The new environmental ethos states that in order to truly contribute to making life on our planet sustainable, we need to pay attention to every detail of our lives. We've talked about transportation habits and products in the two other installments of our series, but as an individual you can do even more. Few realize that their living choices have just as much impact on the environment than other factors.
If you think about it, our use of real estate and its impact on the environment starts to make a lot of sense. After all, one of the greatest dangers to animal populations from bears to bees is not hunting, starvation, or warming conditions, but is in fact habitat loss. Every new subdivision that goes up in a wetland area wipes out an ecosystem, and this has ramifications beyond the immediate area. The effort to stop urban sprawl is a part of the reason why living in condos in downtown Toronto has become so popular over the last two decades, instead of moving to new condos in Brampton.
Purchasing vertical property rather than horizontal is a big step when it comes to increasing our efforts at green living. But for some people, condo living just isn't possible. Still, whether you are looking at Mississauga townhouses or a Kitchener Waterloo real estate listing there are still ways you can make sure your purchase is as green as possible. Start out with the materials being used in the house; was the manufacturer environmentally conscious in the process, including shipping? Are these materials certified green friendly? If not, you might want to look for a home that is more conducive to today's green lifestyle. You don't need to be living in a cottage in the Kawarthas completely off the grid to live greener.
Buying green real estate means paying attention not only to what is being used to put up the house, but also what goes into the house. The days of the traditional hot water heater, for example, are over as far as green living goes. Other options, such as a wall hung instant water heater, are preferable within the environmentally conscious household.
Living green means paying attention to all the choices we make in our lifestyles, from the cars we buy to real estate. When you are buying a home, make sure to do some fact checking and make the greenest purchase possible.