When you think of living green, you may consider the major impact on the environment made by our gas guzzling SUVs and sports cars. However, did you know that the majority of the issue with our environment comes from our houses and offices?
According to the McKinsey report, “Curbing Global Energy Demand: The Energy Productivity Opportunity”, our homes are the consumers of up 25 percent of the world’s energy and are therefore responsible for 19 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Keeping in mind that this number relates only to the homes we live in; not the massive office buildings that line city streets, the number is alarming as it stands. With these numbers of energy consumption, you can see why green housing is an idea whose time has come.
The reason we use so much energy inside of the home is widely because of all of our ‘necessary’ appliances. It is the rare home where you may not find a television or a computer, and very few homes are without the all essential microwave. But the biggest issue inside of the home is the heating and cooling that is needed. In fact, it is our heating and cooling systems that utilize up to sixty percent of our energy resources at home. Green housing does not necessarily cut the need for heating and cooling, but certain aspects of the green housing idea do cut back on the reliance of energy sapping systems.
To make a difference in your world is to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. Green housing is becoming increasingly popular because more and more people want to help solve the problems that have come with the advances in society. To live green doesn’t necessarily mean that you must go all solar panels and cut out the use of all appliances; but there are significant changes that you can make to help cut down on energy consumption.
Just what is green housing all about? Let’s take a look. Green housing can be comprised of a compilation of different aspects pertaining to building a home. Many families are opting to build homes using certified wood that has been harvested from sustainably managed sources. Green housing materials could also be products that have been manufactured with resource-efficient processes such as reduced energy consumption, minimized waste (recycled, recyclable and/or source reduced product packaging), and reduction of greenhouse gases.
The need for green housing and green building materials is clear. The availability of this sort of living may not be accessible to everyone at this point in time; but those who have begun to pave the way for better buildings have created an easier path for future improvements to the way we build and the way we impact the earth.
Until you can develop your own plan for a home constructed to utilize less energy, such as a round house, you can make small changes in the home you currently live in. Any move towards energy efficiency is a good one, even if it is one small step. One small step leads to many.