Most of us want to live a better life – happier, healthier and greener. If you have an awareness of your environmental surroundings and would like to minimize your impact, then you may want to make your home a healthy and safe environment for you and your family. Eco friendly homes can be built from scratch with environmentally friendly materials and can also be entirely off the power grid. If you already have a home, however, you can make your existing home green with just a few changes. If you find yourself at a loss as to what to do, or think that nothing you do will have any effect on the global environmental issue, don’t worry, there are some things you can do to make your home a little greener.
These days it is more important than ever to do what you can to have as little impact on the environment as possible. There are many ways that eco friendly homes can contribute to environmental solutions. Using alternative energy sources is a great way to reduce your impact and help the environment. Using solar power, or wind power, will save the environment from harmful carbon emissions, help prevent fossil fuel exhaustion, and will save you money on your electricity bill at the same time. Some eco friendly homes are completely off the grid and don’t use any electricity at all, and they can sometimes supply their excess power back into the grid as well. This may be easy to set up if you are building eco friendly homes from scratch, but what can you do in your home now?
Reduce your energy usage with some of the following ideas:
- Install a skylight if you are using lights inside during the day
- Install a solar hot water system so you won’t need electricity to heat your water
- Install solar panels for part or all of your electricity requirements
- Use solar lights for your outdoor lighting needs
Water conservation is another area where modern eco friendly homes can reduce their impact on the environment. Water conservation can include reducing the amount of water you use, or recycling and reusing your water. Collecting rainwater from roofs, gutters and hard surfaces and storing it in a water tank is a good way to reduce your water usage. You can use this water on your gardens and in your pool, or even connect it inside your house for toilets, taps and washing machines. You can also install a greywater system to recycle some of your water for use on your gardens. Each raindrop saved will save tax dollars associated with water and reduce your water costs. Don’t think you can afford to install a tank or greywater system?
Reduce your water usage with the following ideas:
- Install low flow shower heads and taps throughout your home
- Install low flow or half flush toilet buttons and educate your family about using them
- Put a few buckets outside when it rains and use the water on your plants and gardens
- Install a diverter that sends rainwater from the roof to your pool, pond or garden
Many people are building small eco friendly homes that are entirely off the grid and completely green. Not only do they use alternative energy and water conservation, but they are made from all natural, recycled materials that are chemical free and non toxic. Recycled and natural materials like timber and bamboo are ideal for building a green house. The structure, floors and furnishings can all be made with these natural materials. If you already have an established home you may be wondering what you can do in this area to go green.
Use only recycled, natural, non toxic materials in your home:
- Every time you need to buy new furniture, look for natural and recycled items
- When buying things like clothes, sheets, towels, kid’s toys and pet accessories, look for natural, organic, non toxic products like bamboo and organic cotton
- Eliminate all of those toxic chemical cleaning products and look for more natural alternative solutions, like vinegar and bicarb soda
- If you need to do any painting, especially in the kid’s rooms, look for the non toxic, low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints that won’t release toxins into the air
Whether you are building eco friendly homes or you want to reduce your impact on the environment in your established home, there are plenty of ways you can improve your life. Using alternative energy sources, saving water and buying natural, organic products will not only benefit you and your family, but will benefit the environment as well. Imagine the impact we could have if everyone made just a few of these changes.