In choosing to live sustainably, the best starting point is right at home. May it be building your house from the ground up or retrofitting sustainability into a built home, these guidelines and your thoughtful choices may turn your home into your green dream home. Critical characteristics of sustainable living are functionality, practicality, social, ecological and physical regard. Below are practical ways for achieving a sustainable home of your dream.
Using sustainable materials as building blocks
Materials are recycled, reused and reprocessed; an example of these are rubber tires as lanai flooring. In addition, materials like doors, window sill and copper pipes may still be of value for reuse. Acquisition of woodworks must be through sustainable means. The origin should be from well-regulated forests. Materials should be renewable, non-toxic or non-allergenic and, essentially, sourced locally.
Water and energy efficiency
Energy efficiency entails proper insulation; moreover, the use of energy-smart appliances is highly encouraged. Most importantly, solar photovoltaic panel installation for renewable energy sources is the heart of sustainability in a home. You can visit www.scasolar.co.uk and consult a solar energy expert. In addition, energy efficiency comprises motion-activated exterior lights, awareness of the house’s orientation to the sun, monitored heater temperature to 130 degrees Fahrenheit or 55 degrees Celsius and air-drying practice for drying clothing.
On the other hand, water efficiency practices involve rainwater utilization for reuse in the garden and toilets and showerheads’ low flow setting.
Improved indoor air quality
Nothing is of top priority than the air we breathe. But, unfortunately, we come in contact with many hazardous chemicals in our own homes.
Factors to consider:
- Covers for the floor. Carpets harbour dust and trigger allergic reactions. The suitable material for carpets is wool.
- Moisture accumulation. Moulds are the by-product of moisture. Ensure to install ceiling fans for optimum air circulation preventing water from retaining on walls. It is better to be safe, although not all moulds are toxic.
- Paints. Some paints contain VOC or solvents that are emitted into the air as the paint dries. VOCs are toxic that may cause dizziness and headaches. In building your green home, choose low or no VOC.
- HVAC filtration system. Make sure to install a HEPA-level filter. It is an air filtration system that purifies the air circulation at home.
- Radon. Radon is a radioactive, invisible, air-borne gas that is proven to cause lung cancer. Test house site for traces of this toxic gas
- Formaldehyde-free plywood and particleboard. Insist on using these materials.
Additional ways to be sustainable at home.
- Unplug machines that are “vampires” or give out passive energy
- Close fireplace dampers when not in use
- Install timer light switches to save on electricity
- Put an insulating blanket on top of the water heater
- Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs and CFLs
Being green starts at home, and it takes commitment and stewardship of the sustainable principle. We are rapidly evolving. Every effort and everyone is for sustainability. Gone are the days that being environmentally conscious is something hard to achieve and uncomfortable. Resources are now widely accessible for us to consume. No better time but to start now in getting your dream sustainable, green home.