Happy earth day

April 22, 2008 at 9:08 pm (domestic life, garden) (, )

Between my mom and my sisters there have been emails flying back and forth talking about what is ‘green’. It all started with an HGTV program about a ‘green’ house . We really couldn’t even decide if the house was what we would define as green.

Here are some of the criteria I came up with after thinking about it.

building materials: renewable, low VOC, local building materials if possible; a variety of sources of power – passive solar, solar, wind, or even just combinations of more conventional sources.

Efficiency: natural light; the right placement on a lot for heating and cooling; built for the natural environment ( CT, SC ,and CA all have different needs); I want things like the kitchen set up so recycling is easy and natural.

Garden/lawn: native plants and xeriscaped when possible. Let’s try and keep most of the power tools out of the garden, which means planning – how big do things grow, how much care do they need and how much time do you want to invest in your garden/lawn? Growing just a tomato plant, or some herbs helps remind you of where your food comes from and our connection with the earth.

Something not always thought as green , but something that seem to be a natural extension to being green is the layout of a house. Yes, that is part of the heating and cooling, but there is more to it. Useing the entire space is important, otherwise why do you have all that space. Houses should have places for the family to gather. And no mystery rooms that no one uses


  1. DM said,

    Well thought out, but I remember talking about all this in the mid to late 70′ and we all let the ball drop. We did the coal/wood stove thing. I think you were the one who thought we should bring back “horse” power. Let’s hope we can all keep the “Green thing ” rolling especially with our growing gas prices, food etc. etc. etc……

  2. jb said,

    I’ve got some books here about building green. Some of the points I’ve read so far that have stuck in my mind:
    — In Building as in taking a wreck of a house and rebuilding it or building on an empty lot in an established neighborhood.
    — As you are building, sort through the construction materials and reuse, recycle as much as you can.
    — Gray water is lovely. Very useful for flushing toilets, watering landscaping and can come from nifty places like the water that goes down the drain as you take a shower or the winter rains

    And the thing I learned from touring a new construction house that was being built as a certified “green” house — its all in how the house is situated on the lot. If their are trees next door that will block the solar panels, it may still be certifiable, but not really effecient. If the bedrooms are all down in the basement, you won’t have to worry about summer cooling, but winter heating and lighting will be problematic.

  3. jb said,

    Oops. I forgot that lot location in relation to public transportation should be a consideration too.

  4. egb63 said,

    public transportation/ workability for some basics! Of course now we’ve moved beyond the house to the neighborhood.

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