You’ve looked through the green blogs of modern day, and you see the beautiful IKEA-esque glory basking in Flickr pages across the net, suddenly your home seems less comforting. Like a fever or a dream, you suddenly awake, wondering what you can do to make your home as pristine, and efficient, as these. I’ll walk you through the tips to stay eco-friendly, and create something not only aesthetically pleasing but intrinsically beautiful. The new wave of eco-design is here, are you ready to join in?
We’ve all known about solar energy for years now, but the technology is so young that it might not be as efficient as hoped. Still, there must be some promise in this amazing technology that harnesses the natural power of the sun. Perhaps it lies in design. Passive solar system design is made to gather and store solar energy in a format for heating and lighting and when the summer months come, reject solar heat, while active solar power uses mechanical and electrical devices to work. The Solar Umbrella House design uses both to achieve 100% solar powered efficiency.
While it may seem like a fantasy from a far off realm, the concept of geothermal energy in the home is an HVAC dream of the here and now. Imagine being able to cool or heat the home without the noise, the sounds of the meadow next to the house are unabridged. With oncoming federal and local government incentive programs, the cost of such systems can be almost half covered, and paid back when you consider what is being saved, the planet and your wallet.
This might seem like a given, but if you live in an older model home, you’ll be surprised what amount of heating or cooling is literally flying out the door. Simply making sure your home’s insulation is properly functioning may not be enough. There are many natural options for creating insulation, soybeans function or almost everything, so why not insulation? Still, a personal favorite comes from the Earthship design that uses the earth as a natural insulator.
Once your home is insulated and well equipped for heating and cooling, consider control. Another aspect that you can affect is when and how the system is activated. Imagine doing so from your smart phone, completely forgoing the atavistic idea of eco-friendliness. Nest is one such system that will allow you to control energy use. The next wave of smart phone apps and eco consciousness is coming!
With a few simple home modifications, you can control how water is used in your home. Domestic water used for dishes and hand washing can be used to flush toilets, and may be filtered through reeds to use as irrigation for plants. Some statics might be alarming as almost 705 of the water used in homes would be considered grey water. Make a few signs, which instruct guests how to use the grey water setup. In several Canadian provinces, building codes support the use of grey water.
Hopefully, these five options will give your some ideas on how you can modify your home to help the environment. The future will bring more options through innovations too, so keep on the look out!
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