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DIY Green Homes

While we all understand the importance of having an environment friendly home, we think of it merely as a “nice to have” rather than a doable idea. We imagine it to be too expensive to implement, require so much technical know how, need great effort to implement, and might even not be aesthetically acceptable.

On the contrary, we can actually be a green home owner by implementing very simple and doable ideas, be it when building a house from scratch or working with your existing home. Just follow these easy to do tips.

Light. The lower the energy consumption of our houses, the less we contribute to unwanted carbon emmissions. We can start by replacing old bulbs and lighting systems with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). While these may initially cost more than the usual bulb, you actually get to save more in the long run because they have a longer life span and use less energy. So, you go green and save money along the way. When possible, design your house so that light freely flows through your house to lessen the need for electric bulb during the day.

Appliances. While your at it, buy and use only green appliances. Check for the most energy efficient models when buying airconditioners, refrigerators, and the like. Again, you save money and the environment at the same time with these wise choices. Any electrical appliance that's used to generate heat, like water heaters usually use much energy. Already, some houses in middle class subdivisions use solar heaters mounted in their rooftops. This will need a bigger initial investment, but will cost you less in the long run.

Air flow. Airconditioners are one of the major reasons for high electric bills. When possible, design houses that help manage room temperatures better to lessen the need for these power hungry appliances. Colder air tends to stay at the bottom of a room while hot air at the top. Use ceiling fans to circulate air from the top to the bottom to even out room temperature overall. When possible, use big windows with shading or blinds to keep heat out. When building a house, take into account where the big windows face so that seasonal winds' effects are maximized. Avoid using can lights, or lights that are mounted into a ceiling. These usually have holes at the tip which allow heat to come into the room.

Roofing. When building a roof, make sure proper insulators are used to improvement temperature management. Attics are also a good idea for the same purpose. In other warm countries, dark roof colors are avoided. They say that this may increase heat in the house by as much as 20% or even more.  Still in other countries, roof gardens are commonly used as a way, not only to beautify the home or building, but to keep it green and cool, as well.

Plumbing.  Make sure your pipes, faucets, showers, and toilets are in top condition. Leaks, however small, can pile up to significantly affect overall wastage costs to suprising highs. Use low flow shower heads. Better yet, use a pail instead of showers, if you are up to it. This bathing method surely prevents wastage more than showers.  Use only efficient toilet flushes. Note that some toilet bowls use less water than others. Also make sure everybody in the house is conscious about closing faucets and showers properly after use. Catch basins and water reservoirs for rains also help in lessening usage of piped in water. They can be used for watering plants, cleaning cars, and other such purposes.

Garden.  A garden generally helps in keeping your house homey, aesthetically appealling, and environmentally friendly.  Go organic to assure yourself that whatever fruits or vegetables you might plant there are safe to eat for the whole family.  Opt for native plants. Chances are, they would require less care and water than plants that are not indigenously available. Create a compost pit where you can throw your biodegradable garbage into. You can use this as fertilizer for your plants.

Eco-friendly materials. Use materials that are environmentally sound. Avoid plastics in favor of renewable materials as much as possible. You should generally use only durable materials. They lessen the need for constant remodeling, changing, and general wastage of raw materials from the environment. In the US, bamboo flooring is a craze among environment buffs since these are more easily renewable than wood or other flooring materials. And remember to use only environmentally friendly cleaning agents to maintain the cleanliness of your house.

As you can see, there are several doable things we can employ in our household as our simple contribution to the environment.  Just a little effort and dedication, one home at a time, and we will have contributed greatly to saving the earth and redeeming ourselves.


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