Smaller cars, increased recycling, even the food we eat; the push to be eco-friendly has included just about everything and homes are no exception. The fall Parade of Homes includes three certified green homes. But it may surprise you just how little it takes to receive the certification.
From the outside, certified homes look like any other home. On the inside, you still need to look very closely to find the differences.
"I think what being green is, is reducing, I'd say, the carbon footprint that we put on this earth. I think that's a pretty good generalization of what your trying to achieve," builder Paul Fick said.
Paul Fick Homes has two of the three certified green homes in this year's parade of homes.
"You're going to have higher efficient windows, insulation, the way you build even gutters and down spouts, getting the water away form the foundation," Fick said.
They're things you'll find in any other home, but in a certified green home, they're just a little different. But living in a green home also has a lot to do with what the homeowner does once they move in.
"Whether it's programming thermostats, using better filters on your furnace, reducing water consumption, things like that, recycling, all that stuff," Fick said.
While you might expect to see solar panels and geo-thermal heating at a green home, that isn't always the case. There are four categories of green: bronze, silver, gold, and emerald. This home is bronze.
"I've had comments from couples over just the Parade of Homes, where different couples will ask, it isn't so much that the house is green-build, it's like 'hey, if we do build a house with you, how much money can we save if we don't do green.' And we have to kind of get rid of that attitude," Fick said.
In fact, he says the difference to go green is only a few hundred dollars up front. But in a home like this, you'll save much more in the end.
Fick is glad to see more people looking at green homes as viable options and believes it will soon become a requirement for builders.