Going Green Without Turning Green

Ever feel like you are overwhelmed by all the “green” products being shoved in your face? Or worse, feel a case of “green fatigue” coming on, forcing you to tune out all the information? I rarely pay attention anymore to “green” hype, suffering from my own self-induced permanent case of “green fatigue.” However, I recently came across a website that let me calculate my carbon footprint. Since I don’t pay the bills in my house and don’t know how many miles each car gets to the gallon or is driven per year, it was mostly guesstimation on my part but I am right there around the national average. OK, a little above it really, but can I help the fact I work a good 20 minutes from home or that a summer with 100% humidity and 90 degree days equals a constant need for AC?

So I decided to see what I could do to lower my carbon footprint without forgoing the comforts of AC or worse, riding my bike in scorching summer weather and sweating through my clothes just to save on gas. Interestingly enough, it’s fairly easy to go “green”, even just a little.

  1. When painting a room, use “green” paint which doesn’t have the toxic fumes of the standard paint.

  2. Caulk doors and windows and adding insulation (there is even “green” insulation) will prevent outside elements coming in, which raise your heating and cooling costs.

  3. Compost your uncooked kitchen scrapes. Be sure you don’t add protein to your compost. The occasional egg shells are one thing, but keep the chicken out.

  4. Carpool when possible or take public transportation. Even in Wilmington, the bus system is fairly decent and a great chance to read the morning paper on your way to work.

  5. Buy local produce. Produce stands pop up everywhere in Spring and Summer, why not take the opportunity to buy something that grew practically in your own backyard?

  6. Speaking of which, start a garden! I grow my own herbs and tomatoes and love the fresh flavor they add to dishes. Not only do you save money, but plants help filter the air and oxygen is a resource we don’t want to run out of.

  7. Consult a REALTOR® with a GREEN designation before buying your next home or renovating your current one. They specialize in knowing what is truly “green” and what is just hype. And if you are thinking of selling your home, they can help market the “green” aspects. In Wilmington, there are only 5 REALTORS® with this special designation, including Team Gale’s own Tom Gale. With approximately 1,650 REALTORS® in Wilmington alone, this mere 0.3% narrows the field greatly when buying or selling “green” real estate is your primary concern.

Making changes doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, simple changes like these are fairly easy to make when you think about it. Even better, your planet and wallet will thank you later on!

Tom Gale on his GREEN designation: “I got my GREEN designation because the knowledge I gained could be used to help my buyers, sellers, builder clients, and myself. We live in an ecologically sensitive region, so in order to preserve our fantastic resources, we need to be particularly mindful of our impact on the environment. With my acquired knowledge, I am more prepared to point you in the right direction.

“In addition to taking the classes to get my designation, I continually pour over the latest products and research to stay abreast of this ever-changing field. I have also implemented several energy improving strategies in my own home, so I can speak from personal experience on many items. I take my job as a REALTOR® seriously and I take my GREEN designation just as seriously. Whether you’re a seller looking for an agent that can properly market your home’s green features or a buyer that wants an agent that can help you purchase a truly energy-efficient home, you’ve found the right REALTOR®.”

Interested in finding out what your carbon footprint is? Click here to find out where you stand!

Written by Mary Beth Tice, Marketing Assistant for Team Gale

Posted in Buyer Tips, News You Can Use, Seller Tips on Dec 21, 2010