In this day and age, we should all be making strides to live as sustainably as possible. Often, that can mean taking simple steps like cutting down the amount of travelling we’re doing or reducing the levels of waste we produce. But can we do more?
The short answer to that is yes! It’s easier than you might think to lead a sustainable life, and one of the best ways of doing so is to make a ‘green home’.
Don’t panic just yet – you’re not going to need Hereford, Hampshire, or Hounslow legal advice for a move to a remote cabin in the woods with no heating or electricity! Making a green home can just mean making a few sustainable changes to your current home. To learn more about the benefits of this, and how you can convert to a sustainable living environment, read on…
What are the Benefits to Living in a Green Home?
You may be wondering – what’s in it for me if I make a green home? Well, here are a number of benefits to living in a green home which aren’t just limited to improving the environment…
1. Lower Energy Bills
Bills, bills, bills. If you’re a homeowner, that word probably sends a shiver down your spine. Well, if you live in a green home, that doesn’t have to be the case.
Instead, you’re likely to have better insulation, more efficient heating and lower electricity usage. That’s only going to lead to one thing – lower energy bills. Lovely stuff.
2. Better Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality isn’t something we think about enough. If you’re using sustainable materials and filters in your home, you’ll be free from any potentially harmful chemicals or pollutants.
That’s especially important if you’re planning on staying in your home for the long run. Healthier indoor air quality means a healthier you!
3. Less Maintenance
Contrary to popular belief, sustainable materials are very durable. This means that much less maintenance is required, saving you further money in the long run.It’ll also mean that your home will look newer for longer, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
4. Reduction in the Use of Natural Resources
If you’re building a green home using recycled or reusable materials, then you’ll be helping to reduce the use of natural resources. People don’t tend to think about the wider environmental impact of buying brand new materials, but it can be substantial.
5. Improved Home Value
If you’re looking to sell your home and move on to bigger and better things, then you’re going to want to sell it for more than you bought it for, right?
Well, if you’ve got yourself a green home, then that will be a doddle. Eco-friendly homes are highly sought after in the property market, which means you’ll have no shortage of potential suitors lined up to take it off your hands. Now, what to do with all that extra money…
10 Ways to Make a Green Home
We now know why having a green home is great. So, how do you make one? Here are some of the best ways to go green…
1. Improve Insulation
If you want your home to be energy efficient, then you’re going to want to keep the heat in. Doing so is as simple as insulating your loft or cavity walls with natural materials like sheep’s wool or expanding foam.Cheap, easy and, trust me, you’ll be reaping the rewards on those cold January evenings.
2. Energy Saving Lighting
There was once a time where energy-saving lightbulbs were looked down on. To be fair, there was a reason for that – they used to be pretty naff.
Nowadays, that’s no longer the case. If you invest in LED light bulbs over incandescent light bulbs, you’ll be saving electricity without having to compromise the amount of light you’re getting.
3. Solar Panels
This isn’t an option for everyone, as installing solar panels isn’t always straightforward. However, if your home is viable, then you shouldn’t hesitate to put them up!
Solar panels are a great source of renewable energy that will reduce your electricity bills in no time. Have a look around and see if there are any local businesses that can help you to install them – you won’t regret it.
4. Recycled and Upscaled Furniture
We all want our homes to be kitted out with brand new, stylish furniture. But, if you want to make a green home, then why not consider doing a bit of large-scale recycling?
Shopping in second-hand stores, or getting crafty, is much more environmentally friendly than going out and buying furniture from new. And, you never know, you might unearth a few hidden gems!
5. Underfloor Heating
Underfloor heating is often seen as a bit of a luxury, but it has plenty of benefits beyond being fancy.
It’s actually a very energy efficient way of heating up a room, operating at temperatures just a few degrees warmer than the room air temperature. It also circulates heat around a room much more efficiently than standard radiators. Neat, right?
6. Natural or Recycled Building Materials
Now, this doesn’t mean you should knock down your home and build it from scratch. But, if you’re considering making an extension, or building an exterior space like a garage, then consider using natural building materials.
If that’s not your sort of thing, then why not recycle existing building materials instead? You can find all sorts at salvage yards, so feel free to do a bit of digging.
7. Recycle Water
If you live anywhere that experiences plenty of rain, you have no excuse not to try and utilise some of it. Rainwater harvesting systems collect rainwater and stores it for future use. What you do with it is up to you.
8. Homemade Compost Bin
If you want compost, but don’t want to buy compost – then why not make compost? Compostbins are relatively cheap and can help you get rid of any food leftovers you might have.This is especially useful if your council don’t provide you with a food waste bin.
9. Thermostats and Heating Controls
Accurately regulating the temperature of your home is much more important than you might think. If you have better control over the way your home is heated, then there’s less chance that there will be any wasted energy.In fact, dropping the temperature of your home by just one degree could lead to a 10 percent drop in energy use.
10. Eco-friendly Final Touches
If you’re renovating your home, touching it up with a new lick of paint will no doubt on the agenda. So, use that opportunity to research the sort of paint you’re using and look out for eco-friendly options.Eco-friendly paints are water-soluble and use plant oils and resins – no toxic chemicals in these parts!
Are You Looking to Make a Green Home?
Hopefully this guide has given you some inspiration to make your very own green home. You can take on as many as few of the tips as you like – every little change can make a huge difference.
Are you looking to make a green home? Or are you already living in a green paradise? Feel free to leave a comment below with your own piece of advice so we can keep the discussion going.