Nowadays, the drive to be more eco-friendly has spread to all facets of our lives. From the cars we drive to the houses we live in, we are constantly striving to be kinder to the planet we live on. But what exactly is an eco-friendly house?
When we talk about an eco-friendly house, we basically mean a house that has a low impact on the environment in terms of energy consumption and wastage. Some of the main features are:
- Natural Materials – avoiding plastics, which cause environmental damage. Also, the wood that is used is generally naturally fallen, rather than chopped down.
- South-facing windows to allow for natural lighting and avoiding north-facing windows to minimize heat loss
- Renewable energy sources – solar, wind or biomass
- Growing plants on the roof, which help regulate temperature, quieten the house and produce oxygen
- Double or triple glazed windows – to prevent heat loss
- Rainwater harvesting – collecting rainwater to use for things like watering your vegetables or washing the windows will cut down on your water bill, and could also mean less plumbing required.
- Heat Recovery Ventilation – a system by which warm, moist air from bathrooms and kitchens is recycled and fed back to bedrooms and living rooms – Fresh air, at room temperature, which means no need for central heating.
So now we know what an eco-friendly house is, but do we actually want to live in one? There are many benefits to this, but some of the main ones are:
- Healthier lifestyle – not just in terms of having better air quality and more natural lighting, but also in the sense that most traditional building materials tend to absorb moisture and develop mould and mildew, which can lead to breathing complications
- Cheaper and more sustainable – sure, you might have to make a bit of a higher initial investment, with solar panels and generators and whatnot, but the eventual savings will more than make it worth it. No more monthly gas or electricity bills, no major maintenance fees for most amenities.
- Better living conditions – with everything that we have mentioned above, you will certainly feel better about yourself.
Even if it seems quite daunting in the beginning, going green does definitely pay dividends in the long run, not least of all with the satisfaction of helping the planet. So why not give it a try? If you’re thinking of building a house for yourself, start thinking of a small eco-friendly house. It could seriously change your life.