The climate crisis has forced us to rethink our impact on the planet. Today, more than ever before, we have to be more considerate of our environmental footprint.
One great way to ensure a cleaner and more sustainable future is to build a green home. The costs of building or renovating an eco-friendly home pay for itself in lower emissions and energy costs.
With the boom in sustainable architecture, from green architects to Philippine green wall suppliers, building green has never been this easy.
Apart from the lower energy costs, living in a green home is also healthier and more pleasant. Surrounded by greenery, you can’t help but feel closer to nature. You’ll also teach others the importance of living sustainably.
How to live more sustainably
1. Location is key
If you are now looking to build your home, then the location is a very important factor here. When scouting for land, there are a few things you have to look out for to maximize your home’s sustainability.
If possible, build on an area surrounded by natural greenery. This is because when you build on an area surrounded by trees and plants, they serve as a natural barrier between the sun rays and the building thereby regulating the temperature of the home.
The building should also face east or north to minimize sun exposure and lower cooling costs.
Avoid building in low-lying areas near bodies of water to avoid flooding due to typhoons or natural weather patterns.
Bonus points, too, if you have easy access to public transportation and commercial areas to minimize car travel.
2. Think small
Smaller homes cost less and also require less to build than a large house. Less wood, concrete, steel, and other materials will be used, and the maintenance is more manageable.
Larger homes also cost more to keep cool during the summer months. Keeping the size small makes for a more sustainable home.
If you need to make space for family and relatives, there are ways to increase the size while minimizing the impact.
3. Reuse old building materials
If you’re renovating your old home, consider reusing building materials instead of buying new ones. Some of the materials you can reuse include doors, windows, metal fixtures, wooden flooring, and even tile.
Other materials that can’t be reused can be recycled and turned into new building materials.
4. Use sustainable materials
If you want to build an eco-friendly home, then using sustainably-sourced materials is a must if you want to reduce the impact of construction and maintenance on the environment.
Strive for a home that’s made of at least 90 percent sustainable materials, from the walls, furniture, insulation, down to the roofing.
Some sustainable and renewable materials include reclaimed lumber, recycled tile, bamboo, cork, and recycled glass.
5. Invest in your own power source
Reduce your reliance on the power grid by investing in your own power source. For instance, solar panels are a cheap and sustainable way to harness the power of the sun and turn it into electricity.
Once you invest in a solar panel, it is free to use and you don’t need to pay any bills on the amount of energy you use.
So the initial cost pays for itself as you enjoy lower energy bills for the duration of the solar panel’s life.
6. Harvest rainwater
Potable water isn’t necessary to water the plants and to flush toilets. One way to reduce your water usage is to install a rainwater harvesting system and use rainwater for grey water usage.
Plus, rainwater is a better option for plants because it doesn’t contain chlorine. So using rainwater for your plants and gardens can improve your plant.
Rainwater is also best for the environment as opposed to digging wells which can destroy the soil.
You can use rainwater to bath your pets, wash your cars, do some other cleanings around the house and it is also best for doing laundry as it is soft water and it lathers easily.
Many people assume that building a green home is too expensive and unnecessary. But as more and more people build sustainable homes, costs will only go down. By following these six steps, you can have a green and eco-friendly lifestyle.