We've long been wanting to build an eco-friendly home. It's all the rage. It's cool. It's hip.

But that has nothing to do with it. If I really wanted to be hip, I'd get rid of the peg-legged acid-washed high-waisted jeans in my closet. And stop using the word “hip.” I'm not building a green home to impress the hollywood elite.

It's not because I'm a fan of Al Gore, either. I figure if he really cared about the environment, he'd stop flying around the world in his private jet to tell people to stop driving their cars to work. And he'd sell his enormous mansion with a carbon footprint 20 times that of the regular folk, rather than assuaging his conscience buying carbon credits from people who would never use the stuff anyway.

And it's not because I cry about old growth trees after tromping on hundreds of thousands of insects to get into the forest to find them.

There are only two reasons we want to build an eco-friendly home:

  1. We believe the earth is a gift from God and we, as the stewards, have a responsibility to reasonably care for it.
  2. It makes economic sense.

With technology getting better and more cost effective, doing things that save on utilities have a reasonable break-even point. They conserve resources without breaking the bank and without making a home unlivable. (Al Gore hasn't changed his lifestyle. I assume you'll forgive me for only moderately modifying mine.) We will save energy, water, and waste where we reasonably can and use products that are durable and low-maintenance. And we'll try to provide ways to add new, better systems when they are available.

That's what we're going for in our new custom home: the biggest bang for our environmental buck.