Give a Hoot

I’m not gonna lie to you—I was a little kid back when Jesus was a baby.

In those days of smoking indoors and driving without seatbelts, we did not talk about the environment. No, ma’am. Instead, we called it “ecology” and ecology involved a PSA about an old Native American man who was unhappy about people tossing trash out of their car windows. Because that’s what we all did with our garbage back then; we just let it fly. Most state governments didn’t even make anti-littering rules until the late 1970s. (Everyone can just stop doing the math right now about exactly how old I am, thank you very much.) Also, there used to be an environmentally conscious cartoon owl named Woodsy who’d sing about not being a “dirty bird” and who lured children around by blowing a whistle.

The seventies were a trip, y’all.

Anyway, we’ve come a long way since then, so today we’re going to talk about the benefits of environmentally friendly houses, especially because they’ll prevent bug-eyed birds from getting bossy.

In case y’all suspect I am making this up:


Go Green or Else

There’s a real possibility that you did not enjoy your summer because of climate-change-based factors. 2023 has been a rough one, y’all. Maybe you live in places where it’s been hot enough to bake a loaf of sourdough in your brick mailbox. Perhaps you dwell in a city where Canadian wildfire smoke turned your afternoons in the park into a post-apocalyptic hellscape. Or maybe you keep finding yourself glued to your television watching entire towns perish from either burning or flooding. (If you’re from Southern California, maybe what got you was a little something called a “hurriquake.”)

My point is, we are seeing real consequences from producing too much greenhouse gas. So, given the opportunity to prevent the above from happening, who wouldn’t want to conserve some natural resources by making their homes as green as possible? Especially because you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. (Unless y’all enjoy baking cookies inside your roasting hot automobile?)


One Ed Begley, Jr., Please

I don’t have a story for y’all today, per se. Rather I want to discuss the benefits of making more environmentally conscious choices because it’s important. Personally, I’m hoping to pass along a better world for my grandbabies, with the same access to the fresh air and green spaces I remember from growing up. (When we weren’t throwing trash out our car windows, I mean.)

When I talk about going green, this can encompass a whole myriad of environmental sustainability. And none of these suggestions are anything you’d have to do all at once if you weren’t building new construction, either. Basically, we’re talking about making your/your clients’ homes not only healthier and free from toxins, but also more efficient than the traditional home when it comes to using water, electricity, and other natural resources.

Okay,” you say, because you’re game and I appreciate that about you. “How do we go about making a house green, Glennda?”

Oh, my stars and stripes, there are so many easy ways! First, you could upgrade to energy-efficient appliances and fixtures—and that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with some weird, off-brand product, either. I mean, in the luxury space the majority of Sub-Zero’s products use less energy than a 100-watt light bulb! In fact, the high-efficiency appliances now use one-fifth the electricity that it used to take to run a fridge back in the 1970s, when the only things my mom was keeping cold were cans of TAB and mayonnaise-based salads. To be safe, during your next kitchen reno, tell your spouse, “Honey, we need Viking and Wolf appliances for the children.”

If you’re looking for other ways to conserve, consider adding insulation which would not only reduce heat loss, but also keep your home cooler. If you want to go bigger and more environmentally friendly, you could install solar panels, which can do anything from lighting your home to circulating your water to heating your swimming pool! (“Honey, we need to install and then heat our swimming pool with solar for the children.”)

Going green can improve the look of your home, especially when you use low-VOC paints and finishes or opt for natural materials like wood and stone. Plus, you can increase your curb appeal by using water-efficient, drought-tolerant native plantings, including trees and flowers. (“Honey, I need you to plant a better-looking yard than the neighbors have for the children.”)

If you’re building or renovating, yes, the price of creating a green home can be higher than the cost of building a traditional home. That said, I promise you’ll see the long-term savings when it comes to energy and water. Plus, green homes often appreciate in value more quickly than traditional homes, and who doesn’t want that?

The bottom line is, when we reduce greenhouse gasses through more conscious home choices, we not only better protect the environment, but we also reduce our operating costs and increase our resale value. Plus, it’s for the children.


Also, Don’t Be a Dirty Bird

“Dedication doesn’t have an off-season.”

Glennda Baker