The Eco-Friendly Home - Part 1 of a 10 Part Series

Home Improvement

Being environmentally conscious doesn’t require much effort or investment. If you like to do your share but don’t know where to start, your main goal is to create a perfect green home.

Have you ever dreamed of living in a green home? Then, you will surely be surprised how much good it does. This type of home helps you not only in keeping the environment healthy and green, it also saves a lot of money and makes your wallet greener.

With the great benefits of an eco-friendly home, more and more people are longing to have one. If you are one of them, this is your chance to expand on your ideas.

Buying, building or designing your green home is not as tough as you think. If you find it hard, I hope this series of articles will help make your efforts less daunting. In this series, I'll provide you information such as how to buy essential materials, how to design your eco-friendly home, and even building tips.

Keep reading for the first in this series of articles on achieving your eco-friendly home.

Greener Home Basics

Greener Home Defined

What is a greener home? It doesn't literally mean having a green gate or walls. It simply denotes that your home was built with the use of eco-friendly materials.
The main goal of building a greener home is to uphold what is ideal for the environment by picking the right materials and a deliberate, effective manner of responsible home building. Having a greener home also provides homeowners the benefits of saving money on their bills.

Top 5 Tips on How to Achieve a Greener Home

If you wish to have a greener home, consider the following tips:

1. Replace Your Old Appliances with Eco-friendly Devices – Most old appliances use a great amount of energy. If you change such appliances with more efficient ones, you lower your household energy consumption. Such appliances include air conditioning units and refrigerators.

2. Mind Your Cooling and Heating Expenses – This is usually among the largest energy consumers within a household. Depending on the weather conditions, you may often use your heating or cooling devices more than usual. As a result, you may have a higher monthly electric bill. To solve your problem, look into improving the insulation of your home.

3. Consider Your Water Consumption – There are many ways your family can save water daily. For instance, you can install low-flow toilets, buy water-saving shower heads, don't run the sink while brushing your teeth, and fix any water leaks right away.

4. Use Energy Efficient Lighting – In a future article, I will explore the use of CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) bulbs in detail. For now, if you are unfamiliar with this type of bulb, just know that their use can significantly lower your energy consumption while providing the same amount of light to your home (if not more). Also, if it's within your budget, consider solar panels to cut down on energy consumption as well. Finally, if you are performing significant building or remodeling, carefully consider where you place your windows so that you can take better advantage of natural light.

5. Ensure that You Pick Eco-friendly Products – Traditionally, the construction industry has a reputation for significant negative impacts on natural resources. In recent years, however, many eco-friendly building materials have made their way into the marketplace which reduces the environmental impact of building construction and its supporting operations. In future articles, I will examine eco-friendly building materials in more depth. Materials can be considered eco-friendly if they are locally sourced because they don't have to travel far and employ the use of local resources. Other factors that can be considered when determining materials' eco-friendliness include the energy required to extract and/or process a material — such as stone or ore materials that are pulled out of the ground. Outside of the extraction, this also includes what a material requires for growth, production and transportation, (i.e. water and other resources for growth, gas used for transportation, etc.).

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series - How Much Energy Is Your Home Consuming?