Mother Earth has been under a serious threat for decades now. Industrialization and mankind’s advancements have led to a great uplift of our living standards, which is unfortunately coupled with a very troubling fact that the planet we live on is dying a slow death.
Ozone depletion and global warming are such threats which have alarmed us and now we should aspire to live in homes and use buildings that are ecologically safe. The article contains eco-friendly house features which will not only help save the planet, but will also cut down your energy costs and annual bills.
1. Solar Panels
If you live in an area which is exposed to the sun for most of the year, you can convert all those golden rays into consumable household energy and reduce your carbon footprint. Electricity will be generated and consumed from your very roof and it will save up to 60% of your electric bill. Although it is expensive to install at first, a solar panel system will pay you back with the energy savings.
In a similar way, biomass and heat pumps make their own energy which means you have to rely less on fossil fuels and save energy and control the carbon emission.
Making sure that your house does not need too much energy in keeping you warm in the winters and cool in the summers is a good eco-friendly house feature. A lot of energy is used to keep our residence at the optimum temperatures if it is not intelligently designed. Using passive heating and cooling techniques with natural ventilation and insulation is an amazing eco house feature and controls the carbon emissions too. Using organic and biodegradable insulation material like cork, cotton and sheep wool are renewable and a lot better than mass produced toxic methods.
Double glazed or dual paned windows are an eco-friendly alternate to single glass windows. They insulate your house and also protect indoors from harmful Ultraviolet radiations.
Using sheets for insulation inside walls is a common practice, but using blown-in cellulose for insulating purposes provides better and efficient energy saving catering for each nook and cranny. It also has fire resistant properties which makes your house safer.
3. Water Conservation
Before we run out of water, our houses should have features for water conservation. Making use of rainwater, using efficient appliances like washing machines and dishwashers and faucets and shower heads which are designed to allow less water consumption, are a few tips to conserve this precious resource.
Recycling the water is also key in saving it. Filtration plants in pools and other water bodies allow you to have access to cleaner water for a longer period of time.
4. Sustainable Forests
Using wood from forests that are being re-planted and renewed are also a good eco-friendly house design idea. Wood that is reclaimed from old houses, worn out furniture and old trees can also be put to good use. This way, forests are not depleted because of the afforestation and wood is not wasted either.
5. Natural Light and Ventilation
Making use of the nature’s gift of light instead of using bulbs even during the day can help make your house eco-friendly. Placing windows in areas during the design process, where the sun doesn’t bother the residents and also provides good light inside is an efficient way to conserve less energy. You can also use features which reflect light inside the house and doesn’t require lighting up bulbs when the sun is out.
Ventilation of fresh air is important for a healthy house environment. Making use of wind direction and good ventilation passage can save energy as you will not have to rely on energy to run machines which can ventilate your house.
6. Energy Star Appliances
To cut down your energy bill and also save the environment, energy star appliances are your best take. They use up to 40% lesser energy than normal appliances and save electricity and power.
7. Smart Technology
Modern homes have amazing eco-friendly features which are built in. These smart technological devices help you switch off lights or fans that you have forgotten and fix the temperature according to the weather outside. These devices also are smart enough to know when you are and aren’t home and adjust the thermostat accordingly – they would turn up the heat, for example, when you are back home from work and turn it off when you leave again in the morning.
The Weather Resource Management System allows you control and conserve your water reservoirs according to the weather forecasts. Through the satellites they know about the local weather conditions, and they only turn the water sprinklers on in your lawn as per requirement.
8. Organic Garden
While improving your standard of food and providing a healthy and safe environment for the children to play in, organic and eco-friendly gardens in your house can benefit you greatly.
Not only will this provide healthy organic food for your family, free of pesticides, an organic garden also creates a habitat for native species and conserves water and soil resources. You will use eco-friendly materials, fertilizers and create a good fresh atmosphere around your house. The oxygen that the trees produce for example, will purify the air and also reduce the temperature of your area, which means less energy consumption.
Last but not least, the bigger the size of your construction, the more resources you will require. Sizing down your house while also keeping the requirements of your family in mind can help you conserve energy. Making a sustainable house means worrying about the eco-friendly aspect and not the size. In a reasonably sized house, installation of windows and ventilators on appropriate areas will mean less lighting and bulbs are required. Water reservoirs which will harvest the rainwater will also cater for the less number of bathrooms and conserve water. If around 40% of the area around your house is dedicated to organic gardening coupled with these above mentioned eco-friendly features, your house can set a great example for the rest of the world and provide a safe haven for the generations to come.