With climate change melting ice caps, raising the sea level, boosting temperatures and sending carbon dioxide levels soaring, more and more people are making an effort to do their part to save the environment (and ultimately our planet). If you’re one of those people, you probably already know that one of the best things you can do for the environment is turn your home into a green home, and that’s where we come in. We compiled the Ultimate Guide to Green Home Resources to help you reduce your home’s level of waste and carbon while still maintaining squeaky-clean floors and bright lights. Keep reading to learn how.
General Green Home Resources
“Green” has become a catchall word that people use to describe things that actively try to improve the environment (or at least refrain from hurting it). To get started on your green home, take a look at these general resources.
Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet – Climate change is no longer a theory, and these statistics and photos from NASA prove it. Here, you can see recent images of the polar ice caps from space.
What is a “Green” Home? – This article from The Balance explains what a green home typically consists of.
Statistics and Facts About the U.S. Green Building Industry – Fortunately, green building is no longer a niche trend among West Coasters. With the U.S. green building market currently valued at over $80 billion, this isn’t a passing fad, and is recognized as a legitimate way to help the environment.
About Green Homes – In addition to creating value, the U.S. government recognizes them as being both healthier and cleaner than traditional homes.
Green Homes vs. Traditional Homes – Learn how green homes differ from your typical, run-of-the-mill homes.
What’s Wrong With the Way Regular Houses are Built? – If you’re not fully committed to having a green home, you might be wondering what’s so bad about normal homes. This article contains everything you need to know on the topic.
Buildings and Climate Change – When most of us think of harmful CO₂ emissions, we think of cars. However, research from the U.S. Green Building Council shows that buildings account for more CO₂ emissions than either cars or industry.
Do Green Houses Cost More Than Regular Houses? – Having a green home might sound like an expensive idea, but you can actually save a significant amount of money in a lot of places, from building costs to heating bills.
Green Residential Building on the Rise – Like we said before, green homes are no longer limited to niche groups of environmentally minded people.
Six Myths About Building Green – This article addresses all the concerns you may have about going green.
Green Energy Tax Credits for Home Improvement and Energy Efficiency – Whether you’re building a green home from the ground up or are simply making modifications to your existing home, you could qualify for a number of tax credits.
Green Building Resources
For those who want a home that’s 100% green from the roof to the floorboards, building green can be a great option. Take a look at these resources to find out how you can build green.
Green Home Guide – A wealth of information for those who want to learn about certification, read the latest news and find green professionals such as contractors, builders and designers.
Green House Plans – Get into the nitty-gritty with plans that contain everything from detailed blueprints to photos of the final product.
How to Choose a Green Builder – Finding a builder is an important decision. After all, it’s your future home we’re talking about. Use this guide to find a green builder that’s perfect for you.
13 Tips for Building a Green Home – This easy-to-read infographic contains 13 fundamental pieces of advice for green home building.
Top 15 Green Home Building Techniques – If you need a set of guidelines to adhere to, check out this list of building techniques.
10 Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Green Home – The only thing more useful than learning what you should do? Learning what you shouldn’t do.
Green Building Methods – From the exterior to the interior, this guide has everything you need to know about green building methods.
Green Building Materials – Learn all about the materials you can use to make your home even greener.
5 Eco-Friendly Prefab Homes You Can Order Right Now – If you’re not crazy about the building aspect of green building, look through this list of beautiful and fully sized green prefabricated homes.
7 Affordable Green Starter Homes – If you’re not ready to spend $150,000 on a prefabricated green home, take a look at these more affordable options.
The Basics of Eco-House Construction – If your motto is “if you want something done right, do it yourself,” you’ll want to read this guide to DIY green home construction.
Green Energy Resources
Regardless of whether you’re remodeling your current home or building a new one, you can benefit from these green energy resources. Given that most U.S. homes consume a whopping average of 901 kWh per month, there’s most likely a lot of room for improvement.
Everything You Need to Know About Adding Solar Panels at Home – Forbes explains all the ways you can go about adding solar panels to your home, and how much each way will cost you.
Pros and Cons of DIY Solar Panel Installation – If you don’t want to fork over the cash needed for a professional installation, you might want to consider installing solar panels yourself.
Where to Insulate in a Home – Proper insulation will give you a fatter wallet and a smaller carbon footprint, and that’s what we call a win-win.
DIY Insulating Attics and Roofs – Attics and roofs are often overlooked when it comes to insulation. If you find yourself cranking up the heater in the winter months, consider insulating your roof yourself to save money as well as energy.
Energy Saver Weather Stripping – Whether you’re trying to keep the heat in or avoid sweltering summer temperatures, weather stripping can save a lot of money and energy that would have otherwise gone towards air conditioning or heating.
Lighting Choices to Save You Money – According to the U.S. Department of Energy, traditional incandescent light bulbs waste 90% of their energy in the form of dissipating heat. Switch to CFLs, LEDs or another type of modern light bulb to save money and the earth.
How to Reduce Your Water Heater’s Energy Use – Water heaters aren’t exactly pretty, and most of us don’t spend too much time thinking about them. However, making a few cheap and easy tweaks to yours can result in lower energy bills and energy use.
Make Your Refrigerator Far More Efficient – Refrigerators are running constantly, so they naturally use a good (or bad, rather) amount of energy. Learn how to change that here.
4 Benefits to Changing Your Furnace Filter – Enjoy cleaner air, more money and the peace of mind that comes with reducing your energy consumption by changing your furnace filter regularly.
9 Things You Need to Know About Air Conditioning – If you live in an area that gets hot, air conditioning is probably one of your biggest sources of energy consumption. Find out how you can make your AC drastically more efficient.
The Cost of Ceiling Fans vs. Air Conditioning: What’s the Difference? – Did you know that a central AC system costs more than 30 times as much as a ceiling fan, and uses almost 3,000 times more energy? That’s a lot of energy and a lot of money you could be saving.
Water Conservation Resources
Water is one of Earth’s most precious resources, and droughts have devastating effects on both people and the environment. Despite this, the average American household uses about 400 gallons of water per day. To learn how you can do your part to save water, read through this section’s resources.
Low-Flow Fixtures: Types, Benefits and Costs – One of the easiest ways you can save water is by installing low-flow fixtures for your sinks, shower, bath and toilet.
Fix a Leak – In America, water leaks account for 1 trillion gallons of wasted water per year. And, since water doesn’t come cheap, leaks also cost Americans a vast amount of money. Learn how to find and fix your home’s leaks here.
Showers and Baths – Keeping clean can be a dirty habit. Find out how you can alter your shower or bath routine to save the most water.
6 Times You Can Turn Off the Tap to Save Water – Simply turning off the tap during key times can save 200 gallons of wasted water every single month. Learn the five other times you can turn off the tap here.
Outdoor Water Use in the United States – Following these guidelines by the EPA could save your household up to 9,000 gallons of water per year.
Water Recycling and Reuse – Who knew that recycling water could be so easy, straightforward and useful?
Buying, Installing and Using a Rain Barrel – Once you discover how easy it is to water your lawn and plants with collected rainwater, you’ll be ready to say goodbye to your hose for good during the rainy months.
14 Smart and Efficient Ways to Water Your Garden – If you’ve got a green thumb, then choosing water conservation over your garden is simply not an option. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can garden smarter, save money and use less water (all while nurturing thriving, healthy plants).
Guide to Saving Water and Your Lawn – Although you could conserve the most water by getting rid of your lawn, there are ways you can maintain a beautiful lawn while still saving water and money.
How to Wash Your Car Using Less Water – Commercial car washes save the most water, but if you’d rather wash your car at home, follow these simple tips.
Green Cleaning Resources
Yes, you can have a sparkling clean household and still be eco-friendly at the same time. In this section, we’ll look at the best ways you can make your cleaning routine green.
Fire Your Clothes Dryer – In addition to cutting down on energy, air-drying your clothes whenever possible will leave them wrinkleless, free of static cling and smelling wonderful. As an added bonus, you’ll never have to worry about shrinkage again.
Why Are You Still Washing Your Clothes in Warm Water? – 75% of your laundry-based carbon emissions come from heating up your washer’s water. However, using warm water won’t make your clothes appreciably cleaner, and it certainly won’t help them last longer.
What’s the Best Way to Wash Dirty Dishes: Dishwasher or Sink? – We’ve come to know appliances as energy hogs, but using a dishwasher rather than your sink will save a lot of money and energy.
What’s the Greener Choice, Bar Soap or Body Wash? – In addition to being better for the environment, bar soap actually has an ingredient that liquid soap doesn’t: real soap!
How Does Household Cleaner Affect the Environment? – That neon-colored liquid you use to clean your home is affecting the environment in more ways than you know.
7 Best Green Cleaners for Your Home – Ditch your traditional cleaners for a house that’s as environmentally friendly as it is squeaky clean.
Best Natural DIY Air Fresheners – Store-bought air fresheners don’t just waste plastic and metal in their packaging–they can also be an irritant to many people. Save money, resources and time spent in the store by whipping up your own amazing air fresheners with cheap ingredients.
25 DIY Green Cleaning Recipes for the Whole House – With simple ingredients like baking soda and vinegar, these recipes are quick, easy and gentle on the environment.
Green Alternatives to Traditional Dry Cleaning – If you get your clothes dry cleaned the traditional way, what you’re actually paying for is a generous coating of a perchloroethylene. It doesn’t just have a nasty name: it’s bad for humans and the earth, too. Learn how you can dry clean your clothes the green way.
Five Reasons Why You Should Probably Stop Using Antibacterial Soap – Every time you rinse antibacterial soap down the drain, you’re introducing triclosan (a drug previously only used in hospitals) into your local bodies of water.