Earth Day 2012: Buying and Living Green


Feeling inspired by Earth Day? You could buy an energy-efficient green home -- or you could take steps to make sure the one you've got is as environmentally friendly as it can be.

Not only will living more sustainably help the environment, but you could also be boosting your bottom line. Besides saving money on heating and cooling bills, thanks to federal and state programs, you can also get a break on next year's taxes. Solar panels can qualify for a 30 percent federal tax credit; geothermal heat pumps and small wind turbines can yield big tax breaks too. Make sure to search for your state tax credits and utility rebates as well.

To help get you started, here are some guides to buying greener homes and tips for getting your current home more in tune with Mother Nature.

solar-powered-homeRead about the benefits of using a "Green Broker."

Catch up on seven green home trends, from the simple to the extreme.

Check out some advice for buying a solar panel system for your home.

Do you rent? Here are some green tips specifically for renters.

And if you run out of ideas, get inspiration from some of the world's greenest homes.

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