Earth Day, April 22, is a good time to reevaluate our footprint on our big blue (and green) planet. Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County strives to use energy-efficient, environmentally friendly construction practices in its new homes and communities.

These practices not only aid the environment but also help make our affordable housing even more affordable in the long run. A more energy-efficient home typically means lower energy costs.

Here are a few suggestions to make your own home more energy efficient.

Consider your appliances

Seek out energy-efficient appliances. Habitat Orlando & Osceola homes use water-saving shower heads and low-flush toilets.

Your own energy-efficient products don’t need to be big-ticket purchases. Consider switching your light bulbs to an energy efficient brand; they typically last longer than standard bulbs.

Be thoughtful about your landscaping

Habitat Orlando & Osceola homes use Bahiagrass, a drought and heat tolerance lawn grass. It requires less water than other varieties – saving the homeowner money while conserving this natural resource.

Choose plants native to Florida when possible. These plants are better suited to Florida’s climate and offer a better habitat for indigenous native creatures.

Learn more about the Florida Green Building Coalition certification

Homes certified by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) meet several requirements, from reduced water usage to going beyond code requirements to lower energy costs. All of Habitat Orlando & Osceola’s Butler’s Preserve community is Florida Green Building Coalition Certified (FGBC).

FGBC Green Home Retrofit guidelines are available for do-it-yourselfers — along with a list of FGBC certifying agents and approved professional services.

Want to get hands-on with building energy-efficient homes? Learn more about getting involved with Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County at