Environmentally conscious living doesn't have to be crunchy. In fact, it can be downright refined—a locally-sourced tasting menu, a cocktail with organic vodka, or, if you're really ready to spend, a luxury green home that's anything but ascetic. You wish you lived here.
Location: Glass manse in Western Cape, South Africa
Size: 4,680 square feet
Key selling points: Jaw-dropping architecture and luxe extras like the home's wine gallery and salt-water pool meet bonuses like a bio fuel fireplace, rain water tanks, energy-efficient construction, and grounds with carefully-preserved indigenous vegetation.
Location: Green-roofed contemporary in South Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Size: 5,000 square feet
Key selling points: This sleek UK home takes sustainability seriously, with an air-to-water heat pump, a green sedum-covered roof that puts rainwater to good use and insulates the home, and a biomass boiler that uses sustainable wood pellets to provide carbon-neutral floor heating. Did we mention that the floors are recyclable?
Listing: Carter Jonas
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Location: Geothermal-heated home in Dublin, Ireland
Size: 2,850 square feet
Key selling points: Underneath all the Carrera marble, solid oak, brushed chrome, and polished granite, this modern home boasts bona fides like a geothermal heat pump and solar hot water cylinder.
Listing: Sherry Fitzgerald
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Location: Solar passive home in Hudson, Quebec
Size: 2,600 square feet
Key selling points: Every other natural, sustainable home has just been owned by this Canadian contemporary. It's made with rammed-earth walls, raw bamboo countertops, eucalyptus flooring, raw white cedar and maple walls, and a Tulukivi soapstone fireplace. It's also solar passive, using geothermal energy and radiant floor heating for warmth, an underground rainwater reservoir to manage water, and an energy recovery ventilation system to, well, save energy. Oh, and locally sourced restaurants can go cry themselves to sleep: the backyard has a geodesic dome greenhouse, heirloom orchard, and fruit bush plantation.
Listing: Sotheby's Canada
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Location: Energy-efficient country club house in Fort Myers, Florida
Size: 3,970 square feet
Key selling points: A country club home with a conscience: the water in its pipes and its pool is solar heated, and a high-efficiency heat pump and hybrid energy system round out its energy-conservative features. And if you're as worried about your own health as you are the planet's, the low-VOC paint is grounds to chill out.
Listing: Royal Shell Sales
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