The Green Mountain State Stays Green
Vermont continues to set the standard for green living, ranking first again as the greenest state in the country. It’s clear that the state takes its love for the land seriously. After a booming lumber industry decimated Vermont’s forests in the 1800s, over 80% of the landscape had been cleared. Today, nearly 80% of the state is forests, with 4.6 million acres of forestland covering the Green Mountain State. It's truly a remarkable story of one extreme to the next, showcasing the positive change that can happen when all of us work together in pursuit of a common goal.
What Makes Vermont the Greenest State?
Vermonters are proud of their state’s natural beauty and make conscious decisions to manage and protect it — so much so that living with a love for the land is merely a way of life in the Green Mountain State. Through recycling, composting, buying local, and building sustainably, Vermont has outpaced every state for years in living green. Here are some key initiatives that Vermont maintain to support their environmental efforts:
- No billboards - Vermont passed an anti-billboard law in 1968 that has kept the state billboard free, resulting in increased protection for the Green Mountain State’s natural beauty and resources.
- Renewable energy efforts - Through towns like Burlington, which has been running on 100% renewable energy without raising rates for years, both Vermont and the nation as a whole have environmentally friendly case studies from which to model future energy efficiencies.
- 75% forestation - Vermont’s landscape is 75% forest, and the state is the fourth most forested in the U.S — a significant rank considering the state’s size. The state has seen considerable forestland restored since the big lumber boom in the 19th century.
- Commitment to protecting its landscape - The Vermont Land Trust has permanently protected the state’s land since 1977. Covering over 550,000 acres, the trust works hard to conserve this land and the wildlife that inhabits it.
What Is Sustainable Building?
The design principles of sustainable building focus on increasing the efficiency of resources used to build and maintain a home. By paying close attention to the energy, water, and materials used in the construction and maintenance of properties, sustainable building aims to reduce the impact on both human and environmental health. The goal is to enable significant positive effects on all living beings. In 2019 alone, the average annual electricity consumption of US residential homes was 10,649-kilowatt hours (kWh), or an average of 877 kWh per month. Green homes have reportedly cut electricity consumption by up to 50%, which is a pivotal change— especially considering what that impact could be on a nationwide scale.
Through green programs like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the residential market can transform to improve our quality of life while lessening our impact. The benefits of green, sustainable homes go beyond construction and efficiency; they play a part in creating healthier communities that are conscious of the environment around them. States like Vermont have already taken huge leaps in creating communities like this to help spread awareness and create lasting, positive change.
Green Home for Sale in Vermont
For clients seeking an energy-efficient home that will allow them to live close to nature, this 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom abode in Richmond fits the bill perfectly. Tucked into the trees, nature lovers can embrace Mother Nature and feel a sense of relief thanks to the home's recent energy-efficient renovations. They can even set out on hikes from the home, following trails that lead to sandy beaches and swimming holes nearby on the Huntington River.
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