Global Warming & Your Home – more linked than you think

2007 is supposed to be the year “Going Green” really takes off. If you look at previous posts, recycled materials for countertops and furnishings are hot, eco-friendly fertilizers for gardening will also be a trend. But that’s only part of the bigger “green” picture. In other areas, like global warming, big inroads will not and cannot be made until there is a paradigm shift in how we think about our homes. “Bigger is better” needs to be replaced by “small is beautiful”. But who’s ready for that? I’m not, not really, and neither is most of the public.

What does a new-home purchase have to do with global warming? Simple: Buildings are the largest source of the greenhouse-gas emissions that are causing global warming, and in the United States, half of building-related emissions are from houses.
– Katherine Salant, The Washington Post

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we need to consume less energy. Simple yes?

The architects are doing their part by adopting the 2030 Challenge, aiming to reduce fossil-fuel consumption through progressive design strategies, energy-saving materials and construction techniques.

But architects don’t design the specs for 92% of residential homes. Builders do the specs, following local codes that don’t address these issues at all. And builders will tend to include what the home-buying public will pay for …

And guess what folks? We’re just not ready to pay. In a recent National Home Builders of America study, only 17% of us would be willing to spend an extra 5% on a new home to make it more environmentally friendly. 50% liked the idea but weren’t willing to pay. The rest either weren’t going to let environmental issues factor into their home purchase or weren’t concerned about the environment.

What will we pay for? 3 words – more, more and more. More rooms, more windows and more space (higher ceilings) – all of which increase energy use and fuel global warming.

So that’s how global warming and your home are more linked than you think. Read more at The Washington Post.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 19th, 2007 at 8:14 am and is filed under Global Warming, Going Green, Green. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Comment so far

  1. [...] One of the things that jumped out from the list is that it is a “modest-sized home on a small lot”. How is that special? Well for people who used to drive a “gas-gulping Jaguar” and have a “4,000-square-foot home”, this is progress. As noted in my previous post, buildings are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US – small(er) is beautiful. [...]

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