Green living: Save Our Earth By Living Green

The Most Important Factor in Having a Green Home: Location

When it comes to having a green household, location is everything. Where your home is situated has more importance than the building itself. Reducing your home’s ecological footprint – the impact your household has on the environment which accounts for the amount of land and resources needed to sustain your current standard of living – is necessary for the sustainability of the planet. While there are many ways to make your home more eco-friendly, one of the most overlooked is location – which can actually be the best way to reduce the impact your home leaves on the environment.  Choosing a position where you are closer to the action and in-turn consume less energy to accomplish what you want on a daily basis makes all the difference in the world. Let’s take a look at just how important location can be.

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Being closer to the action

The importance of location ties in directly with transportation energy usage. Reports show that we use 30% more energy getting to a building than what we actually use inside them. A large part of this comes from the urban sprawl of the developed world. The average commute to work in America is over 12 miles one way. Driving the kids to school and back also piles up quickly. Not to mention most of the activities families do outside of work/school are a considerable drive from home as well. Being situated so far from where you spend most of your time results in the use of high levels of costly energy which also pollute the air – lowering the quality of living for everyone.

It’s not what you build, it’s where you build

Companies are spending millions building modern, extremely high tech green office complexes but neglecting the fact that they build them miles away from the entire work force. The added commute miles uses far more energy than what is saved by having an environmentally sound building. In the same way, building the most environmentally sound home in the far corners of suburbia, filled with high efficiency appliances really won’t make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things if your transportation energy consumption increases as a result. Even the Environmental Protection Agency is coming on board with this theory, arguing that placing one’s home in a transit oriented location outweighs any other factor as far as overall energy consumption is concerned. Taking location into consideration could realistically change the standards for what makes a building truly green certified.

Just to clarify, green homes are still extremely important and owners can save a lot of money over the long haul by going green and using environmentally friendly products. However, being green in your home is not enough to have a significant cutback on your home’s carbon footprint unless it is in conjunction with a prime, centralized location. What about the claim that there are less housing options closer to city centres? Studies actually show the opposite and take it a step further by arguing that central locations offer cheaper prices when transportation costs are taken into account.

In short, environmental data resources all point to the importance of location when it comes to your home’s ecological impact. Spending less on energy and being close to the action promotes are higher standard of living and keeps more money in your pockets. Putting your family in a location where public transport is available (or better yet a bicycle friendly zone) will reduce your energy consumption levels dramatically all the while preserving the environment for future generations to enjoy. So before you build, think twice about the location!

This is a post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a freelance writer and an occasional guest-blogger currently working for a green technology company in her town. When she is not working she likes to travel and do yoga.

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