Having an eco friendly house is one of the most important things in creating a healthy eco friendly living environment.
This section is all about helping you understand and develop an environmentally friendly house.
A house/living unit is one of the largest contributors to an individual’s carbon output and their environmental footprint.
There are countless items in the house that can contribute to creating an eco friendly house.
Important elements of a green house include an effective building envelope that is tightly sealed, properly controlled ventilation that promotes improved indoor air quality and utilizes fresh air, cost effective heating and cooling and the energy consumption level of the house.
Look for opportunities to incorporate eco friendly products when completing home improvement projects.
Eco Friendly Paint
Information on zero VOC and low VOC paints and coatings that look good and are good for the environment. VOCs from paints is a leading cause of poor indoor air quality.
Eco Friendly Appliances
Information on Energy Star rated and eco friendly appliances. Also tips and advice on how to reduce your environmental footprint from your appliance usage.
Eco Friendly Countertops
Information on the different types of eco friendly counterops available in the marketplace for your home.
Eco Friendly Flooring
Information on all types of eco friendly flooring including bamboo flooring, linoleum flooring, cork flooring, and reclaimed hardwood flooring.
Eco Friendly Furniture
Information to help you understand what to look for when searching for eco friendly furniture for your house.
Eco Friendly Moving
Tips and advice on how to lessen your environmental footprint when it comes time to move.
Here are some environmentally friendly tips to create a healthier home
- Utilize sunlight whenever possible for lighting purposes
- Open windows at night to cool the house instead of running the air-conditioning
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. Compact bulbs use less power and produce less heat than incandescent bulbs
- Install a programmable thermostat
- Turn off the lights when you are not using them
- Turn off equipment and machines when not in use. Look for opportunities to unplug appliances or use a power bar with a kill switch. Significant power is still consumed by an appliance simply by being plugged into an electrical outlet
- Even something as simple as a phone charger left plugged into the wall is wasting power
- Hang your clothes to dry and avoid using the dryer
- Replace that old refrigerator in the basement! An Energy Star qualified refrigerator uses 40% less power than a conventional refrigerator sold before 2001
- Watch for and do something about leaky faucets and running toilets. Hire a contractor like DrDrip to help you find and fix leaks
- Use energy efficiency settings on your washing machine and dishwasher if you have them
When discussing eco friendly houses, its important to also think about the community in which an environmentally friendly house is located.
It is great if a single house is eco friendly, but ultimately a whole community needs to be eco friendly to truly make a difference.
Sustainable communities are planned and built to reduce costs and environmental impacts, will maintaining a high standard of living and a sense of “community”.
Sustainable communities have a meaningful interconnectivity between the residents, the economy, and the environment.
A simple example is a sustainable community should have jobs within the community (helps promote economic prosperity which hopefully helps create more jobs in the community) and limits the amount of driving (greenhouse gases) required for a resident to reach their place of employment.
Important topics that are often mentioned when discussing sustainable developments include
- greyfield redevelopment
- transit-orient development (TOD)
In China, the Guanghan city government has designed an eco friendly community with approximately 100 homes, town center, and community building with sustainable water, waste and energy systems.
There is renewable energy to power the community, solar heating and biogas production to provide cooking gases.
The biogas is generated by a farm which serves as the pillar of the local economy.
In South Africa, private developers have designed and built passive solar low cost housing communities that provide year round comfort without mechanical heating or cooling systems.
Passive solar heating is used to keep the houses warm during the winter months and strategically planned shading and natural ventilation keep the houses cool in the summer months.
The developers strive to use indigenous materials to further lessen the impact on the environment.