In recent times, people have woken up to the fact that mankind’s mindless plunder of Earth and its resources have left it gasping for breath. The need to conserve resources, and stop hurting our planet has led to several innovations across various spheres. Home design and construction was identified as one of the areas that required the most crucial changes and interventions. Some of the world’s best minds have taken great efforts to find ways and means of minimizing the impact of our homes on the environment.
Mentioned below are some of the most popular and efficient ways of creating an eco-friendly home.
- Location is paramount: – Where you build your house has a lot of impact on its ecological footprint. Avoid building a west facing house, as it minimizes exposure to direct sunlight. It eliminates the need for artificial cooling, and helps save a lot of energy. Also ensuring you live in a locality with adequate public transport and all essential amenities such as hospitals and supermarkets in close proximity ensures that you minimize your consumption of fuel.
- Size matters: – Smaller houses have a smaller carbon footprint than large houses, no matter how eco-friendly the design. The focus during the design process should be on meeting necessities, and not extravagances. The construction and maintenance of small houses is easier, and they also consume much less energy and resources when compared to needlessly large houses. Thus a shift in perspective is required during the design process of the house or apartment.
- Reduce reuse recycle: – Resources reused are resources saved! Scavenge your old home and use all the materials that can be salvaged in some way in the construction of your new home. Source your materials from reliable sources that are eco-friendly and efficient. Ensure maximum conservation of resources such as rainwater by installing measures to collect and utilize them.
- Use sustainable building materials: – The house can be eco-friendly only if its components are. Ensure that each and every part of your house is made of materials that have a minimal impact on the environment. Using recycled plastic, glass, cork etc. reduces the carbon footprint of your residence to a great extent. Also, do not skimp on quality. Using materials that need minimal maintenance and repairs saves a lot of energy and resources.
- Solar energy: – Solar energy is a perfect example of a clean and renewable power source. The initial installation cost of solar panels is higher compared to other conventional energy sources, but the eventual economic and environmental benefits make the initial investment seem like a minor inconvenience. Also, government grants, incentives and tax breaks are made available to those who want to use solar power in their home, as an effort to endorse and popularize solar energy.