Going “green” is nothing new in Colorado! Over the years we’ve sold a good many alternative energy cabins and homes. If you’re looking to have a smaller footprint, then maybe going “green” is for you. Whatever the reason for going “green” there are many choices from alternative energy, waste disposal and water sources to construction techniques and materials.
Type of use, whether seasonal or year round will help determine the water source. For a seasonal, recreation cabin, a cistern system can work fine if you’re ok with hauling water. For year round living, a well is preferred and additional water storage can be included in the system. Always check with the proper officials in your area for regulations on water sources.
Yes, there are still places that electricity does not go! Alternative power sources include wind turbines and solar panels, where extra energy can be stored and used as needed. Most property owners will have a propane tank or other source of gas. Generators are popular and can run on propane, natural gas, gasoline or biodiesel fuel and many will turn on automatically in power outages as a backup source. Wood-burning stoves are a simple and easy heat source as well.
Of course there’s the typical vault or septic/leach system, but these days there are also alternatives such as composting toilets, incinerator toilets, etc. Again, the amount of use will determine the best system for your home or cabin.
Construction Techniques & Materials
These days there are so many alternatives to traditional building practices. Hay bales, glass bottles and storage containers are just a few of the available choices. Whether it’s renewable materials, such as bamboo or cork, or the newest countertop craze, be sure to do your homework when going “green.” Consider things such as functionality, durability and cost when comparing “green” products. Although building “green” saves money, the process has more upfront costs, and consumers should understand that the savings are realized over time.