EcoHomes, Tiny Homes, and Green Houses are fast becoming more and more popular. The cool thing about these kinds of homes are the unstoppable amount of options! You don't have to purchase a Tiny Home or LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) house to make a difference; you can alter or convert a lot of what you already have.
A lot of Green Housing has to do with working with the climate found in your region to achieve resources and save money in the long run. For example, let's say you live in the Pacific Northwest, where it rains more often than other regions. So, using a rainwater-catch barrel for your gutter can be used for watering your garden or cleaning tools. Or let's say you live in the Southwest, where it's dryer and hotter. Changing your lawn into a beautiful Zen rock garden can save on water, as well. Or change your bulbs to LEDs, install a shade-optional sunroof for ambient light, install a green roof with plants to naturally cool your home and provide a home for birds, use mulch in your garden to absorb moisture for plants, and so many more options!
When planning to build
If you're building a house, consider less harmful insulation such as paper-based which is insect-repelling and fire retardant when made with borax, boric acid, and calcium carbonate (no health problems are affiliated with these). Concrete for patios prevents water from going back into the soil and adds heat to the air; adding to CO2 emissions with air conditioners. Consider using concrete that's made with crushed glass or wood chips, as these can cool them down. Also, water-absorbent concrete is very effective! Bricks are a great material to use, or bricks made with wool and seaweed make them stronger and more resistant to cold, wet winters (there are so many environmental options in building materials these days!). Renewable, or alternative energy, is becoming more and more cost-effective as technology improves and accommodating to everyone! Always first research your local state to see if they offer grants and incentives to houses that convert. Rooftop solar panels and roof tiling with solar cells installed within, aren't your only options. The cleanest (least impact) renewable is actually geothermal; harnessing the heat below the surface of the earth. You can do this by installing a closed-loop geothermal system in the backyard that connects to the heating and cooling of the house.
Renting? No problem! Solar panels can still be used without permanent installation; just hang it off your window sill or balcony! You'll need a solar panel, inverter, battery, and a solar controller; all of which would cost you just over $200.
Solar-powered portable chargers for your devices are also wonderful ways to save a little energy and cost! Also, if you can paint your walls, make sure to use milk-based or natural paints (derived from balsam and minerals) so as to eliminate VOCs that can harm our health and the atmosphere. When in doubt, however, latex-based is always better than oil-based! Another great addition for renters are vertical gardens (just like the above image)! These guys provide you organic food, oxygen, and they don't add any CO2 to get shipped to your home; they're already there! Plus, it provides us a way to build back our personal relationship with our food and to Nature! These can be built with or without cyclical water irrigation.