PHILADELPHIA -- Earth Day is April 22, but Ryan Madson's family got started early.
They are building an eco-friendly home in Chester County, Pa. The renovations began last year and could be completed in August -- before the end of the regular season. Madson, who will be a free agent after this year, hopes to live there awhile.
"We did it because it's the right thing to do," Madson said recently. "It reduces your carbon footprint. Everybody can lower their carbon footprint. And forget about the carbon footprint for a second -- it saves you money."
The home will include several renovations and innovations: soybean-based spray-foam insulation, energy-saving lighting, a geothermal heating and cooling system, high-efficiency windows and doors, radiant-heat flooring, energy-recovery ventilators, a ground-source heat pump, select harvest wood and more.
The Madsons also left as much of the original house intact as possible to reduce landfill waste.
"We're building a house right," Madson said. "Your revolving costs of owning a house, they're a third of the price. Instead of paying $1,200 a month or whatever for utilities, they're going to be $400 a month. In the long run, you're going to save money."
John Kelly from Orange Energy Solutions has been in charge of the renovations. He knows the Madson family through his wife, who delivered their twin sons, Luke and Ryan, in 2006. Madson said Kelly estimated how long it would take to recover the extra money spent to make the home eco-friendly.
They knew then it made sense.
"You could have a house for 50, 60 years," Madson said. "The first five years you'll pay a little extra, but you save money after that."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.