Web Reviews: How to Keep a Green Home

Earth-friendly choices: Learn ways to cut energy costs and incorporate eco-friendly practices in the home.

March 1, 2005

“Green” Web Site Roundup:

More people are taking the environment into account when buying a home, choosing office space, or planning new construction. The rising cost of energy is one major reason, but many consumers also see a need to make choices that cut down on pollution and make the smartest use of the earth’s limited natural resources. As a real estate practitioner, the more you know about being “green,” the better you can serve clients who hold the environment at the top of their priority list. Here are several Web sites that will give you a better understanding of what being “green” is all about:

  • GreenerBuildings.com The nonprofit group GreenBiz.com and the U.S. Green Building Council  are behind this information-packed site, which provides free resources for environmentally responsible building development. You can learn about eco-friendly Building Materials—an important topic considering that buildings account for 60% of the raw materials used in the United States—and find out how to create healthier building Interiors. This well-designed site provides related news for each topic, as well as thorough background information and links to organizations. Other topics include Architecture & Design, Facility Management, and Land Use.
  • EnergyGuide.com It isn’t cheap to heat a home in the winter, cool it off in summer, or run the plethora of appliances found in today’s homes. On this site, you’ll find free tools to pinpoint areas where you can cut costs—making it a handy resource to recommend to clients. You can Analyze Your Use and get energy-saving ideas by entering your ZIP code and completing a home-profile survey. Or tap into one of the site’s EnergySaver Calculators to determine how much money you would save by replacing an old appliance, such as a water heater, washer and dryer, or refrigerator, with a new energy-efficient model. There’s also a page to help you Choose Green, which generates a list of the companies in your area that sell electricity products using wind, solar, small hydroelectric, biomass, and geothermal resources.
  • National Association of Home Builders: Environment This national trade group, which represents the homebuilding industry, devotes a section of its main Web site to environmental issues. Learn NAHB’s stance on the debate about whether to build on Wetlands, and find out how Smart Growth and the Environment are shaping builders’ plans. Each environmental topic includes a short summary and links to related Web sites, press releases, and news items.
Kelly Quigley

Kelly Quigley is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.

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