RYE, N.Y. - What does it take to be an eco-friendly homeowner? A few small adjustments, which can make a big difference, said Linda Darer, a realtor at Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty in Rye.
Darer has completed training in sustainable housing and building green. Here are three tips for going green:
"Renovate your home with eco-friendly materials. Topping your house with a roof made of metal instead of asphalt, for example, will not only save you money on your heating and cooling costs, it will also reduce your carbon footprint. Using recycled materials is definitely the 'green' way to go. And for your floors, bamboo or cork are excellent choices since they have low formaldehyde emissions. Using these kinds of materials can sometimes earn you discounts on your homeowners insurance. Ask your insurance agent for more details."
Stick with the Star
"Opt for appliances that have been approved by ENERGY STAR, a government-backed program that protects the environment by highlighting energy-efficient products. For a complete list of energy-efficient appliances, visit the ENERGY STAR website ."
Old Habits Dont Have to Die Hard
"Wrapping your water heater and pipes in an insulation blanket can save energy and cut down electrical costs," Darer said. "Washing your clothes in cold water can also drastically save your energy use, while cooking with a toaster oven or slow cooker can reduce electrical use from appliances. To further reduce your electrical use, switch to a laptop instead of using a desktop computer and make sure to turn it off at the end of the day."
For more information on sustainable housing and building green, contact Linda Darer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 921-9218.