Every small step towards a greener, healthier life benefits you, your family and the planet. One of the most important “new” ideas in the area of green thinking is how the health of the space you live and/or work in affects your health, the health of your family, and the overall health of the planet. From reduced energy usage and costs, to better air quality, to a smaller burden on the local environment, green buildings are fast becoming the norm, and it’s not just individual homes. Businesses, including hotels, retail stores, and company headquarters are seeing the benefits in having new or existing buildings that meet environmental standards. Whether it’s a homeowner with a room renovation in mind, or a large corporation looking to green their operating facilities, it’s clear that living green is the wave of the future.
It doesn’t matter if green changes are small or large. Ripping out an old carpet in a home and replacing it with new, Earth-friendly flooring will have a positive environmental and health impact, as will an entire apartment building designed to make use of ocean breezes for cooling rather than air condition. Here are some of the best examples of how green living choices are benefitting the health of people as well as planet.
Preserving natural beauty. No longer is it acceptable to destroy the site of a building in order to plunk down a structure. Today’s designers, builders and architects are becoming more adept at using the site of a building to determine the orientation of the building, the materials that will be used, and the natural, native vegetation that will be part of the landscaping.
Cutting costs. Green buildings are better for the Earth and the wallet. The cost of operating a home, office, or any other structure that has energy efficient features such as solar panels, wastewater recycling, rainwater collection, efficient fixtures, and renewable energy systems is much lower for the life of the building. The cost to the environment is significantly lower as well!
Improving the health of people and pets. Healthier buildings are better for the health of the occupants, whether they be human or furry. People with allergies, skin sensitivities, medical conditions, and other types of health issues often find that a greener living or working environment has a positive impact on their health. The use of materials that don’t leech toxins into the air, such as low-VOC paints or building materials and furniture made without harmful chemicals, make a big difference in the health of a living or office space.
Recycling and reusing materials. Much of the new materials, fixtures, and furnishings used in green homes and buildings aren’t new at all. Making use of recycled wood, salvaged materials, and building materials saved from a renovation creates less waste, is better for the environment, and is often just as beautiful as brand new materials.
New ideas, materials and designs are emerging at a rapid pace in the area of green living. As more people see the health-and healthy-benefits of living and working in environmentally friendly spaces, the days of buildings that didn’t have the environment in mind when they were built, renovated or updated may become a distant memory.