Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A GREENER 2011

Even though it's almost the end of February, I find I'm still planning my year...still setting goals and directions for 2011...very much like the way I'm making Spring marketing plans for my real estate listings.  With most of the year laid out before me I find myself wondering not only how I can make my life GREENER but also what will the GREEN trends be this year?  Seems like there is plenty of momentum and interest, but where is that going to lead?

I took a look at an article on www.proudgreenhome.com about top trends for GREEN building in 2011 hoping for some ideas & inspirations.  By the way, I think it's a pretty interesting website and worth a look if you have time.  A few things stood out to me as I read the article and one of those was that the "GREENING" of existing buildings is a growing trend.  THAT is something I can really get behind.  I love it.  Also that GREEN LEED certified schools accounted for 40% of LEED projects in the US in 2010 is pretty exciting.  I'm not surprised to read that solar power will continue to grow....as I'm writing this more chunks of the sheet of snow on my solar panels are slipping off in the warm sunlight!  (Yay!  Nice change from yesterday when we were generating a measly 0.16 kW with all that cloud cover.)  I believe my town council is discussing tonight a matter of a solar farm in town.  I think our towns need to move toward solar power as a way to cut costs just as we have here at home.  Think of how much we could save if our schools alone had solar energy.  Another one of my favorite trends was "Blue will become the New Green" which goes into water conservation.  This one hits home every year when our neighbor's well runs dry.  What will we do if we run out of water?  Are we going to run out of water?  Will there be a global water crisis like they say?  Ack, the things that keep me up at night!

In looking at 2011, I hope that clean energy grants will continue to be available to people like us, that tax credits for GREEN improvements will continue (have you made your GREEN tax deductions yet?) and that GREEN building materials will be affordable.

As far as my own GREEN plans, we're hoping to build a new garage this summer...replacing the 100 year old one that is falling down and infested with all kinds of wildlife.  Of course we'll consider what GREEN or sustainable building materials we can use, and do our best to plan it to be as efficient and environmentally-friendly as possible.  Obviously we have a lot of research to do.  I'd also like to finally put in a rain barrel for watering the flowers and my garden.  It's not a hard thing to do and it sounds like a good project for Spring.  I also dream of upping our self-sustainability quotient.  Then again, who doesn't? :)

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