Studies show that a majority of homeowners are looking for ways to make their homes eco-friendlier. Adopting a sustainable design in your home is a great way to decrease its carbon footprint as well as create a healthier and safer environment for the people that live there. Environmentally friendly building and design practices not only help save the planet, but also create an environment inside the home that’s conducive to better physical and mental health as well as protection against certain natural disasters like mudslides, wildfires, and floods.
To begin adopting a more sustainable design in your home, consider the following ideas.
While this sounds counterintuitive, especially if you remember the “Save the Rainforests” kick in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, manufacturers can use dead and dying wood from forests and turn it into building materials that rival the strength and durability of steel and concrete. By removing this dried timber from forests, it cuts down on wildfire risk and decreases carbon emissions dramatically.
Added bonus: this type of lumber withstands fire and earthquake impact rather well.
When choosing indoor décor elements for your home, look for labels that certify they’ve met certain safety standards as set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency and other Notable Organizations.
For example, many indoor décor and design elements leech volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the air, that over time, can cause illness and respiratory problems in susceptible people. Looking for items with the Greenguard Certification or the Green Label Plus Certification ensures you’re only getting décor elements and not unseen harmful chemicals and/or toxins that could potentially do you harm.
Natural Light and Heat
Electric use accounts for more than half the world’s electrical consumption. To aid in cutting back on this huge energy suck, you should adopt practices like turning lights off when not needed and dialing the thermostat back a degree or two to save on heat. Additionally, you can embrace the natural light that floods your home and look for ways to use thermoregulation for heat.
If you’re building a home, consider window placement to get the most out of the natural light. For example, southern-facing windows provide a natural light source most of the day. It’s a good idea to limit western-facing windows, however, to minimize the afternoon heat. Lastly, adding more northern-facing windows will give you a cooler light source that lasts most of the daylight hours.
Double Pane Windows
Whether you’re building a new home or live in an older one, windows account for nearly 30 percent of a home’s energy use. This is because they are susceptible to heat and cooling loss, which causes a home’s heating and cooling systems to work overtime to maintain a comfortable temperature.
If your home’s windows feel drafty or they are single pane, replacing them with double-pane windows will decrease heat loss and cut your energy bills noticeably.
These are but a few tips for making your home more sustainable.How To Make Your Home More Sustainable And Decrease Its Carbon Footprint