10/29/2010 11:22 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Considering the Climate Cost of Homeownership

Washington State's Congressman Brian Baird likes information. As Rep. Baird told Planet Forward, simply providing enough information to consumers can help lessen our environmental footprint. How? By helping us understand the true climate cost of our biggest decisions.

Baird thinks consumers should know the environmental cost of homes, automobiles and other major purchases so that they can make smarter shopping decisions. If the cost of heating and cooling a house would be a hit to their pocketbooks, house hunters may be better off moving to another lot.

The idea is worth considering. We already report on how much certain alternative energy options reduce cost of living expenses. Why not show how overlooked inefficiencies can multiply the total cost of ownership? Giving consumers the information lets them make informed decisions and pushed inefficient builders to step up their game. Knowledge, as they say, is power.

Join in the discussion on how we can foster positive climate progress over at PlanetForward.