Green Housing in Santa Barbara CA - What Can You Do?

  As Green Building, Green Initiatives, Green Movement etc. has infiltrated its presence in the minds of people here in the Santa Barbara area and the

mainstream in general, some people wonder if "Green" is here to stay.  For most, this is a resounding YES!!  If you are not convinced, I suggest that you go talk with our younger generation and listen to them. From everything I see, hear and read, this "green movement" is simply a major shift in ideology which has been spurred on by constant news and conversations about the environment, energy costs, population and greenhouse gases to name a few.

As a Real Estate Agent here in Santa Barbara CA., I started going over the best practices that I can personally do in playing a role for the environment and green housing.  Besides looking at myself, providing quality information to others and giving people resources is the best way to go.  With that said, I have listed below some of the easier and most obvious changes you can make when it comes to your home.

Tips for Green Living: Make your own positive impact on the environment with these home improvements...double-paned windows, gravel filtration water runoff, on-demand water heaters, Energy Star appliancesCFL bulbs, water efficient and native landscaping, recycled construction materials, low VOC organic paints, water saving faucets and toilets, good insulation, solar panels, plant trees for shade, adios to plastic water bottles, go for organic cotton and reduce-recycle-reuse.

Besides the most obvious talk of energy savings associated with the homes themselves, livability is also reintegrating itself as a major factor in going green.  When buying your new home you might want to take a closer look at features such as the home being located close to transit, bike facilities and paths nearby, having a walkable dense urban neighborhood etc.

So, what are the negatives to Green Building? Cost - If you are comparing immediate costs of a green remodel to the Home Depot remodel, then yes it is more expensive.  But, if you are comparing to the higher end marble and granite counter-tops and imported maple floors, then more often than not it is cheaper.  Also, for the list of items mentioned above that do not constitute any major remodel, these improvements should ultimately save you money. Greenwashing - One of the negatives of the green movement is greenwashing.  This is essentially selling something or some concept as green when it is not.  One example could be the hype regarding bamboo floors.  Yes, they are sustainable, but make sure they are not being cut down in virgin forests and imported from China.  If so, then most likely local FSC-certified wood is a better/greener choice.

Resources for General Green Information: Build It Green, US Green Building Council, Green Globes, Low Impact Living

For information on Santa Barbara Real Estate, Montecito Real Estate and/or our surrounding areas, as well as any other aspects of life in our area, please don’t hesitate to contact Kevin Schmidtchen at Berkshire Hathaway.

Thank you for reading.  I hope you find Santa Barbara Real Estate Voice informative. Please feel free to contact me or comment below with any thoughts.

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