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The Ultimate Eco Friendly Home
December 26, 2015
What does an eco friendly home look like?
The “ultimate” eco friendly home these days is considered the net zero home, or a home that produces as much energy as it consumes. While this is one aspect of being eco friendly (and a big one at that), the net zero homes are not quite the ultimate energy efficient home. Here are a few extra things to consider when looking to create the “ultimate” eco friendly home.
Using renewable resources for sustainable architecture is of the utmost importance. Wood is a great renewable resource to use as long as it is sourced properly (not leading to deforestation). Wood is also one of the best products to use in order to insulate your home. Wood retains heat better than brick or stone, allowing your home to passively self-warm. Insulation can also be created out of recycled materials. After insulating your home you’ll want to check for air tightness to be sure there aren’t any gaps letting air in or out.
Concrete is another good material for green building. Insulated concrete wall forms are some of the best insulated building materials out there - creating an incredibly eco friendly home that is simple to make air-tight.
Reduce Water Usage
Using low flow appliances and shower heads can help you to decrease the amount of water used in your home. Other great water saving ideas include composting toilets, using rain barrels to catch water for use in landscaping.
Reuse Older Materials for Decorating
Using vintage or pre-owned furniture in your home decor can decrease the carbon footprint of your home overall. Buying used furniture means less furniture in the world goes to waste. While it may take a bit more time to find what you are looking for, hunting through thrift stores and flea markets can be extremely rewarding once you’ve find the perfect piece for your eco friendly home!
Create Your Own Energy With An Eco Friendly Home
Yes, this is part of a net-zero home, but it is so incredibly important in creating the ultimate eco friendly home. Using wind, solar, or even hydropower, you can both create the energy needed to run lights and appliances, as well as to heat your home and water for your home. Sometimes it’s possible to create more energy than you need in your home. Look to pursue green building in an area where the local power company will let you feed the extra power you generate back into the grid and pay you for it. A home that both creates its own energy and makes money for you is a great investment!
There is no doubt that the new net-zero homes are a great push forward in terms of energy efficiency homes across the country. Were these homes to focus on eco friendly building materials, low water consumption in general (not just heated water) and reusing design materials, there would be no questions that the net-zero homes are the ultimate eco friendly homes.