Educate Your Tenants
"Awareness and Education," one of the LEED guidelines' nine areas of green homebuilding, might seem like it doesn't have much to do with protecting the environment. But the certification standards include credits for educating tenants or homebuyers about how to use a LEED home to its full sustainable, energy efficient potential. If you're working with a LEED builder or developer, the home can score points if the builder fills you in on how to keep the home energy efficient over the years. For example, the builder could provide you with detailed instructions for using the rainwater recycling system and how to limit water use in the home [source: U.S. Green Building Council]. If you rent your home out, you can claim points for making the same effort.
The logic behind these credits is simple: A property is only as an environmentally friendly as the way it is used [U.S. Green Building Council]. State-of-the-art ENERGY STAR appliances aren't really saving energy if the person who uses them runs an entire washing machine cycle to clean one shirt. Windows and insulation that trap heat are pretty much useless if the homeowner runs the heater all winter and keeps the windows open.