8 Ways to Embrace Your "Green Goddess"

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Women hold $5 trillion in purchasing power each year and make most of the financial decisions regarding the home, from the purchase to remodeling projects. When it comes to being green at home, female homeowners say they want eco-friendly features that: - make sense for their lives - reinforce their feelings as chic, smart buyers - are easy to do - save them money - improve their families' quality of life - minimize their impact on the Earth During a panel at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas, Celia Canfield of West Coast Green, Linda Hebert of Diversified Marketing & Communications, Sara Lamia of Building Coach and Michelle Roberts of Chatham Hill Res. Design & Build, shared these eight ideas for embracing your domestic green goddess.

Monitor How Much Energy You Use

New technology has made it possible for homeowners to keep track of their energy consumption and adjust accordingly to save money. Wireless energy dashboards sit in your home and monitor energy data from your electricity meter. Find out what times of day offer the cheapest electricity delivery rate. There are even products that let you monitor your consumption while you're outside the home. Shown here, the PowerTab In-Home Display provides wireless real-time information on power consumption and electricity rates. Photo courtesy of Energy Aware

Harvest and Recycle Rainwater

Rainwater harvesting involves collecting water either from the roof or the ground and then diverting it to storage tanks. For every inch of rain that falls on 1,000 square feet of roof area, 600 gallons of water can be collected for harvesting. Rainwater can be used for watering your garden as well as for flushing toilets, washing laundry and bathing. Rainwater stored in food-grade HOGs can be used as an emergency potable water supply. Rainwater is soft water, which means that it won't cause a build-up of calcium in your plumbing like hard water can. You can drink rainwater as long as your roofing material does not contain toxic materials. Photo courtesy of Rainwater HOG

Use Recycled Glass

Colorful, randomly patterned recycled glass is a high-end product that is visually self-explanatory and a great conversation starter. Whether you use it in countertops or a decorative window, showcase your green chic and "green brag" to guests. ©2008 Joel Puliatti for Vetrazzo

Ask for Native Wood

Install flooring that uses wood that's native to the area. It gives a personal touch to your green efforts and makes a strong, memorable impression.

Make Recycling a Habit

Integrate custom recycling bins into your kitchen design, like these seamless chutes, so it's stylish and second nature.

Choose LED Lighting

Beautiful LED lighting can introduce fine art to the meaning of green. These energy efficient fixtures can be intricate, unique and colorful.

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Keep your family healthy and comfortable with technology that improves indoor air quality. MaxAir, for instance, creates a high-efficiency air stream that transports vacuumed dirt, dust and odors from throughout your home through a network of in-wall tubing directly to the power unit. Photo courtesy of H-P Products

Learn About Biomimicry-Based Technologies

Stay on top of the latest green technologies that can be used for and around your home. Companies are designing innovative household products that imitate biological processes in nature, while not tapping natural resources. Some examples: - Sharklet: A special pattern inspired by the microbe-resistant properties of shark skin inhibits bacterial growth. The pattern on an adhesive film will repel bacteria pathogens from hospitals, public restrooms and consumer products. - Lotusan paint: A self-cleaning silicone exterior paint based on the lotus flower's highly water-repellent surface and its self-cleaning properties. - Gecko tape: Modeled after a gecko's ability to adhere to various kinds of surfaces, the tape will allow items to defy gravity. Photo courtesy of Sharklet Technologies.