Eco friendly or environmentally friendly home is the new buzz word for the 21st century. It is everywhere. It is even used to help sell products. But what does it mean? Being eco-friendly simply means being earth friendly, or not being harmful to the environment. Going eco-friendly or ‘green’ is good not only for the environment but it can also lead to savings in the home. How can I be eco-friendly in my home? An eco-friendly home is one that has been built or converted to take the environment into consideration. The main ways that houses are adapted to become eco-friendly is through their building materials, and their sources of energy and water. Although a house does not need to be new in order to claim to be eco-friendly. Many existing houses have been adapted to increase their eco-friendly credentials. There are many ways to increase the eco-friendly credentials in any home, it can be as easy as adding a plant to the house or changing light globes. homify has found the best ways to upgrade your home to an eco-friendly environment.
When using the term ‘Green’ or eco-friendly it does not just refer to the inclusion of more green items around a home, although plants in a home can contribute to the eco-friendly credentials. No matter how many natural materials we include in our homes, there are bound to be some artificial materials that find their way in. This may be synthetic or plastic items. These can produce noxious gasses in confined spaces, which can make some people ill. Studies have found that by including house plants in these environments can reduce these gasses. This is because house plants can filter out hazardous chemicals from the air around them. They are also know to regulate the humidity in the space, making them a wonderful addition to any eco-home.
When it comes to building a eco friendly home, the materials that you use are the most important aspect. The most eco-friendly materials are the ones that impact least the environment, in their manufacture and their use. For this reason more naturally occurring materials such as wood and stone are preferential to materials such as concrete or steel. In the eco-friendly building industry there are certain materials that are fast gaining popularity. These have included strawbale, mudbrick and timber homes. Strawbale homes are constructed of straw, bound with mud and compressed into blocks by wire. It is a renewable material, absorbs carbon dioxide and provides excellent insulation. Mudbrick homes are made by mixing clay earth with water and straw which are then dried in the sun. This is one of the oldest forms of constructing requiring only sunshine as energy. Timber homes use wood, which is a renewable material that also reduces gas emissions. These are all excellent examples of natural materials.
One of the best ways to convert your home to an eco friendly space is by using clean, or eco-friendly energy. There are many types of eco-friendly energy these days; wind power, hydroelectricity and solar power are some of the best examples. Wind power and hydroelectricity may be difficult to install in a home, but solar power is widely available and a practical option for those wanting to increase their eco credentials. Solar power means simply that solar cells are used to harness the suns energy to produce electricity. Solar power is one of the fastest growing energy sources with technology developing at a rapid pace. Solar cells are available to power not only electricity but also water heating in homes across the world. This home has an impressive bank of solar cells on its roof. These solar cells are by Energy Space Ltd.
Just as it is important to use eco energy to increase your green credentials, it is also important to save this precious commodity. There are many ways to conserve energy in the home. It does not require many changes, and can save not only the environment, but also money. These can be as simple as using your washing machine or dishwasher only when full, this will reduce energy use. Consider also unplugging electrical devices when not in use. These machines can still use energy, even when not functioning. Instead of using air conditioners to cool your home, choose instead to open windows and let the natural breezes cool the inside of your home. The average clothes dryer uses a considerable amount of energy to function. Consider instead drying clothes on an outdoor line, or use a clothes airer indoors.
Many people who are wanting to create an eco friendly home do so as they have a desire to be closer to nature. The desire to be closer to nature can be a great way to enhance your eco home. Consider opening your home to the outdoors as a way of increasing your eco credentials. This can be done in a number of ways; remove heavy curtains or blinds on windows, this will allow more light inside the house, reducing the need for artificial light, open doors and windows, this will allow fresh air into the house, removing stale air and chemical build up. Finally consider building a herb garden on a terrace or deck. By growing your own herbs or vegetables you will be reducing your environmental foot print considerably and having a more personal connection with nature in the process. For more ideas see Eco-Friendly Ideas for your New Home.
Many people who are looking to convert their homes into a more eco friendly version often start by converting to natural energy forms such as wind power or solar power. This is very important, although it is just as important to reduce the amount of power we use, whatever the power sources is. There are some clever and inventive ways you can employ to reduce the power you use; consider illuminating a room with natural sunlight instead of turning on lights. This can be as simple as opening blinds or curtains and letting the sunlight inside. Consider also drying your clothes naturally on an outdoor clothes line or inside on a clothes airer. Finally consider using the natural wind as an air conditioner to cool areas of the home. This can not only reduce the temperature in a space, but reduce chemicals in the air.
Upgrading your home to make it an eco friendly, environmentally aware space is not as difficult as it sounds. It does not have to be something done when the house is built, you can start making changes whenever you are ready. These do not have to be big changes, but as large or as small as you are prepared to make. Consider simply having plants in your home to clean the air, or unplugging appliances when they are not in use, or opening a window instead of using an air conditioner. For those who are willing to go the extra mile, think about using environmentally friendly materials or installing eco energy such as solar or wind energy. There are so many ways that you can convert a house to a eco home. These are just a few ideas. For more inspiration see An Eco-friendly House Filled with Aesthetic Pleasure.