Save Money by Saving the Planet: Tips for incorporating sustainable and green living elements into our homes

Living green has been a priority for Americans for more than a decade as we strive to improve the environment and preserve our natural resources.

During these tough economic times, living green is also important when it comes to saving money. So what better way to go green than to incorporate it into the homes in which we live?

Experts from Desert Star Construction, which commits itself to green building as a standard, explains some of today’s most popular ways to make your house green:

Green LivingSolar

Living in Arizona, we have one of the best natural resources available — sunlight. The Arizona sun fuels solar electric and solar water heating systems at little or no cost. It also makes our new — and retrofit — green homes 40 percent to 70 percent more efficient, resulting in similar reductions in monthly bills.

Breathing easy

Blowing dust is common in Arizona, especially during the monsoon season. Homeowners are installing air purification systems that work wonders on indoor air quality. Most choose an advanced electronic system or a premium particle filter. Others opt to install geothermal heating and cooling systems that offer significant energy savings.

Lighting the way

When it comes to lighting, green living embraces everything from LEDs to advanced home automation systems. Some of these systems even feature room motion detectors and provide the ability to program lighting to double the life of your bulbs.


Back in the day, we called this “recycling.” By salvaging and reusing, we’ve brought building waste on our green construction sites down significantly. Homeowners are following that lead as they decorate with old stones, salvaged bricks and antiques. It’s a great, sustainable way to create that coveted and comfortable look. And it keeps a substantial amount of material out of landfills.

Sustainable standards

Products that embrace green standards are very popular these days. They include low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, sustainable fabrics, Energy Star appliances and hard-surface floors that avoid chemical emission that some carpets produce. They also reduce  allergens in the air.

Going with the (low) flow

What’s the one thing we really need to conserve? That’s right, water. Low-flow faucets and toilets continue to top the most-popular lists, and are an increasingly affordable way to add to a cumulative positive impact.

Intelligent irrigation

Here in the desert we love our gardens — whether they include native plants or not. Efficient watering systems keep yards green and drastically reduce outdoor water use, which the EPA says accounts for 30 percent of domestic U.S. water consumption.

Interested in sustainable and green living when it comes to your home? Visit Desert Star Construction at or call (480) 951-4425 to schedule a SMART audit that will evaluate your home’s energy and water use.

Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011