Once a just a niche market catering to a small but well intentioned portion of society, eco design is now a booming industry. People today are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibilities as homeowners towards the environment and the “green” home has even become something of a style statement. Below is a helpful guide on how you can help your home reduce its carbon footprint through recycled design, alternative energy solutions, changes in living behaviour and exciting new materials.
Consider installing solar panels. Completely uncomplicated with have no moving parts and very little maintenance they make going green a breeze. Simply sit them out in the sun, preferably on your rooftop, hook up the wires and collect power without the need to add any fuel, replace worn-out parts or pay any bills. Solar panels also have great longevity, even after as long as twenty years have been known to produce a good percentage of the power that was generated when they were brand new.
Replace all the standard light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent ones. These energy-smart bulbs use 70-75% less energy than the incandescent kind and last up to ten times longer! By using a 26-watt, compact fluorescent light bulb (equivalent to 100 watt incandescent), homeowners can save a fortune on energy costs over the life of the bulb, which can be anywhere from five to seven years.
Insulate your home. Doors and windows are two of the most obvious areas of concern when it comes to home energy conservation. Use weather-stripping. Once air leaks have been detected, doors and windows are usually the first areas that need attention. If home is in the process of being built or you are looking to insulate your home on a large scale, use natural lambs’ wool or eco insulation that is made up of recycled newspapers to fill your cavity walls.
If you want to live a more green existence but don’t have spare cash for major home improvements then simple changes in your living habits can still make a huge difference. Remembering to turn lights and heating off in rooms that aren’t being used will make a huge difference to your homes’ energy consumption. Giving proper attention to window dressings by including thick curtains with full linings and interlining, a pelmet rail, blinds or nets etc will help reduce heat loss in a typical problem area. Live by the code of the 3 Rs; Refuse, Reuse and Recycle. Keep these three things in mind whenever you buy, use or discard anything. Create a compost pile in your backyard. Find a private spot in your yard to make a compost pile. Turn throwaways like eggshells, coffee grounds and spoiled vegetables into soil and rubbish into something useful by mixing food wastes with dirt and use a shovel to turn the pile over every week or so to give it some air. Your garden will really feel the benefit of good soil and reward you with a beautiful view come summer should you plant some seeds and flowers.
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