We live in an amazing world of infinite variety and beauty worth preserving for future generations. Going green means finding simple, effective ways to reduce our impact on 'Our World'. Sustainable living is about leaving a lighter footprint on our environment through conservation of resources.
A Sustainable home uses natural or recycled materials produced locally, and without toxic chemicals. Most install solar hot water and photovoltaic solar panels. Natural wood floors and ceilings, clean-burning fireplaces, concrete walls and thermal glass, and a green roof that helps keep it cool during the hot months and insulated during the harsh winters.
Greening your interior space should be a creative experience, not a stressful one. Today, more and more manufacturers are working closely with designers to develop a wide range of options in environmentally friendly materials that are recycled, reclaimed, organic and/or renewable. For every product used in an interior environment, there is usually a greener option available.
Natural light is, of course, the healthiest option and does not use any energy. If you are considering any kind of renovation, your windows should be located on the South side of the house to maximize light intake. Skylights are a great option, inexpensive, and can be placed easily into a roof.
Keeping in harmony with nature has practical and aesthetic benefits for any home. Shade from trees provides insulation. Solar and wind power saves on bills. Opting for garden buildings, rather than extensions, is a cost effective way to expand living space without disrupting the feel of an area. Bamboo and cork are great alternatives to hard woods – are quicker to cultivate and less damaging to the environment.
The flip side of keeping in harmony with nature is living the 'American Dream'. Since 1950, the US has quadrupled the residential space per person, and since 1970, the square footage of the average US home has nearly doubled. US homes are enormous, filled with unoccupied rooms, cluttered with unused objects. No matter how green your building materials are, a large empty home is not a sustainable living space.
However, for many people, the idea of a smaller home elicits images of cramped rooms and inconvenience. These challenges were addressed in 2008 by Green Media Enterprises (GME) when they announced that organic architect, Eric Lloyd Wright, and his studio would conceptualize a display of green living spaces in Los Angeles and New York. Each event displayed distinctly unique sustainable spaces, reflecting the local environment, materials and community culture, the core principles of sustainable organic architecture.
"We are thrilled to have Eric Lloyd Wright inspire this unique feature at our events," said Diane O'Connor, President of Green Media Enterprises. "Eric Lloyd Wright's focus on the use of natural and non toxic materials and alternative construction and energy systems represents the best in sustainable architecture..."
So, going green doesn't mean you need to compromise. It simply means you're being thoughtful and appreciative of environmental issues and concerns while reaping the benefits of having a beautiful home that is cost-effective and better for the planet.
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