I am a renter and I will most likely be renting through grad school too, so I have to wait a while. But I am excited about the prospect of owning my own home. It gives you so much more freedom to live the way you really want to live. You can paint, have a garden, knock down a wall, or add a solar panel. Here are my…
Top 5 “green” things I want in my home:
1. Solar panels
I want to be producing some portion, if not all, of my electricity. Technologies change and incentives change, so I can’t say what the exact method would be. If it were to happen today, I would install a solar system because up to 30 percent of the cost could be rebated. You can sell energy you don’t use back to the grid too. In the future who knows, maybe it will be a Bloombox?
2. Food Garden
I am not by any means a gardener, nor have I ever really “gardened”, but it sounds relaxing. I’d love to eat some food that I grew myself, spend some time in the back yard and get some dirt on my clothes. Growing your own food theoretically could cut down in produce being shipped across the country and chemicals used in modern agriculture. In my opinion that food is going to be shipped no matter what, but I’ll feel better knowing I didn’t need it. Truthfully, until recently I refused to even eat most vegetables, but as Bob Dylan says, “The times, they are a changin’.”
3. Smarthome technology
I may have gotten this from my brother and the rest of my engineering family, but I want everything in my house to be wired together. I want my TV to be able to communicate with my fridge. I want to be at work and turn down the A/C from my cell phone. Being green-minded, I’ll also need to monitor my energy usage. Knowing how much energy you are using is the best way to figure out how to reduce it. This kind of technology has been around at least since I was in grade school (about 10 years ago), because I remember reading about it in a magazine, so by the time I’m building my own home I figure this should be practically standard.
4. Geothermal heat pump
Heat pumps can heat and cool the entire home if you manage your thermostat well. Heat pumps are also available for 30% tax breaks and is an option for most of Missouri. They drill holes over 100 feet deep in your yard and pump water through to heat or cool your home. Once again, this will save money after some time and is eco-friendly.
5. Car charging station
This is assuming I will someday have an electric vehicle. With a specialized charging station, which some vehicles may actually require, you can charge your vehicle quicker. The EV would obviously eliminate the use of gasoline, but with my planned solar power, my transportation carbon footprint could essentially become a zero.
These technologies and activities would be in addition to things like energy star appliances which are in many homes already. Living in an eco-friendly home would make me happier and should save money in the long run too. What can you do in your home to be a little more eco-friendly?