by Nenad Uzelac
Natural, Green home doesn't have to be inhabited by Hobbits. It can take many forms and you can arrange it to your liking.
According to internationally agreed definition, a green home is an environmentally sustainable building, designed, constructed and operated to minimize its total environmental impact.
In US alone, there are number of standards in existence covering the green building construction and performance, generally focusing on areas of energy and water efficiency, sustainable sites, indoor air quality and materials. You can find more information at EPA site:
To us, the green home is more that that.
Consuming less water and energy, using enrivormenatly friendly materials and overall reducing the environmental footprint is a good starting point. It feels good to be a environmentally mindful citizen and it also reduces our monthly utility bill.
My wife - Dr. Uzelac - and I build our home to meet the strict regulations of the National Green Building Standard and and were awarded with the highest GOLD certification.
The results are showing, especially in the winter time. For example, during a cold, sunny day in February, with external temperatures falling below -10F, the temperature in our house was +68F with the heat turned off from 8AM till 5PM. This reflects on the Nipco bill. See on the right how our energy usage compares with our neighbors:
Green home for us means also a sanctuary, a place with a good vibe that rejuvenates both ones body and mind. This can mean different things to different people and especially to different ages. Kids may be looking for more exciting home, parents for more relaxing one.
I think its important for overall family wellbeing to strike the right balance and make your house a green sanctuary, that will give you a sensation of shelter and refuge upon each arrival.
Think about your happy place and "bring" it home. I am not talking about the radical makeover. I am talking about baby steps in greening-your-home. If you like the sound of the river and enjoy hiking by waterfalls, put a fountain in your hallway that will await for you every time you come home. If you like smell of flower fields, essential oils are one of the best ways to vibe up your space with fresh fragrance and good energy!
Here are some things we do to keep our home healthy and fresh:
- Declutter. Take out the stuff you did't use in last year
- Place a plant in corner next to that printer and router
- Improve your mental health: allow natural light to come inside
- Beauty your home with energy saving LED lights
- Explore the art of Feng Shui. Apply its remedies (read this blog)
- Balance these 5 elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water
- Reduce electromagnetic fields, especially in the bedroom (read this blog)
- Take TV out of the common areas
- Use materials with low VOC to improve indoor air quality
- Open the windows to get that stale air out
- Use materials like: cedar wood and cultured stone that give a natural touch
- Play background lounge music in common areas
- Make a small change every month to keep the house fresh