What’s outside of your house has a great deal of impact on the “green-ness” of your home as well. Aside from location considerations (walkable cities reduce infrastructure and automobile energy use), the lot can also have a big impact.
On any given lot, we want to keep the water that falls on the lot there, and preferably harvest it for use in irrigation. Reducing impervious surfaces that direct water off the lot is a goal. Using native, non-invasive plants is another goal – they will be right for this climate and do not require irrigation. Finally, providing habitat or movement corridors for wildlife on larger lots can also enhance the local environment.
The end result is a yard that will look nice and create a good local environment. If this is combined with an ultra-efficient home with good product choices, we can build in a sustainable fashion that enhances the local ecology.