An Eco-Chic Primer May 16th, 2012 Being environmentally friendly is more than a trend. It’s a decision that benefits the environment, helping improve quality of life for everyone around the world and for future generations. Environmental stewardship and responsibility extends to virtually every aspect of daily life, but you can start by reducing the environmental impact of one of the most impactful factors: your home. Start From The Ground Up Eco-friendliness starts at the moment construction starts. If you are custom building your residence, make sure to work with a company that values the environment and knows how to keep it protected throughout the duration of the work. Using recycled materials when appropriate and responsibly manufactured products when recycled material won’t work is a cornerstone of this kind of building practice. Design For Sustainability An energy efficient home is an environmentally friendly home. There are many ways that you can adapt a new design or an existing property to make it more efficient. Using Energy Star rated appliances is a good start. Many of our clients update their appliances as part of San Diego home additions, but you don’t have to wait. It’s not just those ancient appliances that are wasteful – even relatively modern items may be surprisingly bad for the environment. Use Responsibly Sourced Materials The basic building materials aren’t the only part of your building that can potentially harm the environment. Think about what it takes to manufacture something like kitchen cabinets. San Diego doesn’t have many factories because it’s impractical to build right around here, but other states and countries feel the impact of manufacturing these items. Make sure that your kitchen cabinets are made with eco-friendly materials. You’ll appreciate the lack of an odor as they outgas and so will the environment. Even The Smallest Accents Count Finally, don’t neglect the impact of the furniture and other elements that you put in after construction has finished. Remember, each of these items may have been made in a factory as well. Even if not, they may have been shipped from overseas or had to travel through multiple states, dramatically adding to their environmental footprint. Whenever possible, buy things that are made locally using eco-friendly materials that have been minimally processed and treated.