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    Top features of an eco-friendly home design

    The best ideas to get your home sustainable & green

    Hannah | Oneflare

    Right now, people are trying to design their homes as eco-friendly as possible. Not only does it help reduce your impact on the planet, but it also can help save your household money in the long run. So, if you’re moving into a new home or you’ve decided to renovate, it’s the perfect time to consider going green. Here, we’ll take you through the main features you can add to make your home eco friendly.

    Why build an eco-friendly, sustainable home?

    It’s more cost effective and easier to build an eco-friendly home costs a than renovating an existing one. However, there are still many changes and updates you can do to make an existing home more sustainable. Benefits of an eco-friendly home include:

    • Lower utility bills.
    • Your lifestyle actually contributes to make the environment better, helping to minimise the production of greenhouse gasses and carbon dioxide in your home.
    • Better flow of air around your home
    • Low maintenance home

    Features of an eco-friendly home

    Bamboo flooring

    Wood is one of the most popular flooring materials in modern homes. However, the problem with wood, at least as far as flooring goes, is that it isn’t a particularly renewable material. It takes years and years for new forests to grow, and deforestation is a key issue facing our planet today. On the other hand, bamboo grows pretty quickly and makes a great flooring material as well. Therefore, instead of going for traditional wood flooring, going for bamboo is a great move if you want to design your home in an eco-friendly fashion. You can also consider using bamboo for your cabinets and countertops.

    Use recycled or sustainable materials

    Most of us buy furniture in retail stores. However, companies that make that furniture usually don’t care too much about the effect their work has on the environment. Take a look at it this way – almost all readymade furniture is made of particle board which is one of the least durable board products out there. On the other hand, if you decide to turn to experts who make custom furniture, you can ask them to provide you with furniture made out of sustainable materials. On top of that, if you turn to local experts, you’ll also be reducing transportation waste. This option can be expensive, so as an alternative aim to look for local suppliers who sustainably source their material.

    Where possible, use locally sourced and sustainabe furniture and materials / Source: Ryan Linnegar Photography

    This methodology of sourcing sustainable or recycled products should be applied across your entire home – especially when it comes to building materials.

    Plant life

    No matter if you’re renovating or designing your new home, you’ll always be looking for ways to decorate it. While paintings and beautiful lampshades are something you can always go for, you might also want to think decorating with plants. Plants can filter air in your home, getting rid of any harmful chemicals from it. Moreover, these can help you reduce noise and stress. Of course, there are plenty of amazing potted plants that are guaranteed to add some style to your home.

    For bonus sustainability points, consider planting a veggie or herb garden so you can grow your own food.

    Led lights

    Chances are you’ve already heard that LED lights are an absolute must when going eco-friendly. LED bulbs make a great option since they both last longer and use less energy than traditional bulbs. In fact, according to recent reports, by switching to LED lights, you could actually end up saving about 20% on your energy bill. Of course, with everyone going for LED lights, you can now find these in almost any shape or colour. This makes LEDs a perfect option for spaces like pool areas and kids’ rooms.

    Use sunlight

    Where possible, install solar panels to make use of the sun’s energy for your heating, cooling and lighting. Solar is a sustainable energy source, and will also save you money in the long run.

    Another great way to make your home green is to let in as much sunlight as possible. This will both reduce your energy bill and reduce your carbon footprint. Also, if there are any small rooms in your home, sunlight is always going to help you make them look larger. One of the best ways to let sunlight in is to install a few extra double-glazed windows. If you opt for these, you’ll use your cooling and heating equipment less and thus reduce your energy bill even more.

    Harness sunlight in your home as a sustainable source of energy, heat & light / Source: Source Architects Pty Ltd

    Making your kitchen eco-friendly

    There are plenty of ways to make their kitchens green. Firstly, as we’ve already mentioned, you can use materials such as bamboo for your kitchen cabinets and countertops. Here are a few other ideas for making your kitchen eco-friendly:

    • Start a compost to reduce your biodegradable kitchen waste and improve the sustainability of your home and zero-waste living
    • Install a rainwater tank
    • Use recycled glass for your splash-back – as opposed to the standard glass or quartz

    Making your bathroom eco-friendly

    The bathroom can be one of the most non-environmentally friendly rooms in a house because of high water use, chemical cleaners and other issues. Your bathroom, however, doesn’t have to be harmful to the environment with these environmentally friendly ideas.

    Ditch the chemicals

    Many bathroom cleaners contain bleach and other chemicals that are bad for the environment and your health. Opt for natural, organic cleaners instead. Even many regular supermarkets now have “green” cleaners that use orange oil, tea tree, lavender and baking soda to clean, disinfect and freshen your bathroom. You should also steer clear of pesticides by purchasing organic towels, wash cloths and bath robes.

    Hire a green plumber

    Hire a green plumber to make your bathroom use less water. A green plumber can inspect your plumbing and fix any leaks that are wasting water. In addition, a green plumber can install a grey water system that uses your sink, shower and laundry water to flush the toilet.

    Water efficient fixtures

    Your toilet, sink faucets and shower heads release a lot of water. You can reduce your water usage by installing low-flow toilets, sink faucets and shower heads. These low flow fixtures work just as good as their water wasting counterparts, they’re just kinder on your pocket book (because your water bill will be cheaper) and more friendly to the environment. You can probably instal the sink faucets and shower heads yourself if you’re handy, but you might want to hire a plumber to instal the toilet.

    Solar water heating

    Solar powered water heaters are a great way to reduce your energy consumption. If you live in an area that doesn’t get a lot of sun, you can instal a battery backup or gas powered backup to heat your water on overcast days.

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