We are all trying to give back to the planet by minimizing our environmental impact and making small adjustments where possible. This is all positive but have you thought about doing something really significant to lower your carbon footprint? Building an environmentally friendly home is the perfect solution. Sound like a daunting task? Not sure about what features you should include to make the biggest impact? The following are five tips to consider when drawing up the plans.
Renewable Energy Providers
When choosing your gas and electric supplier, there are a lot more providers that are openly using renewable energy as part of their provision – especially with electricity providers. Some companies don’t advertise this service so be sure to ask if there is a sub-brand that specializes in the use of renewable sources. To supplement this, you can use solar paneling alongside more traditional energy providers. Many people are put off solar because of the price and that’s understandable as the panels are expensive. Don’t discount personal loans from private lenders who can ensure you have money to make a purchase of solar panels because the savings in the long-term are worthwhile and not all the government-led schemes are helpful.
Using Sustainable Materials
Most construction material providers – lumber yards, stone merchants, etc. – will, of course, have the generic materials used by most builders, but they usually offer options of reclaimed or recycled materials too. Doing a bit of research in this area goes a long way because eco-friendly alternatives are not usually more than a search online to find, but the price differential is definitely something that is going to be noticeable.
Where is the place on a building that is guaranteed to get the most light and water? The roof. As long as you use proper insulation and ensure that there are no leaks to disable structural integrity, you can grow anything from turf to vegetables to really make a difference to your carbon output by offsetting. You could even include a flower garden that features flowers known to help out the bee population. Top picks include lilac and foxglove.
Include Rain Collection
One often-overlooked way of being able to decrease your carbon output is to use rainwater. If you live in a particularly wet area of the world, like Scotland, Seattle, or certain parts of New Zealand, you could really cash in by using rainwater collection as part of the water in your home. While it will take a little time to reap the benefits, you can use this water to replace the water you use while brushing your teeth and cooking.
This one is more of a no-brainer, but it involves what was mentioned before about reclaimed construction materials. If you need, for example, plastic guttering because it’s sturdier in the environment your property is being built in, then it will obviously hamper your plans to build your eco-friendly dream home. There is no harm in recycling previously used guttering from homes soon to be demolished rather than adding to the cycle of making new plastics. Always look out for ways you can recycle above and beyond your local rubbish collection service.