Santa Cruz Green Living

Found 114 blog entries about Santa Cruz Green Living .

Working to have a safe Santa Cruz home environment is important to everyone.  We want our children to have safe water, clean air, fresh food and a healthy earth for their future.

One area where you might consider decreasing your impact on the environment is in your own home construction. 

There are several ways you can have a safe and clean green home construction.

• Find a “green” builder to help with your Santa Cruz home.  Search the Internet for professional green builders.  It takes a special contractor to coordinate the elements of home building to ensure maximum energy savings.  Buying green materials is just one step toward having a green home.  To achieve ultimate efficiency, the different structural parts of plumbing, electricity, gas lines,

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It’s that time of year again, when the temperatures fall and the costs of heating your Santa Cruz home go up.  Do you worry about the increasing cost of heating oil and the rise in energy prices?  Then you may want to try these suggestions for saving on your home’s heating costs:

• Check all your home’s air vents to see that they are clean and free from any blockages.  Replace your furnace filters to keep the system running efficiently.

• Weather Seal your home.  Look around all the door and window frames on your house for obvious gaps and spaces that could let cold air into your house.  Fill in the gaps with a silicone caulking, sold at all hardware stores.  For high traffic areas like the doorway, you may want to apply a vinyl or metal

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Some potential homeowners just don’t want a pre-lived in Santa Cruz home. They’d rather have their house built to their own specifications. They want a home that fits their needs exactly. If this is you, I understand and would like to help by giving you a glimpse into the future of home design.

The Future of Design

Thinking of the future might bring ideas of fantastic scientific miracles like smart houses that vacuum themselves. While building your Santa Cruz home and having it wired as a smart home may be a good idea, think, also, about sustainable design. Here are just a few reasons why sustainable design is a great idea:

1. Government mandates and incentives – Under the current administration, sustainable design is a big thing. In fact, many cities

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Not everybody is dealing with the worry of buying or selling Santa Cruz real estate. Some are quite happy where they are, have no intention of moving, and selling is the last thing on their minds.

However, there are a lot of incentives out there to do something in Santa Cruz real estate, and many are itching to dip into those incentives. So, if you’re not selling or buying, what can you do? Here are a few ideas:


Upgrades are something you can do to your home at any time. However, with the many government incentives out there, you can upgrade your home to be more energy efficient for less. For example, thanks to federal tax credits, you can install solar panels or a geothermal heat pump and get 30% back once you file your federal taxes.

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If you think Santa Cruz homes are in style, you just might want to look around.  The building trends for 2009 range from green to efficient and more.  Here’s a quick peek at the new trends – many of which look like they’re here to stay.

Smaller homes – Mansions are out and, believe it or not, matchbox houses are in.  Some buyers want downright tiny homes, and are even willing to build their own to get it.  If you own one of the Santa Cruz homes with a lot of square footage and want to sell, you might start counting.  How many of those rooms do you really need?  Can you knock out a wall to create larger, more open spaces?

More storage – Flat walls are out, closets are in.  Homebuyers are demanding storage spaces, from walk-in closets to built-in storage

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If you have some Santa Cruz real estate to sell or you just want to raise the property value, keeping hip to the market trends is paramount.  Kitchens are one of the biggest selling points of any residential property.  Energy efficient and cost effective are the catchwords of the day, and recycled is the way to go.  Here are a few of the newest eco-friendly kitchen products that can find you buyers and up your property value.

1. EverHot – Made by Water, Inc., the EverHot is an excellent addition to trendy kitchens.  No more boiling water, which makes it energy efficient and timesaving, EverHot is an under counter instant hot water heater.  It uses less electricity than a 40-watt bulb, but produces up to 60 cups of steaming water an hour.

2. Whirlpool

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Are you looking for something to do around your Santa Cruz home this weekend that will also help the environment? Why not do a quick green renovation at home. Incorporating green products and practices in your home save our natural resources and are better for your health. Here are a few simple projects you can work on this weekend.

1. Floors. You can easily replace the floor in a room during a weekend. Bamboo and cork floors are excellent environmentally-friendly choices because they are renewable sources. They come in a variety of colors and styles so you can find something that will match your current décor.

2. Paint. Painting a room is a quick and easy way to change its look. However, traditional paint is loaded with toxic fumes that can aggravate

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As most Santa Cruz real estate agents will tell you, remodeling, decorating or repairing your home can go a long way towards getting it sold.  For that matter, it can add value to your property in case you want to sell later – that is, if you don’t choose the wrong places to buy cheap:

• Windows – Never buy a window based on which one is cheapest.  You want windows that look good, and, as most Santa Cruz real estate agents will recommend, you want energy-efficient windows.  During 2009 and 2010, you may be eligible for a Federal Tax Credit for Energy Efficiency of up to $1500 when you purchase Energy Star windows.

• Paint – Paint is one of the biggest places people skimp when it comes to cost, and a big no-no.  Cheap paint may take several coats to look

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From household cleaning supplies to clothing, everything is going green. The same goes for the real estate market. Many potential home buyers want eco-friendly Santa Cruz real estate. Before you simply buy a home that's touted as green, consider these few tips for finding a truly green home.

1.  Work with an expert
It may be difficult for you to figure out what criteria designate a green home. That's why it's important to seek out a green real estate professional whose main focus is to help you sort through fact from fiction in the green housing industry.

2.  Buy in an eco-friendly neighborhood
Purchasing green Santa Cruz real estate doesn't necessarily mean the location will be environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, buyers may not factor in this

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Even if you don't have the money for extensive remodeling, you can still live greener in your Santa Cruz home with just a few simple changes. Every little improvement we make in the way we live is a step in the right direction toward making our world healthier.

Low-Cost Ways to Green Up Your Home

• Catch the rain: Conserving water by putting in new low-flow fixtures is one way of helping to conserve the planet's resources, but it isn't the only way. You can build a rain water reservoir using old barrels or other large containers to catch rain and use it for watering your garden or washing your car.

• Light up your life: Change the incandescent bulbs in your light fixtures to the new florescent bulbs designed for use in a regular light socket. They last

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