Benefits to a Green Home

More and more people are beginning to understand the connection between the way we build our homes and Earth’s well-being. Today, we are aware of the impact it has on the environment, human health and the economy. Green and eco-friendly building is not just a passing developmental trend and a fashion statement. It is a necessity in these and future times if we want to improve the quality of our lives and protect natural resources and biodiversity.

The benefits of building green homes are numerous and experts usually divide them into three different categories: environmental, economic and social. Let’s see how these green strategies maximise economic, environmental and social performance.

Environmental benefits
Are you aware of the fact that buildings are responsible for approximately 40 percent of carbon emissions? Unlike renewable energy sources (wind and solar power for example), the production of fossil fuel electricity is releasing pollutants, contributing to global warming and numerous issues that accompany it.

As green homes are built with less embodied energy, less greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere. It would be possible to prevent further environmental damage if only more builders and homeowners opted for sustainable building. Using alternative sources of energy and saving water is easy with additions such as solar panels and rainwater tanks.

Green homes are also responsible for reducing waste as sustainable building is focused on reusing materials and deconstruction, instead of demolition and construction from the start. Finally, green homes are built to last. Increasing durability by using construction materials that last results in reducing a significant amount of waste over time.

Economic benefits
Most people are mistaken thinking that sustainable building must be expensive. The truth is that green homes don’t necessarily have to be more expensive than regular ones. Even if there are some additional costs, future savings are tenfold.

Green design provides energy efficiency that leads to tangible reductions in operation costs. Therefore, there is no need to worry about additional project costs – reductions in monthly water and energy bills should make up for the investment.

People who are thinking of selling their property in the future should seriously consider green building. A study carried out by The Earth Advantage Institute shows that sustainability-certified homes sell for up to 30 percent more than their regular counterparts. The resale value of property is increased due to lower overall operating costs, reduced energy needs and easy maintenance.

Social benefits
Increased health and comfort represent the social benefits of green homes. This is not surprising as green builders use natural and non-toxic materials and products in construction such as formaldehyde-free flooring and carpeting. Healthy air ventilation, natural lighting, stable temperature and insulation play an important part in occupants’ health and all these factors increase human productivity and well-being.

How can our health be affected by poor indoor conditions? Sick building syndrome is a range of various health problems that can occur because of indoor toxins. Occupants can suffer from asthma and other respiratory problems, allergies, headaches, rashes, nausea, etc. If you’re experiencing these conditions, you should think about removing toxins from your living environment and introducing healthy ventilation.
More pleasing aesthetic qualities and improved overall quality of life are other social benefits we can get from switching to green building.

Building a green home
How can you make your home green? Energy efficiency is maybe the most important characteristic of a green home. Some of them feature rainwater tanks and other additions that reduce the consumption of water from the regular water supply. Installing solar panels provides homes with clean energy and they further reduce operational costs.

Sustainable building also involves using recycled and recyclable materials in construction. Builders are turning to traditional and proven methods. Recycled stone, straw bale, rammed earth and mud brick, new forms of concrete (with less embodied energy), FSC-certified timber, bamboo – those are the materials that are used in green building today.

There is no real green design without smart home positioning and high-quality insulation. We have already mentioned good air ventilation, natural lighting and a steady, comfortable temperature, all of which contribute to the occupants’ well-being and productivity. This is most easily achieved with the help of spatial zoning, orientation, ventilation, shading, glazing, using thermal mass and appropriate insulation.

Various countries offer different tax incentives and rebates to home buyers of green homes. Also, the number of builders who are able to provide you with a true and certified eco-home is on the rise. Home buyers, builders and the government – they all see the benefits of sustainable building and welcome green homes as the best option for our future. Have these facts in mind the next time you’re looking to buy or build a home and opt for a solution that will benefit both you and the environment!Various countries offer different tax incentives and rebates to home buyers of green homes. Also, the number of builders who are able to provide you with a true and certified eco-home is on the rise. Home buyers, builders and the government – they all see the benefits of sustainable building and welcome green homes as the best option for our future. Have these facts in mind the next time you’re looking to buy or build a home and opt for a solution that will benefit both you and the environment!IMG_2378.JPG

Test Drive Results 2016 Chevrolet Volt Plugin Hybrid Electric Car

This version of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt plugin hybrid electric car is a take on looks and technology from the old Cadillac ELR. While the ELR had an amazing grill and leather dashboard, everything else was pretty much the same.

One of the cool things they did too was move the cup holders and charger in front of the back two seats. In the older Volt they had everything between both seats which didn’t enable a third seat option or an arm rest.
image

Chevrolet estimates that Volt owners who charge regularly can expect to drive an estimated 1,000 miles or more between fill-ups, based on economy of a GM-estimated 102 MPGe (electric) and 41 combined mpg on gasoline power.
image

Really though, one of the best parts of the 2016 model is going from around 26 mile all electric range to over 53 miles (rated by EPA).

That is around 90 percent of most trips in any given day!!

The new Volt has a rate of 53 miles of electric but in normal mode I got 60 Miles all Electric every time.  Tests showed closer to 60 miles in ECO driving Mode; many drivers will go months at a time

New look for the Volt – Much Better!
One of the noticeably new features of the Volt was its looks. New lines and contours makes this a real car. What I mean is it looks like a normal non eco car. That makes it noticeable to the guy on the utility line to a woman in a parking lot.

Chevrolet MyLink (recommended app download)
Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet MyLink organizes and integrates your technology so you can enjoy every ride. More information here:http://www.chevrolet.com/mylink/2016-volt.html.

ChargePoint (recommended app download)

ChargePoint is the largest and most connected network of EV charging stations around. With more than 33,000 EVSE places to charge from all major networks, the most real-time data and personalized features, our newest EV charging mobile app makes it easy to plug in wherever you go.

Awesome Review of C-MAX Energi Plugin Hybrid Electric Car on Answers.com

Awesome Review of C-MAX Energi Plugin Hybrid Electric Car

Folks, this is a fun and exciting car to drive. My wife loved the car, the kids loved the car and so did I.

Therefore, this car gets two thumbs up in the Green Living Guy household.  The main problem with the car was giving it back!! Seriously!

Ford announced back in 2012 that the new C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) would be able to go up to 550 miles on a single tank of gas. This news was met with skepticism until the test drive. The vehicle did exceed the range of both the Volt and the Prius plugin hybrid PHEV.

C-Max Energi

In addition, Ford guaranteed that in electric-only mode, the C-MAX Energi gets twice the range of the Prius plug-in. So while skeptical about the car’s purported fuel efficiency, after testing the C-MAX there is no question they are telling the truth.

Other Impressions
Here is what else impressed me about the car. The engine was not using all it’s gusto to go up hills. That is not the case with other popular hybrids. Basically, the C-MAX Energi packs a punch! In addition, the vehicle had an SUV feel to it even though it is a small car.

C-Max Energi Plugin hybrid Electric Car

Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar Team Up to Bring Automotive Battery Innovation to the U.S. Residential Solar Market

Exclusive collaboration marks entrance of Mercedes-Benz Energy products into U.S. market

Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar (NYSE: VSLR) announced an exclusive strategic collaboration to bring the Mercedes-Benz customizable home energy storage system to the U.S. The two companies will introduce a joint offering that will provide customers with the German engineering and performance of Mercedes-Benz batteries coupled with Vivint Solar’s expertise in designing, installing and servicing solar energy systems.

For Vivint Solar, which has a proven track record of installing solar energy systems in more than 100,000 homes across the U.S., this is the first collaboration to integrate batteries with its offering. This will also be Mercedes-Benz Energy’s first collaboration with a U.S. solar provider, bringing its premium, high-performance, road-tested technology for home use to the residential battery market. These storage systems are made to Mercedes-Benz quality standards and based on the same automotive-grade battery technology used in its electric and hybrid vehicles.

“As Mercedes-Benz electrifies its vehicle fleet, solar plus storage is essential to enable those vehicles to be powered by clean energy,” said Boris von Bormann, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, LLC.

“With batteries featuring the best in automotive engineering from Mercedes-Benz, and high-quality solar energy systems from Vivint Solar, our solution allows customers to take the next step toward a sustainable energy future. The launch of our home battery system in Europe has been successful and we are thrilled to be working with Vivint Solar to bring a reliable and compelling solar plus storage offering to American homes.”

Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar (NYSE: VSLR) announced an exclusive strategic collaboration to bring the Mercedes-Benz customizable home energy storage system to the U.S. The two companies will introduce a joint offering that will provide customers with the German engineering and performance of Mercedes-Benz batteries coupled with Vivint Solar's expertise in designing, installing and servicing solar energy systems.
Source: Mercedes-Benz

With energy storage to complement rooftop solar, Vivint Solar customers will be able to have more control over the renewable energy they generate. In addition to providing a backup power source if the grid goes down, the new combined solution may help customers reduce energy costs. For instance, in areas with time-of-use electricity rates, customers can store excess solar energy produced by the system during the day in the batteries and then consume it during periods of peak energy usage in the evening and at night when electricity rates are typically higher.

With energy storage to complement rooftop solar, Vivint Solar customers will be able to have more control over the renewable energy they generate. In addition to providing a backup power source if the grid goes down, the new combined solution may help customers reduce energy costs. For instance, in areas with time-of-use electricity rates, customers can store excess solar energy produced by the system during the day in the batteries and then consume it during periods of peak energy usage in the evening and at night when electricity rates are typically higher.

Each energy storage system will consist of modular 2.5 kWh batteries that can be combined to create a system as large as 20 kWh, making it easy to scale and tailor energy storage systems to individual customer profiles. Vivint Solar will customize each system based on the customer’s individual energy consumption needs, providing consumers with an important tool to help them manage their energy costs while utilizing clean energy.

“The choice to work with Mercedes-Benz Energy, a world-class innovator in energy storage, was an easy one,” said David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar. “We believe their energy storage system is going to delight our customers and are impressed with their ambitious plans for the future. We look forward to bringing this innovative solution to consumers, beginning in our California markets, and to empowering greater renewable energy usage.”

“According to Parks Associates research, 79% of rooftop solar PV owners purchased their system to save money on electricity,” said Tom Kerber, director IoT strategy, at Parks Associates. “Adding storage is an obvious approach to improve the return on investment on a solar solution. Three-quarters of households view battery storage as an important addition to solar panels.”

With energy storage to complement rooftop solar, Vivint Solar customers will be able to have more control over the renewable energy they generate. In addition to providing a backup power source if the grid goes down, the new combined solution may help customers reduce energy costs. For instance, in areas with time-of-use electricity rates, customers can store excess solar energy produced by the system during the day in the batteries and then consume it during periods of peak energy usage in the evening and at night when electricity rates are typically higher.
California is the first U.S. market where Vivint Solar will exclusively offer this solution directly to homeowners. Beginning in Q2, new customers in California will be able to buy the offering outright or finance the purchase, either through one of the institutions Vivint Solar has relationships with or their preferred lender.


Sources: Mercedes-Benz Energy, visit vivintsolar.com/battery, Mercedes-Benz Energy, www.mercedes-benz.com/energy, May 18, 2017 – LEHI, Utah and SUNNYVALE, Calif.

Green Living Guy TV Segment on Sustainable Food

When it comes to food we really don’t talk about “Life cycle assessments”. Yet they can bring better farming techniques and animal awareness to farmers and those who regularly work with the meat industry. Collaborating with farmers and adjusting the way that they are paid will end up bringing much larger improvements into the food handling industry itself, starting at the source.

Below is my segment with NYC Media on Sustainable Food. We touch a lot of the things listed about the life cycle assessment and other things too!

I really also suggest to check out the Union Square Farmers Market! The most amazing food you’ve ever tasted  For real!

IMG_0628

Hope you enjoy the segment and also I gave an infographic on the other ways to make food more sustainable (besides composing which we talk about in the video below!).

IMG_0629