EPA Green Homes

The Environmental Protection Agency has created a new Web site to assist homeowners, buyers, and renters in finding and maintaining a green home. The Green Homes site, epa.gov/greenhomes, goes room by room to pinpoint places where residents can reduce energy waste through efficient energy and water usage, renewable energy, green home building materials and household products, and recycling from home construction and household activities. For those in the market to buy or build a home, the site also gives advice on how to select the most environmentally friendly location.

The Web site front page gives a diagram of a typical home layout, which visitors can click on any room to find out about different energy savings options. Choosing the bedroom, for example, brings a page that recommends an array of Energy Star electronics, gives information on different green furnishings, and illustrates what to look for in choosing the flooring. This room-by-room overview is then followed by broader information on lighting, cleaning, and even shopping for the home to reduce energy usage.

Other parts of the home analyzed for energy and water efficiency opportunities include the kitchen, bathroom, living room, office, laundry room, basement, garage, attic, roof and yard.

"The use of energy is related to virtually everything we do, or have in our homes," the agency said. "Obvious uses include using electricity to run appliances, electronics, and air conditioners, etc.; less obvious uses include consuming energy to purify and produce and convey water to our homes, and to make the products we purchase for use in our homes. If we take steps to green our homes, we can reduce energy use, save money, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and help to fight global warming and climate change."

Tips are not just limited to homeowners who have the ability to make major changes to their residences, but also to renters. A checklist of options to make a rental property energy and water efficient is offered, as well as an overview on how to convince landlords to help green their properties.

The EPA plans to maintain the site as an umbrella portal for information on residential environmental issues from it and other federal agencies. More information is available at the Green Homes Web site, www.epa.gov/greenhomes. ‐ DAVID L. BLAYLOCK

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