a far more significant health risk than outside pollution. Green designs offer better airflow, bringing in fresh air to breathe.
  • A green home means overall cost savings. Ultimately, because green homes are designed to use less water and energy, you’ll see savings in your utility bills. A green home uses about 40 percent less energy than a traditional house.
  • A green home has a long “lifespan.” Green materials are designed to be more durable, lasting longer and needing fewer repairs.
  • A green home’s value is typically higher. People want green homes and your resale value should reflect that. In the here-and-now, it may cost you less to insure a green house and some lenders offer lower mortgage rates for green homes. You may also be eligible for tax breaks on any green renovations you make to your existing home.
  • A green home does help save the planet. From the moment you break ground on a new home, green construction creates less waste than standard construction. Many green home materials are made from recycled products and from “rapid renewables” like bamboo and soy. Running a green home reduces the need for the kinds of energy that produce greenhouse gases, especially if you use alternative energy sources like solar.

The perception is that going green always costs more green, making it a more expensive choice. As a small example, having a 250 square foot wood floor refinished with regular polyurethane might cost about $500. Using low VOC products could add 30 percent to the bill. However, the benefits include not breathing in unhealthy chemicals and protecting your lungs. A more tangible dollars-and-cents benefit can be seen in replacing old windows with energy-efficient ones. Any extra cost upfront will be seen in lower utility bills for years to come. Also, according to experts at the Green Home Guide, the US Green Building Council’s website devoted to homeowners, when you choose green industry professionals, they should be able to provide you with cost-effective solutions that can actually save you now and in the future.

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