Do you want to do your part in helping the environment?
Building an eco friendly home is the best way to build a home. It’s critical that we look to reduce our environmental footprint in today’s world. We can do this by using recycled or sustainable materials when building.
Heat, gas, and electricity consume the most energy. Creating a home and system that minimizes that waste will do wonders. Read on to discover how you can achieve this and discover some great ideas for building an eco friendly home.
Look Into Sustainable Materials
One of the first things you should consider is making things more sustainable. When looking at building materials for an eco friendly home, you have plenty of options. Don’t jump straight to new materials.
There are real advantages to using recycled or repurposed materials. A lot of the cheap lumber you buy these days come from young trees. In those over 100-year-old cabinets and cabins, you see used old-growth trees which are of higher quality.
You don’t have to chop down ancient trees to get more high-quality building materials. You can salvage and recycle the wood already in circulation.
Recycling, Upcycling, and Reducing Environmental Footprints
Recycling or “upcycling” building materials is a huge eco friendly boost. Upcycling refers to taking something and giving it new life. For example, using an old shiplap to make a shelf or bench.
You can reuse materials for floors, walls, supports, and rafters and upcycle them into furnishings. This works for wood, metal, brick, and other durable materials. It also works for quality insulation.
On top of going with straight-up recycled materials, there are many that get made in a sustainable way. Reducing the environmental footprint that making these materials creates is the key. Avoid buying new materials if you can, and look into what’s already floating around.
It will add style to your house, be eco friendly, and could even save you money.
Environmental and Personal Health
If you build an eco friendly home, you’ll have to make certain decisions. These will impact environmental health and also your own health when you live there. You’ll carve an actual footprint into the land you build on, filling that space with materials.
When choosing what to build and how to build it, you should be conscious of the impact. Some of these are quite obvious. For example, lead pipes can leach toxic metals into water systems, poisoning yourself and your surroundings.
For this reason, lead pipes aren’t used anymore in newer constructions. Older ones are always upgrading to catch up. That doesn’t mean that many similar issues won’t pop up as you choose how to build your home.
The paints you use, the flooring you choose, and the material you make insulation out of will matter. Old school insulation, drywall, or gypsum could have asbestos. If dealing with an existing construction or using recycled materials, don’t skip this crucial detail.
Your safety is paramount, as it won’t be only the environment that suffers. Air quality in your new home will also get affected. To avoid this, use smart eco friendly materials and practices.
Use paints and floor waxes that are non-toxic. Look for sustainable or recycled insulation. Ensure there is good airflow with windows, ducts, and an efficient HVAC system.
Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting as it’s hard to clean and can hide dangerous bacteria or mold. The most important thing is to avoid anything leaching into the air, water, or environment.
Less is More
The old adage that less is more is one of many ideas for building an eco friendly home. The popularity of the tiny home, in particular, is proof of this. It turns out that a smaller space, utilized to perfection, is more eco-conscious and budget-friendly.
The reasons for this are pretty simple. The smaller your home, the fewer materials you need to use.
In addition, a smaller space needs less energy to clean, heat, or cool down. This goes for tiny homes where everything is in one space, but for larger homes too. Large open spaces with high ceilings are more difficult to keep warm.
Everyone loves open concept designs, but it’s essential to consider these challenges. If you aren’t careful, you’ll spend more money on your gas and electric bills for this privilege. When building an eco friendly home, there are ways around this, but the general rule holds.
Less is more when trying to build something sustainable and efficient.
Natural Light and Insulation
If you intend to build an eco-friendly home on a budget, this might be one of the most important tips. To save money on your heating and electric bills, lean on natural light and proper insulation. It will also decrease your environmental footprint.
Natural light is the easiest to explain. Tall or wide windows and skylights let in lots of natural light. If you position them in the right places, you won’t ever need to turn on the lights during the day.
With enough creativity, even a basement can benefit from this practice and save you money. Renewal by Andersen Windows is a good place to start looking for windows. Insulation will take more work but is even more worth it.
Proper insulation in your home will make a huge difference. This involves multiple steps.
First, everything needs to be tight so that no heat can escape. Next, you need proper and controlled airflow, such as through vents and an HVAC system.
You need walls and materials that retain heat but don’t transfer it. This means multi-panned windows to keep the summer heat out and your winter heating in. The most important thing is an airflow system that efficiently recycles heat throughout your home.
Building an Eco Friendly Home
When building an eco friendly home, there’s a lot to consider. You want to use sustainable materials, and you want to avoid creating any more waste than necessary. Make the change today and become a pioneer of good environmental habits!
Want to know more about how you can do your part in saving the environment? Check out our other blog posts to discover more.