Climate change is in the news all the time now, especially since President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord. Climate change is scary stuff – floods, storms, and coastal cities at risk. On the positive side, many cities, states, and companies in the U.S. are standing by the commitments of the Paris Climate Accord. Despite the many efforts, it is going to take all of us pitching in to tackle climate change.
Women are in the news a lot these days, too. We are collectively standing up for what we want and what’s important to us; issues that directly affect women, like women’s health and pay, and other issues where the connection isn’t quite as evident, including housing and climate change. Housing and how we live is a big influence on women’s lives as the primary decision makers and implementers of most things home. And home ties tightly with family and women’s roles as primary caregivers for both children and parents, as well as primary caretakers of a home. Having a home which offers more safety, health, and comfort with less maintenance and lower operating costs frees up both homeowners and residents to focus on the things which matter most to them.
In the full lives of most women, having a home which works FOR them, rather than against them can make a critical difference in day to day living. For lower income women, this may mean the difference between eating enough for the week or paying the utility bills.
As women are literally and figuratively the ‘head of household’ for a majority of households, we can play an important role in slowing climate change with daily decisions about the homes. “They are the ones who make decisions in the food consumption and recycling,” said Emmanuelle Pinault, the Head of City Diplomacy from C40. “They make key decisions on the house and the building the family lives in,” according to Why Climate Change is Really a Women’s Issue.
Women are the “mama bears” standing up for our families, our friends, and our communities. We want our children, grandchildren, and future generations to have a good life—a safe, and healthy life. Climate change is challenging that.
Most of us have yet to connect that our homes are a significant contributor to climate change. Our homes contribute to our health, our safety, and our comfort – our well-being. We don’t see a lot in the news about the impact of homes, about how we, as individuals and collectively as a group, can impart change.
Climate change impacts homes around the world. Climate change impacts people, especially women. Women can change their homes and how they live in them. This in turn reduces emissions which helps climate change. Women and green homes are tied together, even when we don’t know we are. We are a solution – to better lives in better homes, and to climate change.
Whether we design, build, remodel, or supply to homes, we can impart change. Whether we finance, inspect or service homes, we can help. Whether we own or rent, we can be a part of the solution to better homes AND climate change with green, high performance, and energy-efficient actions in our homes, including updating, remodeling, and building green.
According to Michelle (Desiderio) Foster of Home Innovation Research Labs, “Most buyers interested in high-performance (a.k.a. green) homes are motivated not so much by energy efficiency, but rather by personal interest in making the world a better place to live. According to Strategies to Selling Green blog “Today’s high-performance home buyer is looking for a sustainable lifestyle that is healthier, efficient and better for the world at large. And 61 percent of builders say customers will pay more for a home that meets these criteria.”
Green and greener homes, and this includes energy-efficient homes and actions too, improve the health and safety for ourselves and our families, the people building and working on homes, AND for the larger community, the world. That’s the best part about this whole green home plan – it’s a win-win-win proposition.