Every day, it seems like citizens and governments all over the world are becoming increasingly aware of the need to conserve. And while America is focusing more on the environment than it used to (with its newly popular green home building initiatives in particular), the U. S. is still behind the times when it comes to conservation. Europe in particular has been leading the way in green home building and especially in energy conservation for many years.
Energy Conservation in Europe
Europe is at the forefront of the green movement, including green home design. . . and with good reason. Because on the continent, gasoline, natural gases, and energy costs significantly more than it does in America, and it has been that way for many years. Because of this, both individual Europeans and European governments are much more energy conscious than Americans. This is seen in European culture in a lot of ways.
A big thing that separates Europe from the U. S.in energy conservation is a massive network of railroads and other forms of public transport. In addition to mass transit in essentially every major European city, the continent also boasts a well utilized long distance passenger rail service. And even though there are plenty of individually owned vehicles in European countries, most cities in Europe boast a higher percentage of mass transit users (and bicycle riders) than the United States.
European energy consciousness is also visible in the way Europeans build their homes. In Europe (especially in larger cities), they use green home building in a very practical, widespread, and simplistic way. Most people residing in a large European city live in a much smaller space than the average U. S. home. In addition, most European houses, apartments, and businesses use simple green home building ideas to keep their spaces cool in summer instead of the air conditioning so common in the U. S. These include roll down screens, patio shading, double windows, and more. Green Home Building in America
To sum it up: in Europe, the people have been conscious of the need to switch off the lights when they are not using them for decades. . .because they needed to save money. In the U. S. , people are just getting used to not seeing energy as something that will always be inexpensive and easily available, and are slowly developing a better instinct for conservation. This changing mindset is evidenced by the increasing popularity of green home building.
The green home building concepts being used in America revolve around simple ideas, such as less square footage, improved insulation, and smarter positioning to the sun, as well as the use of alternative energy sources like solar paneling. Green home building also incorporates more complex concepts, such as the use of sustainable materials and less harmful products, to protect the environment and conserve energy in the long run. America is a little behind, but with luck will start catching up to the standard set by Europe.
For more concerning green home building , see http://www.GreenHomeGuide.org