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Incorporate green building elements into your home to maximize efficiency

Keep your indoor air healthy. Purchase low odor paints. These reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or fumes in your home.

Use products made from renewable materials. Look for products made from recycled materials or renewable resources such as bamboo. You can find everything from flooring and cabinets to furniture and bedding. 

Incorporate more daylight into your home by using energy-efficient windows and skylights. South-facing windows are most advantageous for daylighting and for moderating seasonal temperatures. They allow most winter sunlight into the home but little direct sun during the summer, especially when properly shaded. North-facing windows are also advantageous for daylighting. They let in relatively even, natural light, producing little glare and almost no unwanted summer heat gain. 

Visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energywebsite for information about new energy efficient windows or improving the efficiency of existing windows.

Use landscaping that cools your home and reduces your water use. Using vegetation to shade your home will reduce your energy bills and help mitigate the urban heat island effect. Choosing native and drought tolerant plants integrates your home into our beautiful desert environment and will reduce your water use on landscaping. 

Visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenScapes website for information about landscaping practices that can improve the health and appearance of your lawn and garden while protecting and preserving natural resources.

Rainwater harvesting reduces the need to use potable water for landscaping. The City of Tucson’s Water Harvesting Guidance Manual provides information on water harvesting techniques, their appropriate placement, and the context of water harvesting in site design. 

Visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energywebsite for information about using landscaping to shade your home. 

Native and Drought Tolerant Landscaping Resources:

• Arizona Department of Water Resources

• References for Identifying and Selecting Landscape Plants for the Low Desert (UofA)

• City of Mesa Resources for Arizona Low Desert Gardening and Landscaping

• If you are a Tucson Electric Power (TEP) customer, you may also purchase 2 native trees for $6 each through the Trees for Tucson program.