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Last updateWed, 18 Oct 2017 10am

Inside Mountain View

46th annual festival slated this weekend

46th annual festival slated this weekend

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Food & Wine

Farm-to-glass cocktails respond to the season

Farm-to-glass cocktails respond to the season

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Your Health

Author shows link between climate change, health in new book

Author shows link between climate change, health in new book

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Your Home

Los Altos History Museum wraps up Eichler exhibition

Los Altos History Museum wraps up Eichler exhibition

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On The Road

Five rules to live by as a cyclist

Five rules to live by as a cyclist

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Senior Lifestyles

Resident poet's parody song honors inspiring story

Resident poet's parody song honors inspiring story

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Wedding To Remember

Wedding wear that lies beneath

Wedding wear that lies beneath

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Your Kids

Living Classroom grows lessons for next-gen science standards

Living Classroom grows lessons for next-gen science standards

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Back to School

Changing the conversation on social media

Changing the conversation on social media

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Sustainable building saves money, planet's resources

But what about existing homes in Los Altos? Green renovations or remodels can happen all at once or as a gradual process.

According to information from "This Old House" and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), there are simple steps to green our homes and our lifestyles. Save $30-$40 per year in heating costs by washing clothes in cold water; use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's online emissions calculator to measure the quantity of greenhouse-gas emissions your household produces; install motion sensors, photocell controls or timers to control outdoor lighting needs; and obtain a home energy audit to assess home-energy usage and prioritize actions to make it more efficient and comfortable. To get started, try Energy Star's Home Energy Yardstick at www.energystar.gov. For further ideas, visit www.thegreenhomeguide.org.

For remodeling, the American Society of Interior Designers' Foundation and the USGBC have partnered to develop guidelines and resources for sustainable residential remodels. The goal is to increase awareness and understanding of sustainable home renovation. The Web site at www.regreenprogram.org has project checklists and answers to questions. This should be the first stop for homeowners and their contractors when considering a remodel.

Why consider a green remodel? What are the benefits? According to numbers from the U.S. Green Building Council, the benefits are huge. In an average-performance rating of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) homes, LEED-certified homes used 30 percent less energy, 20 percent less water and diverted 40 percent of waste from landfills.

The benefits are greatest for a LEED-platinum-certified home, the agency's top rating. These homes reduce energy usage 60 percent, water usage 50 percent and divert 70 percent of the waste from landfills.

The numbers make a case. Green home construction is expected to make up 10 percent of new homes by 2010, according to the 2006 McGraw-Hill Construction Residential Green Building SmartMarket Report.

Owning a green home is great for your wallet, your family's health and the environment.

Jon Nyberg is executive director of the U.S. Green Building Council – Redwood Empire Chapter. E-mail questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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