Ventura Goes Green

Image courtesy of <a href="" target="_blank">Horton Group</a>

Image courtesy of Horton Group

Earth Day is April 22, but you can celebrate the earth every day of the year by incorporating green building and remodeling practices into your home. Allen Associates Green Resources Manager Karen Feeney shares these tips:

Take a look at your operating efficiency. You’ll save money on utilities by making greener choices for your home. For example, a remodel is the perfect opportunity to put in a high efficiency furnace. “There are so many energy efficient systems that are out there right now, that are 90 to 97 percent efficient, so if you can put in a new heating system it’s going to make your house more comfortable because it’s going to work really well and also it’s not burning up fossil fuels to operate.”

Green doesn’t necessarily mean more expensive. Especially when you look at your long-term costs. “You’ve got that house for several years of your life, so it’s really a wise choice to go ahead and make some of those adjustments in your home because if you look at the lifespan of a home, you’re bringing your costs down and saving money.”

Improved insulation is one of the most cost effective ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Even if you are not taking down any walls, but you are going to repaint, you can go into an old house and you can drill small holes at the top and the bottom of the walls and blow in cellulose, which is recycled newspaper, or foam insulation, and that fills up the entire cavity and makes the home more airtight. Then you simply patch the holes and repaint the walls.

Tighter windows also improve insulation, bringing down your heating and cooling costs. “You can go in and do replacement on windows and do it very inexpensively. You can take, let’s say an aluminum framed single paned window and put in a window that fits in that same place that’s double-paned that can be a very energy efficient window.”

Carpets can be one of your home’s biggest health hazards. In part due to dust, mold, lead, and asbestos in the home, more than 38 percent of Americans suffer from allergies. “When you put a new carpet in your home and then you take it out ten years later, it can weigh three times more than the original carpet, especially if you have a dog or a lot of dirt tracked in…there’s documentation that if you take a carpet out of the home where somebody has asthma or allergies that their health improves immensely.”

For more Earth Day green living tips, check out these special events.

Midtown Green Home and Garden Tour
A self-guided home tour emphasizing sustainable building and/or gardening practices to see how others in the community are already using “green” principles. Sponsored by the Midtown Ventura Community Council and the City of San Buenaventura. Saturday, April 19, 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. $10. Tickets are available at Arketype Architects Inc., 275 S. San Clemente, 653.5088. For more information call Dan Long at 653.6573 or e-mail at

Earth Day Expo
Businesses and non-profit groups will share information that will help citizens “go green,” save energy, and save money. Sponsored by the Midtown Ventura Community Council and the City of San Buenaventura. Saturday, April 19, 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. Free. City of Ventura Sanjon Maintenance Yard, 336 Sanjon Road.

Free Green Building Workshop
Come celebrate Earth Day by learning from local building experts at Allen Associates how you can make your home healthier, energy efficient, more durable, and still stay within your budget. Tuesday, April 22, 7 to 9 P.M., Elizabeth Topping Room, E.P. Foster Library, 651 E. Main Street, Ventura. Free. Call 641.0839 to reserve a spot.

Originally published in Ventana Monthly in April 2008.

Image courtesy of Horton Group.

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