As more people around the country look for ways to lessen their impacts on the environment, home builders and designers are finding ways to use eco-friendly materials and options that make it easier to do so. Reducing your carbon footprint by simply living in a more eco-friendly home is a great option for improving the environmental conditions.
There are several third-parties that offer energy efficiency when building a new home or working on a remodeling project, such as ENERGY STAR, LEED, Standard, and Built Green. When you work with any of these groups, your home will have a higher efficiency rating that may even qualify you for tax credits and rebates. Additionally, the reduced energy usage helps ensure a lower cost each month to heat, cool, and light up your home. Lowering your energy usage is one of the best ways to lessen your environmental impact, since it reduces the fossil fuels burned to provide power.
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Another option for reducing your energy usage is to invest in solar panels. The cost of this process varies depending on the size and energy needs of your property, but the overall cost savings make it well worth the initial investment. Solar power relies on the energy from the sun, and collects this power via panels installed on top of your home. It is best in areas that have a warm and sunny climate throughout most of the year, since rainy and cloudy weather may result in not having enough power for your home.
You can also select materials that are environmentally friendly for the interiors in your home. For example, bamboo is one of the top choices in eco-friendly flooring and cabinetry since it is sustainable. It also looks very nice and natural, so you can use it in homes with modern or classic styles. There are also newer options such as insulation made from denim, newspaper, soy, or hemp. These insulation options are recycled yet provide excellent efficiency. You can also find appliances that are more energy efficient, such as furnaces, air conditioning units, and hot water heaters.
Those who want to completely live off the grid may want to invest in an Ecocapsule, which is a small, egg-shaped and portable home that runs completely on renewable energy sources and rainwater. This option may not be available to those who live in cities where zoning laws restrict the addition of tiny houses. It includes a kitchenette that has running water, workspace, folding bed, and bathroom with composting toilet and shower. Designers claim that it can house two adults.
Lighting and Windows
You can also find lighting and window options that will improve the energy efficiency of your home. LED lighting doesn’t use any chemicals and uses as much as 80 percent less energy than a traditional incandescent light bulb. Low-emissivity windows also block UV rays, so you won’t have to use as much energy to cool the home during the warm summer months.
Furniture and Interiors
Choose from salvaged wood furniture options or nontoxic paint for eco-friendly interior options that look great. When you choose furniture made from salvaged wood or other recycled materials, this will eliminate these materials going to landfills. Other popular options for interiors include green toilets that use up to 20 percent less water when flushing, and induction cooktops that transmit heat directly to the cookware instead of wasting energy through the surrounding areas of the burners.
You can also shop for rainwater holding tanks, which capture the water runoff from rain gutters and roofs and store it for use on your indoor plumbing or irrigation. Check with local government agencies to make sure this is permitted in your area before you invest in a holding tank.
With so many options for eco-friendly housing alternatives, it is easier than ever to minimize your carbon footprint through activities of daily living. Whether you have a small budget for a remodel or the ability to spend more on a complete overhaul of your living space, you can choose components of your home that will improve energy efficiency, lower the amount of fossil fuels used each day, and save money.
Article Submitted By Community Writer.