Green Your House!
Nowadays, with more people getting interested in environmentally-friendly living, the range of innovative “green” products keeps expanding.
A big part of making your home environmentally friendly is to make sure you insulate well so you do not need extra warmth from heaters in winter or much usage of fans in summer. Saving energy by making your home smarter is the “green” way of living which many people are now moving towards.
Revive, Don’t Destroy
Architect David Hallett, from Archicentre, a building advisory service in Australia, mentions that renovating is also “greener” rather than knocking the entire building down and building a new, more environmentally friendly one. However for everyone who is building their new home, there are many design, building and constructions tips including how to position the house better. For example, it is environmentally beneficial to expose your living areas to the north side of the world to admit winter sun, minimising windows to the south, shading west windows and insulating heavily. Of course adding solar panels or heavier curtains will also cool your home down during extremely hot days, as well as warm the rooms up when cold strikes. But these small tricks won’t work if the house facing the wrong way. Therefore, some people prefer to build a new home while it’s better for others to renovate. Either approach provides you with greener living, just need to know what to do.
Go Second Hand
If you’re building or renovating, try to purchase local, natural, non-toxic, second-hand, renewable or recyclable materials. Do not get caught on the idea that newest is best. Consider material such as reclaimed wood which is safe, beautiful and grows fairly quickly. Try to keep it safe though. When using second-hand materials, don’t neglect your own safety and try to make sure the material won’t hurt you.
Donate, Do Not Waste
Your own home might have materials you can re-use instead of getting rid of them. Consider everything from light fixtures, to flooring, tiles, bricks and cabinets. However, if you definitely do not want these pieces of fitting or light anymore, donate them and try not to waste them. Somebody else might be on their renovating journey looking for a piece like that. In this case, not only are you being greener but also giving back to your community.
Friendly Kitchen Appliances
Not all the items in the house are greener to re-use. When hunting for a new fridge or a washing machine, older brands might in fact be wasteful. Modern kitchen and washing appliances are often made with the environment in mind. Although it might appear to be more expensive when purchasing an environmentally friendly dishwasher, it will definitely eventuate in being cheaper and better in a long run.
When replacing doors, cabinets, handles and other smaller design-related items, think again. Sometimes instead of throwing them away you can paint them. They might look boring and ugly because you are bored and tired of the same grey handles in the entire house. Give your handles, doors, windows and drawers a new look. Go pink or red, or just re-fresh the existing colours. This will make them look brand new. If they still function and need to be prettied up, you will save your money and environment by just painting them. Do not forget to use low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, which are better for the environment.
In order to keep your work “green” without conducting your own research, find someone who has a third-party accreditation. However, if you are a devoted DIY builder, the information is out there, you just need to look for it.