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Climate Progress's suggestions for a green home

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Climate Progress published an interesting article saying "The first five steps to a greener home are not what the NYT’s Green Home column says." 


The NYT article in question called on architect Eric Corey Freed.  Now to be fair, it looks like Freed was misquoted in the NYT piece, and he certainly matches Climate Progress (you can see his response in the CP post's comments).  But the list compiled in the NYT is basically this:

  1. Reduce your vampire power
  2. Reduce your toilet's water consumption
  3. Get a low flow shower head
  4. Install a greywater system
  5. Get a programmable thermostat


Climate Progress says these steps are more important:

  1. Test your home for pollutants (lead, radon, carbon monoxide)
  2. Buy renewable power
  3. Green your appliances
  4. Wrap your hot water heater
  5. Get ceiling fans
  6. Get CFLs
  7. Turn off your computer and DVR at night
  8. Conserve water
  9. Paint your roof white for a cool roof



post #2 of 5

Not surprisingly, being a big ClimateProgress fan, I much prefer the second list.  As Romm notes, 3 of the 5 items on the NY Times list involve conserving water.  Yeah that's important and all, but it's not more important than reducing energy use.  The ClimateProgress list's top 7 items all have to do with conserving energy and  reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which I'm all about, so I think it's a much better list.

post #3 of 5

My thoughts:

from the NYT list

1. Reduce power overall - usually other items are bigger than the so called 'vampire' power - this includes turning off items likes PCs, DVRs etc

2. The greywater system is a lot easier said than done


from the CP list

1. Test your home and well water

2. If you want to do an Al Gore and buy your way out then go for green power

3. Buy energy efficient appliances for replacement or for a new home

4. Any newer hot water heater should be OK - one needing insulation probably needs replaced

5. Install solar hot water heating

6. Get CFLs or LEDs as applicable - some places Halogens are OK (short term use locations)


Additional points

1. Insulate the home to the max - top, bottom and sides

8. In the event of a new heating system or a replacement purchase check your options in regards to fuel costs and if possible go green to the max

9. Ignore 90 plus% of the 'green' articles you read - too many are pure BS. Do the research to determine what is good and what is not for yourself.

10. Consider HRV/ERV for good quality air in the home - heat recovery ventilation/energy recovery ventilation

11. Consider night cooling

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 


Originally Posted by Russ View Post


2. The greywater system is a lot easier said than done


Yeah, full greywater systems do take a lot of effort and you have to make sure that you're in compliance with state laws in terms of greywater use.  But I truncated the suggestion down significantly.  The NYT article specifically called out the AQUS and the SinkPositive as very easy greywater systems.  Basically, both those help cut down on your water consumption by using handwash water to flush your toilet.  They certainly don't account for your shower water or your laundry water but it's a pretty good start for a simple project. 


At the Huddler office, our SinkPositive took us all of five minutes to install once we figured out we needed to trim the tube a little.  I think it saves us a fair amount of water given that we're no longer "double dipping" for handwashing and toilet flushing.  And I myself have no problem flushing the toilet with slightly soapy water.

post #5 of 5

Regarding the suggestions to turn off electronics, you'll also conserve energy and electricity if you unplug those you don't use on a daily basis. Not only does your electric bill go down (as mine did), but you're also preventing electricity from flowing to an item that's not in use or powered on.



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