I actually worked for a green builder. A "green" house is better built, tighter, and healthier. Some thoughts.
Reuse.... keep an organized scrap pile, especially wood. Recycling goes without saying. Some localities, if you separate it, will recycle clean (no paint, treated, or finishes) wood which gets turned into OSB. Metals, yes, plaster and drywall, iffy, and concrete, not sure on that. If the old fixtures aren't too bad, sometimes local places like the Restore (Habitat for Humanity) will take em. The Restore here is pretty neat, sometimes treasures can be lurking in odd corners.
Be prepared to buy lotsa caulk. Lots. Also if you do get it tight, start thinking about a fresh air exchange system. We do need some fresh air now and again. Insulation, blown in cellulose might be better then a foamed in plastic. It's made of recycled newsprint treated with fire retardant. My old boss starts ranting about the plastic foam stuff as he sez it prevents future recycling of the house down the road. He builds for fifty years minimum.
Gas stove, dunno, price of the stuff keeps going up. Also it will need a range hood that actually vents outside. Believe or not, Ripley not withstanding, some old places just have hoods that filter the grease out (yeah right) and blow the air back into the kitchen.
Painting, lead can be an issue on old paint. Also some places are starting to get picky about oil based paint....VOCs. I prefer water based, clean up is easier and I don't like having thinner or anything flammable lying around. We painted exposed plywood and chipboard to control the formaldehyde out-gassing.
Plumbing, found that the one new 1.6 American Standard (plebe or whatever) toilet works even better then my old flushers. No dual flush, nothing fancy, it just works.
I like CFLs and they did pay for themselves but now I have to take the burned out ones to a toxic waste place. Not too bad, no fee here but we do pay our taxes to support the place. Mebbe LEDs will come down in price in a few years.
Just google green building and amid the dross will be something useful. Local library is useful too. Study, study, and research, research goes without saying.
Best of wishes for your house.
Last edited by Rustedbird; 04-16-2008 at 07:59 AM.
Reason: Grammer, added bit about toilet.