Green building is a concept that will be around for a long time. Every day the concern over conserving natural resources reaches another new high. Occasionally, due to increased demand or fuel shortages, the cost of energy can suddenly rise. Consumers pay the price.
What can you do about it? Plenty! The more self-sufficient you become, the less dependent you are on the utility companies and their fees. I continually look for new ways to lower energy costs and conserve natural resources. Some might potentially add value to my property.
You can conserve natural resources by implementing passive solar designs and rain catchment systems, to name a few.
Passive Solar - Build a Patio Cover
Solar home designs that include passive solar heating (and cooling) are the most natural ways to conserve energy. You can also add a patio cover or awning to help prevent the sun's rays from heating the sunny afternoon side of your house. I built a patio cover on the west side of my house that keeps direct sunlight from shining through three windows and a door while adding outdoor living space. My utility costs dropped immediately.
Rain Harvesting Calculator
If you live in an area prone to drought, you might consider installing a rain catchment system to store rainwater for dry periods. There are several sizes and types of rain barrels to choose from. Use the built-in calculator on this page to determine your rainwater collection needs.
Other Ideas for Saving Money and Conserving Resources
If you have the space in your yard, creating a garden and growing your vegetables is rewarding and a great way to cut food costs. If you don't have a yard, you can grow many vegetables and herbs in pots on your patio.
Rain Harvesting / Rain Catchment Systems
For more information on water catchment systems, please review The Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting. This guide covers various materials used for water tank construction, water treatment options, and capacity planning based on average rainfall.
If you have any ideas that you would like to share on this site, please use the contact us form available on this site.