Meg White is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.
As we shake off winter and welcome the new blooms of spring, it’s easy to get caught up in the feel-good environmentally friendly activities that surround Earth Day (which is April 22). But the dire warnings released last month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to policy makers around the world unequivocally state that everything—including the structures where we live and work—is at risk from the global changes they’re predicting in the coming years. Even if green living isn’t always the first thing you think about, it’s on more people's minds every day, and that’s a good enough reason to keep abreast of the latest environmentally friendly practices in your industry.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. homes and businesses accounted for approximately 11 percent of our country’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2011 and have been generally on the rise since 1990. In terms of resource use, U.S. buildings account for about 37 percent of total energy consumption. So real estate definitely has a major role to play both in reducing emissions and in using our resources more wisely.
In this product guide, you'll learn how:
But keep this in mind: Because we at REALTOR® Magazine strive to serve the more than one million REALTORS® around the globe, it’s tough for us to dig down to the local level. When implementing your own green solutions, it’s always best to go local. We’ve done our best to point you in the right direction, but we hope you use this guide as a jumping-off point. Take our advice and apply it to your local market. Reach out to builders, manufacturers, and real estate professionals in your local area to make the biggest impact on the planet.