You don’t have to be a contractor to be able to make some changes to your home that will make it greener and more sustainable for the years to come. There are many things that you can do that require little skill and sometimes just a willingness to change how you do things around the house will make a big difference.

In the next week, Sonoma County Properties will give you the last few articles I have written on this subject.

I will give you at least one BIG thing you can do (this may require some skill or a cash investment on your part) and a few smaller things (that anyone can do) that will make a difference in your savings, comfort or “carbon footprint”.

1. Metal roofing. Metal roofing is really durable, it doesn't have to be the ugly. There are many great looking options for metal roofs and they can last sixty years or more.

2. Invest in insulation. There are few things as essential to greening your home like providing it with good insulation. Almost as important as having insulation is having it installed correctly. This is a big subject, call me for the details.

3. Weather strips. Inexpensive weather strips can help protect your home from losing heat and cool, saving you money and reducing that carbon footprint.

4. Check out eco ratings. This site will help you determine the true greenness of just about any product you'll buy for your home.

5. Choose materials that can be recycled or reused. Styles change, and you'll be doing the earth a favor by choosing materials that can be reused rather than those that make the trip to the landfill once worn out.

6. Plant trees. Trees are not only beautiful, a PROPERLY placed tree will shade keep your home cool in the summer and an deciduous tree will let in all of the light possible in the winter, meaning less energy costs for you.

7. Work with companies that have green standards. If you are going to have work done on your home or even if you just want to make a big purchase, look into the companies you'll be doing business with before buying.

8. In warm weather, use a clothesline. Why bother with your energy-sucking dryer when you can use the wind for free?

9. Get an earth friendly fireplace. What does your fireplace burn? There are loads of fireplace options out there that use more renewable resources.

10. Dispose of items properly. Many household items can be toxic if they're not disposed of properly. Do your research to make sure you're not harming the earth with your home improvements.

Want to talk sustainability in your real estate? Call Ron L. Welsh at 707-823-2533                                                   

We were the first “EcoGreen Certified” Brokerage in California in 2007

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