“When it comes to sustainability, each and every individual matters,” says Salman Zafar, founder of EcoMENA. “A single person has the potential to start a big movement, and Greta Thunberg is the best example.”
And with green innovation more important than ever before, states across the nation have begun looking to Colorado as a leader in zero-energy infrastructure. Both the United States and Canada have seen a 59% growth in zero energy residence inventory over 2018 and into 2019; however, some states have contributed more directly to this growth than others. As Colorado continues to treat going green as a top priority, the eyes of the entire nation are watching.
Household Updates Leading Change
While many see green innovation as a phenomenon that happens on a larger scale with major infrastructure, some of the most effective changes for reducing energy consumption happen in residential buildings and homes. Most of the changes made aren’t even necessarily conscious decisions. For example, the National Weather Service reports that it generally takes a hailstone the size of a golf ball to damage a vehicle or roof. Homeowners are most likely to repair roofs following weather damage; 65% said it was their main motivation in a consumer survey. This damage, however, can be the additional motivation that homeowners need to upgrade their roofing to an energy-saving option that will slowly bring them closer to living in a net-zero energy home.
Some Residences Reach Net Zero
As more homeowners in Colorado make these gradual changes towards energy efficiency, some are able to reduce energy consumption drastically. Many homeowners throughout the state now live in net-zero energy homes, meaning that they ultimately negate their overall energy consumption or are well on their way to achieving that goal. Even simple measures can result in a home being on track to reduce their energy use to zero or near-zero. LED lighting technology, for example, is getting to the point where LEDs are starting to replace traditional light bulbs in gadgets and homes, as some LEDs can last up to 50,000 hours. Floor plan also has a big impact on energy.
“I really love open concept floor plans, which make your place looks larger and make gathering spots more flexible and cozy for your family.” – According to simpleula.com
You can leave some LEDs on 24 hours a day and they would last almost seven years.
There are so many ways to make your home more eco-friendly, even if you aren’t quite ready for the net-zero lifestyle. Simply switching to LED bulbs as your old incandescent bulbs burn out will make a huge difference, as LED lights use just 15% as much energy as a typical bulb, while offering nearly twice the level of light output. Likewise, modern appliances are far more energy-efficient than your parent’s appliances, often while offering superior performance.
So while skeptics may think of going green as a chore, in reality, it can offer major convenience benefits — not to mention financial and energy savings.
National Recognition Of Progress
Colorado’s environmental efforts in residential and commercial structures alike have caught the attention of the national stage. Recently, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis turned its attention towards Colorado as a model of progress. The committee hearing, which took place in Boulder, specifically addressed energy consumption and the shift to renewable resources for general energy use. While much progress has yet to be made, it seems as though Colorado will serve as a leader in fighting climate change for the entire nation.
The Future Of Green Home Construction
While some states currently exceed others in their capacity for green construction, the nation as a whole is moving more towards an emphasis on eco-mindedness in infrastructure. Many young homeowners nowadays are looking specifically for environmentally-friendly homes, and Colorado is likely to become a leader in this market for years to come. With more technology and methods to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact being created daily, it remains to be seen just how many homes will eventually reach the lofty goal of a net-zero energy impact.
Says Fran Teplitz of Green America, “We can all take steps in our daily life, through the products and services we purchase, reuse, repair, and share to help ensure that our homes, workplaces, and communities are ‘green’ and support human and environmental health. Learn more at https://www.greenamerica.org/most-popular-green-living-tips“