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6 tips to a more eco-friendly home

Asha Bogenfuerst Asha Bogenfuerst
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Making your home more eco-friendly can be rewarding in many ways. Not only does it provide environmentally conscious solutions to problems such as power cuts and water shortages which are commonplace in India, it also allows us to feel more connected to nature. An eco-friendly home addresses more global issues such as environmental destruction and global warming as well. Now we can all be environmental activist and eco-warriors by choosing to design our houses in an environmentally conscious manner. It's not so much about saving the planet as it is about saving ourselves from self-destruction! Last but not least, making your home more eco-friendly is also extremely financially rewarding. Other than saving you lots of money, eco-friendly homes can also be sold and rented out for higher prices.  

Let's browse through some of these tips to a more eco-friendly home and see if we can find any suitable ideas for our homes. 

Skylights

Skylights reduce our need for artificial lighting by letting in plenty of natural light through the roof. In this way, it reduces energy consumption and is therefore deemed eco-friendly. Skylights add warmth and sunshine to a house, dressing it in sunlight and making everything glow with a surreal shine. By night, skylights allow us to gaze up at the starry skies and dance in the moonlight. As we mentioned earlier, making your home more eco-friendly can be very rewarding, and at the same time make you feel more connected with nature. 

Large windows and sliding glass doors are also another way to let in ample natural light. Browse through window designs here on homify for more ideas and inspiration.

Recycled furniture

 Household by Vintage Archive
Vintage Archive

Large Recycled Wooden Chest of Drawers

Vintage Archive

Over-consumption leads to most of the problems in the world today, including environmental destruction. One simple way of reducing consumption when it comes to interior design is to buy recycled furniture instead of buying brand new furniture. 

The vintage cabinet pictured here has been recycled from old pieces of hardwood collected here and there. The aging wood and the fading paint add character and personality to this piece of furniture. Unlike mass produced pieces of furniture, this one actually tells a story and feels more authentic. 

Upcycling is also another eco-friendly idea for the home. Basically upcycling uses materials that would usually be thrown in the trash such as old cardboard, to make furniture and other functional or decorative pieces to furnish the home.  

Solar powered lights

Harnessing free energy from the sun is one way to make your home more eco-friendly. The simplest and most affordable way of doing this is through using solar powered lights in the garden. This technology is getting cheaper and cheaper by the day. 

With a solar powered roof, you can harness energy for all the lights in your house too. As of January 2015, there are major subsidy revisions for solar powered rooftops in India. Once off the grid, home owners will have the opportunity to sell solar power to the government of India and help to power slums in India.

Making your home more eco-friendly by using solar powered lights can be very fulfilling, and can light up your life and the lives of others too. 

Central courtyard

A central courtyard such as this one situated in the middle of a house provides excellent cross ventilation throughout the house, cooling down the house and omitting the need for air conditioning. This design used to be popular in old houses, and is making a huge comeback again. 

The central courtyard is also a great place for a small garden. The plants will cool down the house further, and be a healthy addition to a home. Biome Environmental Solutions Limited, architects based in Bangalore, are experts in ecological architecture design.

We hope you've found this idea guide and the tips to a more eco-friendly home useful. For more related ideas and inspiration, have a look at a Newly Built Eco Home

Green roofs

 Houses by Organic Roofs
Organic Roofs

Commercial and public green roofs

Organic Roofs

Green roofs not only look great and add more greenery to your home, but also have many other functional benefits. Green roofs improve air quality and thermal performance while acting as a noise or sound insulator. Since green roofs provide efficient thermal insulation, roof durability is improved by preventing large temperature variations. In this way, roofs are less likely to crack.  Another benefit of green roofs is that they do not catch fire as quickly as conventional roofs.  Research also suggests that green roofs reduce the harmful radiation produced by wireless devices. 

Green roofs  blend and camouflage perfectly with the natural environment and align with natural forces to create a tranquil environment. They are alive, and  create a habitat for plant and animal life. Isn’t  the idea of sharing the roof with other earthlings endearing? Imagine all the pretty bird songs to be heard as our winged friends perch themselves on the rooftop.

Rain water harvesting

Rainwater harvesting systems basically collect rainwater and use it for everyday routines such as flushing the toilet and watering the garden. Flushing the toilet once requires about 6 to 12 litres of water. That is way too much when you consider that many people don’t even have access to clean drinking water.

Homify hosts some award winning architects such as Nicolas Tye Architects in the field of sustainable design, who have gone a step further to design homes to recycle the water used in the shower. This is called grey water recycling.   

Do you have any other tips to an an eco-friendly home? Please share with us in the comments section below. 
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