Unless you’ve quite literally been living under a rock, you’re well aware of the evolving environmental crisis facing planet earth. Like all good crises, the global climate emergency has lead to massive innovations in how we can create homes that are both sustainable and eco-friendly.
We know that eco-friendly homes contribute to a healthier planet, but there’s an added bonus in that they can also contribute to shaping healthier, more intentional inhabitants.
But what exactly DOES a home that’s gentler on the planet look like? Here are some essential guidelines for you to consider when embarking on the journey of designing an eco-friendly home.
There’s a massive opportunity to bolster how friendly your home is to the environment by opting for materials such as reclaimed wood, bamboo, and recycled steel over new resources. Going down the reclaimed and recycled route also aids in minimising the carbon footprint during the construction phase.
Meanwhile, integrating efficient insulation systems and energy-efficient windows can significantly reduce energy consumption, leading to a more sustainable and cost-effective home in the long run. Which leads us to…
Being savvy and discerning when it comes to choosing your energy sources is another key component of designing an eco-friendly home. Installing solar panels or wind turbines can help harness natural resources to generate electricity, reducing dependency on traditional energy sources. Implementing a rainwater harvesting system can also contribute to the sustainable management of water resources, making sure that energy is both used efficiently, and rarely wasted.
Another hot tip, which is often overlooked, is the design and orientation of the house itself. Employing passive design techniques, such as strategic placement of windows for natural lighting and ventilation, can help reduce the reliance on artificial lighting and air conditioning, in turn decreasing energy consumption. Incorporating green spaces like rooftop gardens can also enhance the aesthetic appeal of the home as well as contributing to improved air quality and biodiversity.
All of these considerations when creating and designing your space are undermined however, if the occupants of a property aren’t intentional and deliberate about practicing a sustainable lifestyle. Making sure that we’re recycling, composting, and conserving water where possible, investing in energy-efficient appliances and practising energy-saving habits will significantly contribute to reducing the overall energy consumption of the household.
So while designing and building an eco-friendly home isn’t necessarily a quick weekend project, there are micro habits that we can all adopt to live more sustainably. By integrating the principles of using sustainable materials, being intentional about energy sources and generally considering the way we use our homes on a day-to-day basis, we can all play a part in shaping a more environmentally aware future.