Green Investment Resources: Sustainable Insulation

Insulation is an integral part of building a new sustainable home or retrofitting an older home to be more sustainable. In fact, focusing on insulation is one of the most effective ways that homeowners or builders can retrofit a home with sustainable features.  Builders can switch out older insulation, containing potentially harmful materials, for new or recycled sustainable insulation, or even insulation made from natural materials.  Sustainable insulation should have better insulating capacity, and should not contain harmful chemicals. Harmful chemicals in insulation can include formaldehyde-based binders, isocyanates, halogenated flame retardants, and organotin catalysts. Ideally, sustainable insulation should be made …

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Green Investment Resources: WaterSense

WaterSense is a voluntary partnership program and certification sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). WaterSense can be used as a label for efficient products, specific water-conserving services, and even homes. The WaterSense mission is to prioritize water conservation and create a dialogue surrounding the future of water availability. Whether a homeowner is searching for a home with WaterSense features, or hoping to purchase WaterSense products to furnish a home, this program will illuminate new ways to bring sustainability into the home. Consumers can expect the WaterSense label to be applied to programs, homes, and products that meet the …

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Shifting Focus: Sustainable Fishing

We mostly focus on the mechanics of home finance with our content. It’s what we know and an easy place for us to speak from. However, the questions we are most often asked in comments and when talking with friends and colleagues mainly circle around something we refer to as “But Can It Work?” with respect to businesses. What we mean here is that people often get defensive when it’s put to them that their business isn’t green or environmentally sustainable, adding carbon to the atmosphere and likely warming the earth. When we offer them solutions for their business or …

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Green Investment Resources: The International Green Construction Code (IgCC)

Understanding the governing bodies behind green and sustainable codes can allow homeowners to reap the benefits of rebates and other tax incentives. The International Green Construction Code, also known as IgCC, is one of those bodies. This code provides a comprehensive set of requirements intended to reduce the negative impact of buildings on the natural environment. The code can be readily used by manufacturers, design professionals, and contractors for a variety of projects in unlimited situations. The IgCC was developed by the International Code Council in association with cooperating sponsors, such as ASTM International and the American Institute of Architects. …

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Green Investment Resources: SRI and Environmental Investment

Green investments are, essentially, investment activities which focus on companies and projects committed to one of the following missions.   The conservation of natural resources The production and discovery of alternative energy sources The implementation of clean air and water projects Any other environmentally conscious business practice   The term, though ubiquitous in nature, applies to a very specific type of investment. Colloquially, a green or environmental investment is one in which the activities, in a popular context, could be considered good for the environment—either directly or indirectly. A green portfolio can include anything from securities and mutual funds to …

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Green Investment Resources: LEED Certification

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, known colloquially as LEED, is a rating system created by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The system is designed to evaluate the environmental performance of a specific building, and concomitant benefits encourage the market’s transformation into sustainable designs and Green energy production. The system is credit-based, and projects earn points for specific environmentally friendly actions taken during both the construction and the use of a building. LEED Certification Levels, as well as their corresponding points values, follow below.   Certified—40-49 Points Silver—50-59 Points Gold—60-79 Points Platinum—80-110 Points   LEED points are awarded …

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Green Investment Resources: Professional Home Energy Audits

Energy audits are a simple and easy way to save money and improve your overall home comfort. An energy assessment will provide significant details to assess the ways in which your home utilizes energy. By conducting a room-by-room examination of a residence and a thorough review of past utility bills, a professional can better understand the areas of your home which generate the most waste and cost the most money. When conducting a home energy audit, the professional will conduct a series of tests. This can include a blower door test, a thermographic scan, and a PFT air infiltration measurement. …

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Green Investment Resources: National Green Building Standard

The National Green Building Standard is approved by the American National Standards Institute as an American National Standard. NGBS provides critical criteria for rating the environmental impact of design and construction practices in order to achieve the conformance with optimal performance levels in green residential buildings. Incentives exist for NGBS Green-certified projects, but they vary by state. All NGBS state incentive programs are listed on the Home Innovation website. Financing avenues and federal agencies can also comply with NGBS standards. Fannie Mae, for example, recently announced additional green loan incentives, a free Energy and Water Audit opportunity, and access to additional …

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