Green is definitely becoming more mainstream because a lot of people want to have a hand in saving the world. Going green, however, does not necessarily mean that you have to buy a chunky and unfashionable house that's probably too costly for your budget. These days, there are so many elegant yet eco-friendly residences that are also quite affordable. Another important point is that by properly incorporating certain environmentally friendly designs, you will find that such modifications will pay for themselves in utility savings in the years to come.
If you want an eco-friendly home, what features should you focus on? There are actually a number of aspects that you can concentrate on. Below are three suggestions.
1. Choose Eco-friendly Wood
Wood is a traditional material used in building houses and also business centers. It is timeless and elegant, and long-lasting especially if properly cared for. But the main issue with wood is that some come from sources that do not utilize environmentally friendly methods. For example, timber might be obtained through illegal logging, or wood might originate from places where sustainability is ignored. Such issues negatively impact the world as these deplete resources. So, if you want "green" wood, be sure to opt for sustainably harvested timber. You can also opt for FSC or wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and MDF or medium density fiber, which is wood made from compressed sawdust and resin. Recycled lumber is also available in many areas. Talk to your contractor about what alternatives are available in your area.
2. Opt for an Energy-Efficient Design
When people imagine an energy-efficient house, what often comes to mind is a stark and chunky structure that has a roof glimmering with solar panels. Well, such buildings do exist, but you can plan a more elegant house. Also, energy-efficiency isn't solely about choosing solar energy. It's also about utilizing very economical heating and cooling systems, and appliances. It also pertains to designs that encourage energy savings. For instance, skylights look stylish but these also allow you to reduce energy use during daytime. Also, having more windows encourage ventilation, and creating a landscape with trees and vegetation will greatly help in protecting your home from extreme heat, which lessens your need for air conditioning.
3. Save Water
Fresh water is an essential resource that is depleting. It is scarce in many places too. For these reasons, you should incorporate eco-friendly designs that will allow you to conserve water. A few ideas are - having low-flow toilets to reduce waste and using barrels that will catch rain water. You can then use rain water for watering plants and cleaning.
Claire Flint is a freelancer who has written hundreds of articles about home improvement and real estate. She wants to encourage people to learn and read more about their options before they go ahead and commit to buying a house.