PICKERING, ON – JUNE 12: Kitchen overall with open concept of the living room. After a Pickering homeowner’s house burned down a couple of years ago, he decided to replace it with a healthy, eco-friendly, custom-built home for his family — Jason Uher and Michelle Boodhoo (and 5- and 7-year-old sons). The result, after months of research, was a “dream green home” that incorporates passive solar design, eco-batt insulation and R-40 straw bale wall panels. South windows maximize solar energy, and a masonry wood stove heater keep things toasty in winter. Heating costs have gone from $4,000 to $1,000 a year. (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)