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Home · April 21, 2015

Go Green at Home: Eco-Friendly Advice from Scott McGillivray, HGTV's Real Estate Expert

###Birchbox Man: What is the most common bad habit that people make at home, as far as leaving a carbon footprint?
Scott McGillivray: Little things like leaving the lights on unnecessarily or leaving the AC on high all day while youre at work. Its all those small but bad habits that add up to a big carbon footprint and a big cost. There are home energy monitors that [are] easily accessible to most homeowners and can really open their eyes as to their environmental impact.


What are three proactive things homeowners can do to be more green-friendly?

1. If you have air conditioning, adjust the temperature in your home by two degrees (cooler in the winter, warmer in the summer).

2. Upgrade all lightbulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs and add dimmers if possible.

3. Install a low-flow shower head (an easy DIY project that anyone can do).

4. Upgrade to Energy Star-rated appliances.

5. Switch out your traditional water heater for a tankless model.

What are the main questions that potential homeowners or renters should ask if they want to be especially conscious of energy consumption?

Homeowners can get a home energy audit which will really answer all the questions they might have (or didnt even think to ask) about where their home is performing well in terms of efficiency, and ways in which they can improve. Theyll find out whats the biggest energy drain in their home and be given a list of recommendations to fix the problem areas.

Renters can start by asking landlords smart questions about their unit: How old are the appliances? When were the windows last replaced? What type of heating/cooling system is in the apartment? Its also worth asking for small upgrades/repairs to your unit to help increase energy efficiency, like fixing drafty windows or doors.

Are certain cleaning products actually more eco-friendly than others?

Of course. Eco-friendly and natural products have come a long, long way in the past 5-10 years. Its now super easy to replace any cleaner you have under your sink with an eco-friendly alternative, and for the same price point. And I always feel that if you have an easy and effective eco alternative, why not use it? Its not just better for the environment, but its also better for your home and the health of your family.

So many real estate TV personalities have great hair (you, Jonathan Scott, Madison Hildebrand). Whose do you think is the best?

Wow, tough call. Not sure I can beat Madison in the hair department, but I think Ive got a leg up on Jonathan!

What is the secret to your TV-ready hair?

My hair kind of has a mind of its own. I dont use too much product, but hairspray is a necessity if Im going to be on camera on a humid day especially. Otherwise I just let it do its thing and hope for the best.


Adam Hurly