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Building a green home is easier than ever with these ecofriendly materials and products.
1. Avoid west-facing construction – This minimizes sun exposure and helps keep the home cool
2. Use structural insulated panels (SIPS) for construction – these are efficient, lightweight and structurally sound.
3. Select environmentally friendly materials – use low-VOC or no-VOC stains and varnishes
4. Avoid cabinetry and fixtures containing chemicals – look for cabinetry and fixtures with no formaldehydye, heavy metals and dyes.
5. Insulate the home properly – this reduces energy consumption in all weather.
6. Use ENERGY STAR windows and appliances – Low energy consumption refrigerators, clothes dryers, hot water heaters, etc. You can also install low water consumption toilets, water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and showers.
7. Think green HVAC – Get a geothermal heat pump, radian floor heating or ENERGY STAR HVAC system.
8. Protect the property – Make sure the construction isn’t obtrusive to wetlanks, protected wildlife or vegetation.
9. Optimize for solar power – install solar panels on the roof.
10. Ventilate the attic – this lowers cooling costs by preventing heat build up.
11. Use ecofriendly lighting – optimize sunlight with lots of windows and supplement with LEED-certified light fixtures.
12. Install a cistern – collect rainwater for gray water uses, such as toilets and sprinkler systems.
13. Choose indigenous landscaping – local plants are better for the environment than exotics.[box]DJ Miller is an avid writer and graphic designer from Tampa, Florida. He is an environmental tech enthusiast that covers everything from solar panels to cisterns. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @MillerHeWrote.[/box]