Modern society is becoming increasingly conscious about the environment and the impact that our lifestyles have on Nature. More and more people are concerned about their environmental footprint which has led to a rise in demand for alternative lifestyles. This includes ideas for “eco-friendly” alternative housing. The concept of eco homes includes the use of environment friendly, chemical free construction materials, solar technologies, etc. An eco home could have a green room, use recycled material, and so on.
Unique ideas for green homes
Builders have been using many unconventional ideas for building eco homes.
Firstly, there are cob homes where architects use a mixture of straw and clay to shape buildings. This mixture is used to form bricks which are then used to create rounded homes.
Secondly, shipping crates are being used to create living and working spaces. It is relatively cheaper and nature friendly too. Sometimes, solar panelling is used to make them even more energy efficient. You can also check Port Container Services for modification guidelines.
Having green walls is also a great option. Here, a wall in your house is basically turned into a living, green space with growing plants. This is done using a modular design. A living wall can actually make your house cooler, literally and metaphorically!
A lot of green builders have started using hemp concrete which is basically a mixture of hemp, lime and water. It is more durable than regular concrete and is also better insulated. Hemp concrete is also fire, mould and insect resistant and has the potential to last hundreds of years, according to researchers.
Reducing energy usage in homes
One baby step towards making an eco-friendly home is by reducing the amount of energy used in it. Firstly, use an online electrical energy calculator to evaluate how much energy is being used. A lot of websites can also tell you how to cut down to a more efficient number.
Secondly, to reduce electrical lighting charges, maximise the use of natural light. For this, install skylights in the house. Also, if the house is going to be constructed, get the windows angled in such a way so as to maximise the amount of sunlight that will be received.
Thirdly, install solar panels which will not only take care of the lighting, but also the heating requirements in the house. Or if you already have one, Fahrenheit Inc suggests that regular maintenance will keep it efficient.In case there is money to spare, a solar battery can be installed. This stores the energy to be used later.
Installing lights which are motion sensitive is another energy efficient option. This way, lights are not needlessly left on when there is no one in the rooms.
Making a green home
To make your home eco friendly, here are some quick tips.
Firstly, recycling used jars. Instead of being thrown in the garbage, they can be washed and used as containers and vases around the house.
Secondly, install a filter under the sink so that filtered water is easily available. That way, one can reduce buying bottled water.
Thirdly, instead of installing air conditioners use alternative cooling methods. For example, having CFL bulbs inside the house lowers the temperatures dramatically. Also, methods like, double glazing and cross-ventilation help. If possible, plant trees around the house for some green cooling. If you are worried about the heating then get a thermostat which is programmable or has a timer on. That way, you can time it to switch on and off when required.
Lastly, save water around your house. There are some good low-flow showerheads and toilets that you can use to conserve water.
For every bit you save, there is a little bit of difference that is made.
About the author
Fiona has been a green homes consultant for the last decade. She has helped many families create energy efficient and green homes with her invaluable advice on green construction. In her spare time, she loves working on her garden and suggests upvc door locks for better safety of your house.