It becomes increasingly hard to remain neutral in a world affected by climate change and diluting resources. This is our home; we need to move forward with the utmost care. That said, some people are switching up their way of life from big changes all the way down to the nitty gritty. They refinance their homes and go out to build elsewhere in hopes of living in ways that will help save the world rather than continue to hurt it. Some people are doing this by building more sustainable houses.
It seems extreme for some, yet for others it’s a necessary move. No matter where you fit in that statement, you can start now to make your more life eco-friendly. Here are some ways you can build a more eco-friendly house — or at the least start moving toward eco-friendly appliances and add-ons to it. If we do this together, we may be able to prolong our home for future generations a bit longer.
If you’re taking the route of building your own house, you’ll have a wider array of options to live sustainably. For instance, Mother Earth News recently wrote about creating house beams out of recycled steel and insulating the house with sheep’s wool. Additionally, they mentioned that you can use plant-based polyurethane rigid foam for insulation if you’re vegan or don’t want to use an animal product.
However, taking this route may be more financially costly than you think. To use a real example, hardwood or bamboo flooring are common eco-friendly options used in building eco-friendly houses, but they cost twice as much as carpet typically does. This is the catch with eco-friendly life changes and why people often prefer to ease into it — going all in at once is unfortunately too expensive for many people to do. But hopefully someday we’ll be able to alter our entire ways of life for the greater environmental good.
Materials and Add-Ons
How your house operates on a smarter and operational level matters too, believe it or not. For instance, heavy draperies are often treated with harmful chemicals. So an eco-friendly addition not commonly thought of is wooden blinds. And of course, there is always energy-efficient lighting. LED and CFL light bulbs have had a rough time being popularized, but they are actually the most cost-efficient option to light your home electronically as well.
For house extensions used in jobs or activities similar to farming or carpentry, it’s important to make your work place as sustainable as possible by building it with not only eco-friendly materials but in a way that allows for those materials to last and allow for sustainable activities. For instance, if you’re building a barn, you need a lot of space, but you also don’t want to waste heat and energy. Therefore, it’s important for it to be space-efficient as well as use material like wood that’s biodegradable.
Another example comes from the fruits and vegetables you produce for yourself. If you’re looking to build a garden in order to produce your own fruits and vegetables, DIY landscaping is a good, environmentally healthy option. Of course, it can cause you a lot of trouble when you’re not familiar with the plants in your area or what has been grown there before. So each situation needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
There are two aspects to energy efficiency when it comes to appliances. One is what appliances you use and the second is how often you use them. It’s good to look for Energy Star appliances, which have been approved by the government to be energy efficient. Energy Star and energy-efficient washers and dryers, dishwashers, and refrigerators are all existing options that can lower your energy usage 10 to 50 percent! However, how often you use them may matter more.
See, doing small loads of dishes and laundry may constitute a waste of energy. What it comes down to is a minimalist attitude. Do you need to use this appliance right now? Once you start thinking this way, you’ll find yourself pulling that line of thinking into the rest of your life as well. You’ll stop leaving lights on while you’re not using them, electronics uselessly plugged in, and the air conditioning or heating running all day. It’s a necessary step to reach in any situation, and when living in a sustainable home, it’s one that will go along with your eco-cautious lifestyle.
Have you built an eco-friendly home before? What did you use? What tips do you have? Feel free to leave your ideas or commentaries in the replies below!