How to Build an Eco-friendly Home from Scratch

Green living is no longer a trend, it is now a lifestyle that most people have embraced.

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From small changes such as avoiding the use of plastics and using natural cleaning products, it has now extended to building eco-friendly homes. Green living comes with numerous benefits and building eco-friendly homes isn’t an exception. Besides being kind to the environment, green homes come with low maintenance costs in terms of utility bills. They also have added comfort and coziness that features such as insulation and air sealing bring.  In addition, the wide selection of sustainable building materials results in homes that are aesthetically appealing.

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When building a home, there are various ways that you can incorporate green elements in your building process. Here are 5 suggestions for you.

1.  Consider building a smaller house

Everyone loves the luxury of spacious homes. However, in most cases, lots of space in our homes remains unused and therefore not realistic. If you are serious about building an eco-friendly home, honestly assessing your needs in terms of space needed and the size of the rooms is paramount. The smaller the home is, the better for green living. This is because smaller homes require fewer building materials as compared to larger homes. In addition, they take less energy to warm or cool down the entire home, thus saving energy significantly. Besides, tiny homes are the trend these days. You can access great ideas from the media or the internet on how to go about it. 

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Another thing to consider is owning a car or not. If you substitute your car with a bike you won’t need a garage at all thus reducing the need for a big house. Moreover, bikes help in keeping a healthy lifestyle. E-bikes and tricycles are also becoming popular for adults as they provide a sustainable path towards gaining health benefits while riding. E-bikes allow you to travel long distances, mitigating the negative side effects of routine sedentary lifestyles. You can easily transform your bike with a cheap bicycle engine kit. These bikes also help you develop endurance by allowing your muscles enough time to build up over multiple uses or rides which encourages healthy habits in general.

2.  Use eco-friendly materials

Building an eco-friendly home starts with selecting eco-friendly building materials for the construction. Luckily, there is a wide variety of sustainable materials that can have less impact on the environment and the lives of the dwellers. Most building materials emit volatile organic compounds among other air pollutants into the air. By using sustainable materials you are ensuring the best indoor air quality for your family.

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You can choose from materials such as salvaged wood, recycled glass, recycled plastic, or natural products such as cork, linoleum, and bamboo. Use recycled materials for the insulation, hard-wax oil for the flooring as well as organic paints for the walls, cabinets, and counters. Choose roofing materials that cool faster at night and reflect the heat from the sun during the day. Materials such as terra cotta, slate, and white tiles help make the home cooler, therefore, reducing energy use.

3.  Use energy-saving technologies

Too many fossils are burnt in making electricity, which has a big impact on the environment. If you consider the amount of energy used in running a home, using electricity adds to your carbon print significantly. Switching to renewable energy is a kinder option. It is easy to integrate renewable energy systems when you are building. Whether you opt for solar panels, micro-hydroelectric generation, or wind turbines, planning for them will save you money in the long run.

 In addition, include other measures that can reduce energy use in your home. This includes insulating your home properly, buying energy-efficient appliances, installing LED or CFL bulbs, ensuring the HVAC system is properly installed, and investing in a programmable thermostat among others.

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4.  Harvest rainwater and use water-saving techniques

Saving natural resources such as water goes a long way in saving the environment from the effects of global warming such as droughts and food shortages. You can help save this precious resource by harvesting rainwater and storing it in tanks. You can then use it for watering crops/lawn and in the toilets.

In addition, incorporate water-saving techniques to help you use less water in your daily living. For instance, you can opt for low flow, dual flush toilets, and low flow showerheads and faucets. You can also go for dishwashers and washing machines that use less water.

5.  Have an expert actualize your ideas

There are many resources available for building eco-friendly homes. If you have come across a number of them, you are likely to have so many ideas on how to build a green home. It can be overwhelming trying to design all those ideas yourself. Save yourself the trouble by giving yourself a chance to get professional help. The experts will help you design your ideas and actualize them into your dream home.

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With green homes becoming more popular, building one has never been easier. To get you started with building your sustainable home, consider building a smaller house as well as selecting sustainable materials for the construction. In addition, use water and energy-saving technologies and appliances. However, it is wise to hire experts to help you put your ideas together into your dream house.

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