Mountain residents embrace green life

Sustainability, green building and energy efficiency have become part of today's mainstream consciousness. With the spread of global environmental awareness, certain regions of the United States are emerging as leaders in green living movements. Western North Carolina [WNC] is one of the hotbeds of alternative energy, and the city of Asheville is here.

According to an article by Dale Neal, “Video Selling Areas for the Green Economy”, February 22, 2008 from

Asheville Citizen Times from

 WNC has more than 80 green builders. In the 7-minute video, Neil mentions a video titled "AdvantageGreen," directed by Kurt Mann of Green TV, USA, and discusses green building practices in and around Asheville, North Carolina.

The video includes videos from three WNC Solar companies and highlights three main projects: FLS Energy installs solar panels at Greensboro hotels, and Appalachian Energy installs solar water heating systems on Arby roofs And Sundance Power installed solar panels at Deltec Homes.

Simple ideas for life green

Life is more friendly to the planet, and a healthier lifestyle is not as difficult as many people think. Green building methods and alternative energy systems are becoming more affordable for ordinary citizens. There are even ways to make existing structures more energy efficient in residential or commercial buildings.

Energy Star Efficiency Standard

One of the easiest ways to improve energy efficiency is to purchase products approved by the ENERGY STAR program. ENERGY STAR is sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency to provide special certification for products that provide the highest efficiency in a particular category. All certified products must meet specific guidelines before they can carry the ENERGY STAR logo. For more information on Energy Star, please visit: http://www.energystar.gov/.

Energy-saving lighting

Natural light is the easiest way to save energy at home. Consider the size and location of all the windows in your home. A well-placed skylight or atrium also increases natural light and electrical efficiency. Although it's easier to consider these factors when building a home, you'll be surprised to find that investing in smart, energy-efficient retrofits can quickly recover costs.

Energy saving, passive solar and passive cooling green living

Passive solar and passive cooling are excellent strategies for maintaining energy efficiency. Passive solar energy optimizes the use of heat sinking materials. Many aspects of the house can affect heating and cooling, even if the direction of the house is facing, it can reduce energy costs.

When choosing a passive solar solution, keep in mind some basic facts, such as homes facing the south are warmer than houses facing the north. Houses facing the east are warm in the morning, while houses facing the west are hotter in the afternoon. Wind at high altitudes promotes passive cooling. Avoiding the main windy hillside provides shelter and warmth. The slopes facing the strong winds are cooler.

Properly insulated walls, windows, roofs and floors can also attract or deflect the heat of the sun. Special glazing can improve heating efficiency in winter, while shadows or blinds can affect cooling in summer. The correct use of ceiling fans in the appropriate seasons can also improve energy efficiency.

Energy-saving and beautifying environment: how trees support energy-efficient housing

The trees in your yard can also improve energy efficiency. Writer and Northern California real estate agent Discover David Homes' Northern California real estate agent Carolyn Gjerde-Tu said in an article entitled "Passive and Proud: Your Home's Green Energy Concept": "Landscape design is another energy efficiency consideration. An important consideration. [Winter exposed] provides a great shadow for your home in the summer, but in the winter you can let the sun help warm your house, and plant these trees in your house to absorb the most sunlight. Evergreen plants It can also effectively alleviate the cold winter wind."

Energy Saving Plan: NC HealthyBuilt Homes

NC HealthyBuilt Homes is a program supported by the North Carolina Solar Center, the State Energy Agency, the Asheville House Builders Association, and the North Carolina Green Building Council [WNCGBC]. According to the WNCGBC website wncgbc.org, the NC HealthyBuilt program aims to improve energy efficiency, indoor air quality and environmental responsibility.

Energy efficient buildings also offer many federal and state tax benefits. The National Renewable Energy and Efficiency Incentive Database [DSIRE] at http://www.dsireusa.org is a comprehensive list of tax and homeowner incentives. Information on North Carolina and Asheville is detailed in the database and in other cities and states.

Energy efficiency is a simple, affordable way to live a healthier, greener lifestyle. Whether you are building a new home or looking for ways to increase the value of your existing home, investments in improving home efficiency are investments in the future.