It's Not Easy Being Green

There are many times in life I think Kermit hit the nail on the head with his bold statement “It’s not easy being green”, like the time many years ago I wore a safari suit to a black tie dinner. But if we think it’s tough being green in our day to day lives, imagine how the real enviro-crusaders feel. They take the expression to a whole new level.

Thankfully the environment, and our need to reduce our impact on it, has become an increasingly prevalent issue, and one that more and more people are taking on board at a personal level. Minimising our carbon footprint is changing the way we think and behave. We’ve already accepted the introduction of energy efficiency ratings on our white goods, and if you’re anything like me, the guilt associated with buying a product boasting just half a star is enough to make me pay a premium for the more efficient model.

These types of green influences are beginning to translate directly to the real estate industry. As I mentioned yesterday, the desire to be green influences what buyers are looking for in a home, and what they’re prepared to fork out additional hard earned cash for. It is likely that a similar efficiency star rating system will be introduced for homes in the future. In fact, demographer Bernard Salt has gone so far as to say that energy ratings will become mandatory for all dwellings in coming years and I don’t doubt that this will become a major selling feature for many homes. Here in Australia in particular we have access to enough sunshine in some northern parts that could power the entire continent and people are beginning to want to see that translate over to home efficiency. 

 At a basic level, features like good insulation are a green step that most people take, and want to see offered in a home. Other features that home buyers are already actively seeking are energy efficient lighting, rain water tanks and solar energy such as solar heating. These types of green features are already beginning to make it onto the ‘in demand’ list of house-hunters and will become increasingly important for both buyers and sellers in future.

As much as I like to think all these initiatives are gaining momentum because we’re all doing our bit to save the Antarctic, the truth of the matter is that many green initiatives also save money in the long run. Houses which churn through an excessive amount of electricity are of course going to have a negative impact on the owner’s wallet as well as the planet. At the end of the day, even if it is money that drives us all to be green, I have to say the end justifies the means. And on that note, I best go tend to my compost.      
Posted by Charles Tarbey on 09/03/2009 at 9:02 AM | Categories:

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