Now that the environmental revolution is no longer a new movement, the costs of many of the materials needed to go green have come way down. On top of that, the assortment of those materials has vastly increased, making the selection process that much more rewarding. You can simply get more of what you want for less than ever. And if you still cannot afford to make the environmentally friendly energy changes you would like, there are, at least, a number of ways you can compensate as a consolation until you are able to make the investments you want.
Especially in the energy business, one economic principle remains – hire a pro. Enlisting the right specialist is always a good investment, even if it doesn’t at first seem like a no-brainer. If you choose wisely, the money you pay the professional should eventually be returned to you as added savings. Not only have they spent the time gaining the experience and expertise, but it is also in their best interest to provide you with a solid, lasting service, so that they can expect your repeated business as well as that of your friends and colleagues.
In particular, a professional energy assessor will save you money in the long run. You may be quite unaware just how much money is going (sometimes literally) out the window until an assessor has had the opportunity to, well, assess. He or she will have nothing much personally to gain from exaggerating the truth or being at all ineffectual. Even if there is a third party contractor involved with which you suspect the assessor to be cooperating, your satisfaction is a valuable commodity once the energy upgrades are complete. And if you are not able to calculate real savings, the assessor and contractor are both vulnerable to criticism.
And in these days of the Internet one client’s dissatisfaction can be quite damaging.
One thing to keep in mind when assessing an assessor – you do not need to purchase a new water heater. If it’s time to replace your old one, you can opt to go “tankless,” which means replacing your water heater with a tankless water heating system that will only heat as much water as you use.
It’s not a coincidence that saving money and saving the environment go hand-in-hand. It boils down to circumventing a mass-production industry’s imposed standards, standards that were instituted for a singular purpose: to make more money. A parallel can be drawn with the organic foods and produce industry. Since when does the omission of chemicals cost more money? It doesn’t. The same goes for home furnishings. Some materials are simply easier to replace in nature and more cost efficient, and with today’s green competition, the quality has risen in many respects.
Building standards have improved across the board, and there is just too much pressure to go green for a builder not to.
Some products and practices to consider:
Most of the major paint manufacturers have come out with eco-friendly paints and painting products, but they will advertise as such, so look for something to that effect on the label or on their website.
Cork and bamboo flooring is not only eco-logically friendly, they’re eco-nomically friendly as well. They are naturally replenished much more rapidly than the slow-growing hardwood trees.
Wool carpeting, while often slightly more expensive than synthetics, gives an organic and comfortable feel to your home, without the expense to nature created by the carpeting manufacturers.
Consider the now-old phrase, “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle,” in terms of the larger home furnishing you may need to repair. If you can take an old piece of flooring or furniture and revamp it to a new finish, it will probably have more intrinsic beauty and character than a new piece. Then you can at least find it a new home if you still don’t want it, because someone will certainly appreciate it, and the overall environmental cost of the furniture industry can be somewhat abated.
It’s a new world we live in, and even the big businesses are aware that more green environmentalism will lead to more green in their company bank accounts.