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Episode Info: The Basics of Environmentally Sustainable Homes. In this post we will be discussing these questions: What makes homes or the materials used in them damaging to the environment? How you can know if materials used in your home are environmentally friendly? How can you reduce energy use in your home? How can you make your home more environmentally friendly? How Can Your Home be Damaging to the Environment? There are many ways that your home can be damaging to the environment and I will discuss a few of the major ones here: Energy Use Depletion of Natural Resources Damage to Natural Habitats 1. Energy Use One of the main ways (and sometimes the largest contributor) to your home being damaging to the environment is through energy consumption. In many parts of North America... or the world for that matter, energy is produced by burning fossil fuels which create emissions and deplete nonrenewable resources. If we are able to use less energy than we reduce the amount of pollution going into the atmosphere from producing that electricity. When you are thinking about how much energy you are using or trying to save in your home it is useful to know that saving a little bit of energy in your home results in saving a lot of energy at the production source. This comparison is known as source vs. site energy. Source vs. Site Energy Source Energy = Energy going into electricity production at power plants or whatever source is putting it onto the power grid. Energy is then lost through: Heat losses in combustion (For sources such as coal or natural gas) Traveling long distances through power lines. Every time the voltage gets stepped up or down through a transformer. Site Energy = Energy consumed at your home that you pay for and use. Having a knowledge of source vs. site energy can help you feel a little bit better about the small wins you are making in reducing your electricity usage. Electricity used to light up a room or brew your coffee isn't the only way that energy is used in your home though. Your home's energy use actually starts long before you move in. How does your home use energy? Energy is used and carbon emissions result from harvesting/manufacturing materials used in your home Energy fromRead more »

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