One major way to go green is to change the way you live, especially where you live. Remodeling your house the green way is easier than you think. You can start with simple ways to make your home more energy efficient.
A prime example is to replace your existing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. These compact light bulbs may cost a bit more than the standard bulbs but will save you money in the long run. They last much longer and produce more light even as they consume less electricity.
Also, when it's time to change your appliances, opt to buy energy saving appliances. This especially goes for kitchen appliances that are left on all the time like the fridge. Replace your thermostat too with a computerized one. With its more accurate reading, a digital thermostat makes your home heating and cooling systems work more efficiently.
If you are planning a major home remodeling, be sure that your contractor is certified in working on green homes. He would be able to give correct advice on the materials and furnishings you should use for your home. You should really get one that is certified, since it can also save you money come tax time when you can receive tax credits for specific implementations.
Ask your contractor to install insulated windows. While you're at it, replace your toilets and faucets with ones that are more water efficient. For flooring, use renewable materials such as wood or stone tiles instead of vinyl. They look more natural, and you can drape rugs over them for warmth and a cozier look. Speaking of carpets and rugs, these should be made from natural materials. If you can't find any, use those that are recyclable.
Lastly, cover your walls with paint that is low in volatile organic compounds or have none at all. These are healthier than the standard ones. Keep in mind that not only are toxic fumes emitted when paint is applied but you and your family will keep on breathing them in all throughout the time that the paint is on your wall.
Remodeling your house to be a green home is challenging but worth it. Not only will your house be a healthier home but you can also save in terms of energy consumption. And if you are lucky enough, some cities or states give tax breaks for those who do this.