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Choosing a green Home

The green movement has gathered enough momentum to become a ful1-fledged revolution. This is, of course, a big leap from twenty years ago, when every middle class household still used hair spray instead of hair gel. Nowadays, everybody .wants to go green, and no one's stopping them. Even in the field of architecture, a green philosophy is always welcome. Now buildings are going green, and so are houses.

The buildings of the future, even in a Third World country like ours, all promise to be environment-friendly. Right nor.4 there are actually some buildings that are attempting to do just that. Some of us, however, may not be able to wait ' twenty, thirty years for the law to require all structures to follow a green code. But there are some ways we can go green right now. For those who are just starting a new family, and thus on the lookout for a place they can call home, here are some tips for choosing a green or green-friendly habitat.

Windows are the key

Windows actually serve two purposes. The first purpose is pretty obvious: ventilation. The more windows a house has, the more air can circulate freely. In, the temperate zones, windows are not that preferred as in the tropics. This is because windows let in cold ai9 especially in the freezing winter months. This lowers the air temperature inside the house, forcing the inhabitants to crank up the thermostat. Heating a house is not free; it actu4lly costs a fortune. You can actually tell a rich man's house by how warm and comfortable it is in winter.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, for those who love snow), the Philippines does not have that sort of problem. What we do have, however, is sweltering summer heat. There are several ways to counter the intense tropical heat. One of them is air conditioning. But in this country, all conditioning is a rich man's game. The poor people go to malls, where air conditioning is free. The poor man's air conditioner is the electric fan but keeping several fans turning 2417 will rack up a huge electric bill. The cheapest solution is, of course, windows. A lot of huge windows will give you all the ventilation you'll need.

The second purpose of windows is lighting. More windows equal more sunlight. More sunlight equals less artificial light. Less artificial light equals ' less electric consumption. And less electric consumption equals more energy saved.

Choose the orientation

Not all houses are perfect squares. Most will be rectangular in shape, with one side longer than the other. When choosing a home, make sure that the longer side does not fall along the east-west axis. Also make sure that there are no windows facing east or west. Or if there has to be windows, make sure that these windows are not huge. Having windows facing east and west, with the long side of the house lying on the east-west axis, will not only blind you with direct sunlight for at least six hours every day, it will also heat up the entire house before the sun has reached a 30-degree angle.

Choose the color

Contrary to what the name may suggest, a green roof is not green. Let me rephrase that: a green roof is not eco-friendly. Neither is any colored roof. There is only one eco-friendly color your roof can have, and that is white. The color white actually reflects light. This is the reason a white shirt is better on a hot day. A white roof actually has 50{1104248511d637c6a51014dcaacb77de829b1de96a4faa7392b7bed9a15aa427} less heat gain than a black roof. This means that a white roof will actually stay cool longer than a black roof, or any other color for that matter.

The same goes for the walls of a house. White walls are always preferable, since they greatly reduce the heat transferred from the roof to the inside of the house: Another tip: if you have curtains in the house, do try and make them white. Not only will they match the color of the walls, but they will store far less heat than colored drapes. Also, try not to use heavy drapes. There are some lacy curtain designs you can choose from, which will allow the room to breathe more.

Some of the more artistically-inclined among you might argue that having an all-white house is too plain. Well, you can always counter with the argument that " white is minimalist, and minimalist is good." But the truth is a real artist will not be held down by an all-white limitation on the color scheme. You can actually accent white walls with paintings, which will make their colors stand out more. And anyway, you didn’t choose the color white because you have poor taste in color combinations. You chose white as a statement, which is your way of showing Mother Earth that you are helping the environment in every little way you can.

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