8 Ways to a Green Spring
by Elyse Umlauf
Adapted from a previous edition of The REsource newsletter
How appropriate is it that the Pantone Color for 2017, described as symbolic of new beginnings, is Greenery?
This spring can be your new beginning—a second chance to fulfill some of the New Year’s resolutions that have fallen by the wayside or an opportunity to create a fresh list of to-dos.
That could include renewing your home, finding greater energy savings, and establishing deeper roots in your community.
Here are 8 ideas.
1. Color. If you’re freshening up the paint in your house, consider this year’s “it” color, Greenery. Check out Pantone’s site to see the other shades that pair well with it.
2. In-demand home features. Take a look at the latest American Institute of Architects’ Home Design Trends Survey about the kitchen and bathroom features that are gaining in popularity among consumers. They include recycling centers, smart appliances, and water-saving toilets.
3. Systems upgrade. Get up to speed on a system that soon will need replacing—the HVAC, water heater, or roof—so you’re prepared with models and costs before you’re facing an emergency. You always make better decisions when you’re not buying in a crisis.
4. Tax refund. Invest your tax refund wisely. Set aside the money for a down payment on a house or use some of it for energy-saving upgrades—a programmable thermostat, new insulation, or an Energy Star appliance.
5. Utility company rebates. Check with your local utilities to see rebates and incentives they offer for energy efficiency changes and any demand pricing strategies (utility companies have different names for their programs, including hourly pricing, dynamic pricing, and real-time pricing) that could cut your bills. Search for incentives here.
6. Renovation savings strategies. This Old House features 21 ways to cut home remodeling costs, including incorporating used materials, donating your trash, and choosing wall– or ceiling–mounted light fixtures, which give off more light and are cheaper to install than recessed fixtures.
7. Housing trends. See the National Association of REALTORS’® REALTORS® and Sustainability report to learn how sustainability trends have taken hold in the real estate industry and the home features that matter most—including a comfortable living space and utility costs—to consumers.
8. Advocate for sustainability. Get involved in your city’s sustainability efforts. For instance, find a community garden, see if your city does participatory budgeting, attend a green festival, and be an advocate for biking, walking and hiking trails.