Eco-friendly homes are becoming increasingly popular as more and more homeowners, renters and investors seek to reduce their carbon footprint, decrease negative impacts on the environment and leave a cleaner and safer planet for future generations. Environmental considerations are not the only factors influencing larger numbers of people to choose eco-friendly homes. Cheaper and more efficient building materials, lower water and power costs, ergonomic benefits including improved indoor air quality, energy conservation and greater sustainability are just few of the reasons why a lot of people have been convinced to make the leap from conventional to greener homes. As a result, homeowners, renters and even property inventors are choosing to build and occupy eco-friendly homes and reaping myriad financial, environmental and health benefits. Below are a few of the most popular eco-friendly home trends today:
1. Green materials
Green materials will normally connect our minds to recycling and reusing. However, it can also be used to refer to locally sourced materials as well as sustainable and easily renewable ones such as cork and bamboo. These materials are great for furniture and fittings such as cabinets and built-in closets. However, they should be sourced from reputable growers and manufacturers to ensure that you are getting the highest quality and avoid having to replace items made from them on a regular basis. Green materials will often cost a lot less than standard building materials and provide great value for money while giving you the opportunity to rest secure in the knowledge that you are doing your part to conserve the environment.
2. Energy efficient design and appliances
This incorporates elements such as the use of energy saving bulbs, stoves, refrigerators and other appliances. People who wish to go the whole nine yards as far as energy conservation is concerned, may choose the net-zero energy routes and build, or renovate, homes that use up as much energy in a year as they produce. This is accomplished through the use of renewable sources of energy such as solar or geothermal power, as well as energy efficient lighting and appliances. To help people make their lives greener, companies such as Josco Energy Corporation and Green Rhino Energy and many more can be consulted to help make their homes more efficient. Also, people who use energy efficient design may benefit from rebates and tax credits depending on the State they live in.
3. Water conservation
Grey water reuse, rainwater harvesting, low flow toilets, water saving shower heads and other water conservation methods are some features that home owners are employing to keep their homes eco-friendly. Saving water in this way ensures that they cut down on water use, save on costs and even use wastewater for productive purposes such as composting and farming.
4. Low VOC paint
Conventional paint, used in both the interior and exterior of housing, has typically been prepared with toxic materials like VOCs (Volatile Organic Chemicals) such as toluene, formaldehyde and ethyl acetate which have been shown to cause respiratory problems and pose other serious health risks when inhaled. Fortunately, paint manufacturers are increasingly coming up with low VOC paints with low levels of these carbon based chemicals and many are choosing to use them in their humble abodes as opposed to conventional paint.
5. Tiny houses
The tiny house movement is a relatively new phenomenon that advocates living in homes that are less than 46 square meters in size. Adherents of this movement cite cost savings and reduced ecological impact as some of their reasons for choosing to live in a home that is significantly smaller than the average American size of 2600 square feet. Other advantages include energy savings as well as efficient space use and the avoidance of building permit costs when a tiny house is constructed on wheels.
6. Solar roofing
People who live in sunny climates are taking advantage of the freely available solar energy to power their houses, without having to rely on the traditional electricity grid. While many originally shied away from this energy source citing its expense, improvements in solar panel design mean that this technology is becoming more affordable to people who are looking for alternative sources of power.
7. Home automation
Home automation is part of the internet of things that allows users to automate and control processes in their home remotely or from a mobile device. Automated homes allow you to turn on the lights, close the blinds, control electrical appliances and many other processes using your mobile device. Home automation systems help to conserve energy, save water and regulate the temperature in your home quite easily.
Eco-homes will continue to grow in popularity as people realize the importance of conserving the environment by making smart choices about their living spaces. Fortunately, today’s technology allows anyone who is willing to invest the time and money the opportunity to create and renovate their spaces to reflect their commitment to living in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.
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