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Living in California has its perks when it comes to environmental sustainability—the national leader of green technology is now promoting a new set of building standards with CalGreen. Whether you’re following the statewide trend of going green, looking to invest in fiscally frugal long-term solutions, or wanting to find new ways to reduce your carbon footprint, you can join the environmental movement and have a more positive impact on Mother Earth by making certain upgrades to your home.
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There are many aspects of planning and designing a home: location, size, purpose, and—most recently—eco-friendly materials. According to the GreenPoint Rated Program of the nonprofit organization Build It Green, an eco-friendly home should meet certain requirements on energy and water conservation, indoor air quality, sustainable building materials, and community benefits. Thanks to the many options available, you can start your project of living in an eco-friendly home today.
Regardless if you’re building your new home or planning a major home makeover, an environmentally friendly house is an achievable goal. Here are some ways to make a home more sustainable.
Once you go green with your home, you'll notice there are other ways to make small improvements. Here are some extra ideas to get you inspired:
If you're building your environmentally friendly house from the ground up, keep in mind a few design styles to find one that best meets your needs. Get inspired by the following examples, and don’t forget that your comfort is far more important than following trends.
Move into your new prefabricated house from Blu Homes within three months after ordering. These unique homes start at $195,000—way less than building a comparable custom home. Plus, the production of your new home reduces material costs by up to 80 percent, and the built-to-ship construction system is more durable.
Find where you want to have your custom home in the Golden State, and Blu Homes will handle the rest. Thanks to its innovative design to decrease energy and water consumption, a Blu home will save you up to 50 percent on your utility bills.
If you end up wanting to sell your prefab home later, it's not a problem: Blu Homes are “rated green,” so if you resell it in the future, you'll make a higher profit in comparison to non-environmentally-sound homes in the area.
Reuse the durable material of shipping containers while staying true to your style. Contact AB Design Studio to begin planning your sustainable shipping-container residence. Construct your home from these containers and add insulation, floor-to-ceiling windows, and smart lighting systems.
Incorporate your favorite plants into the interior design plan for higher indoor air quality. Further reduce your carbon footprint by using green energy, upcycled patio furniture from The Hungarian Workshop, and doing some eco-friendly shopping at California-based home decor boutiques.
Sometimes, sustainability means simply reducing your impact by consuming less. Many people are opting for tiny houses that require fewer materials, so they can live in harmony with nature and lead a minimalist lifestyle. Less is more—leave behind the clutter of a big house, buy fewer material items, and free your mind.
Get rid of unnecessary rooms, furniture, and appliances to save on maintenance costs and energy consumption. With fewer distractions at home and more free time (you won't need to spend hours cleaning a tiny house), you'll be able to spend more time in nature.
Follow the urban trend, and incorporate a green roof and green facades into your home. Covering your house with moss, vines, and other native plants will help improve air quality. You'll also make a profit—thanks to your new living wall cooling off the air (evapotranspiration) in the summer and acting as an extra layer of insulation during the winter. Not only do you save on energy, but the living walls' structure also reduces noise levels so you can enjoy a good night’s sleep.
No matter which style you choose, draw inspiration from your surroundings—California’s lush forests, tall mountains, vast deserts—and use what’s at hand. Designing an ecologically friendly house requires creativity, but you'll soon be on your way to having a more positive impact on Mother Nature.
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