Making do with less is what green living is all about. Less water, energy, and use of other natural resources, that is. A green home can still offer all the style, convenience, and comfort of any other home. It just does so by using resources, appliances, and materials that have less impact on the environment. The result: lower utility bills. A green home typically uses 25 percent less energy than a standard home, according to the U.S. Green Building Council website.
420 Acacia Avenue
1,500 square feet
Even a 1952 Corona del Mar cottage can epitomize green living when it’s updated with modern insulation, low-flow toilets, and water-wise drip irrigation. The original windows were restored for better efficiency, as well. The kitchen has white subway tiles and stainless-steel appliances, and the house has three bedrooms, two baths, and a family room with a fireplace. Casey Lesher, 949-702-7211
31502 Shrewsbury Drive
1,200 square feet
Though big on cottage charm, this 2014 Laguna Beach home is light on toxic materials. The cotton insulation and the tar-free shingles contribute to an eco-friendly environment. Double-pane windows, Energy Star doors, and a tankless water heater reduce energy use. The home with views of Catalina has two bedrooms and three baths. Mitch Frisch, 949-292-9944
27 Via Apuesto
2,550 square feet
Pull your electric vehicle into the two-car garage of this San Clemente house and plug into the 240V receptacle. Power for the 2004 Mediterranean-style home comes largely from solar panels on the roof. There are three bedrooms and three full baths. The backyard has drought-resistant plants and low-water drip irrigation. There’s also an energy-efficient spa. David Redderson, 949-338-6901
Wisdom On ‘Going Green’ from…
Annette Wiley of Wiley Architects in Newport Beach has 24 years of architectural know-how under her belt.
On now versus then …
Stricter building codes have resulted in more efficient homes. A house built or renovated to 2013 standards uses about half the energy as one built in 1975. One built to 2017 code will use even less—about 70 percent less than a 1975 home.
The holy grail of sustainability …
The focus now is on zero-net energy buildings, which produce enough renewable energy to meet their own annual energy consumption. Coming improvements in solar energy storage will make this easier to achieve.
Going green …
Using LED light bulbs, adjusting thermostat settings, and choosing energy-efficient appliances, windows,
and doors will reduce carbon footprints.
Being eco-minded …
Whirlpool’s food recycler Zera turns kitchen scraps into fertilizer in 24 hours. Reusable bamboo paper towels are machine washable, and plant-based cleaners are less toxic.