Being green is no longer a trendy thing to be, when everyone around you is so conscious about the environment. It is now an absolute necessity for the planet, which faces so much of danger from over-exploitation. We don’t have to be famous, courageous or do great things to help save the planet either. It is in the little things that each of us can do that will seal the sustainability factor for the future. Keep this in mind when you renovating your home or planning to, since homes consume a major part of a nation’s energy on a daily basis. Instead of opting for the ordinary, plan for renovating to a green home which will be your pride and joy.
What does renovating to a green home really mean?
It means reducing the overall consumption of the energy and resources so that they can be conserved and a healthier lifestyle can be maintained at the same time. Attaining sustainability is more than using solar shades on your windows, instead it is a conscious decision to apply this formula to every nook and cranny of your home. Notice how effortlessly the play of light and space makes the house in the image glow brilliantly without tapping on electricity to light it up. Once you have made up your mind and preliminary budget for the renovation it is time to visit the green concept thoroughly.
The large glass windows and open space complements the large space and beauty of this room– http://0.tqn.com/d/create/1/0/m/R/4/-/addition.jpg
Tip #1 – Choose the right materials
When you are building or renovating a home you are always on the lookout for quality and affordability. But this time add renewable or recycled materials to your search as well, which will not only promise long-term durability like sustainable bamboo flooring in the image below, or ones made from reclaimed or re-purposed wood. When it comes to paints, opt for oil-based products that do not emit volatile organic compounds into your homes. Milk, water or plant based paints come from natural sources and go a long way to making your home green.
The right mix of nature and beauty is reflected in the bamboo flooring that is fast becoming the choice of homeowners. Image Source – http://www.hgtvremodels.com/interiors/why-you-should-pick-bamboo-flooring/index.html
Tip #2 – Install efficient systems for heating and plumbing
Efficient heating and cooling systems reduce the overall electricity consumption to a large extent. Replace the older pipes with well-insulated models made from hardy materials that will last long, and this goes for getting new boilers as well. Older machines and appliances consume more energy and cannot match the new energy standards for homes either. While renovating to a green home, make sure that you have installed systems which cool and heat only when needed and restrict water usage with automatic sensors.
Tip #3 – Manage your electricity usage
Set up programmable thermostats which are preset to the best temperature needed, based on room occupancy. During winters it lets the temperature in the house to drop when unoccupied and starts re-heating just before its time for the homeowners to come home. During summers, it lets the temperature in the house to rise but kicks on the air conditioning before the arrival of occupants. On top of these, choosing energy star certified home appliances and occupancy sensors for gadgets and appliances will also stop placing huge demands on the electrical supply grid.
This regulates the temperature in the room as per need. Some even come up sensors so that they can adjust as per room occupancy and save energy. Image Source – http://www.emersonclimate.com/en-us/Products/Thermostats/PublishingImages/thermostats_hi_res/1F97_0671_Emerson_clip.jpgz
Tip #4 – Set up intelligent lighting options
Change all incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lighting. Opt for LED light bulbs and retrofit lightings that can lead to optimum power savings by consuming much less energy than the older models. In fact, when you are renovating to a green home a key function would be to replace all older light fixtures and install day-light controlled illumination which will save, conserve and aid in stemming further environmental damage as well. If you have solar panels for harnessing the natural energy for lighting up your home later great, just make sure that the panels themselves are made from sustainable materials as well. The use of repurposed materials for decorative lighting, like in the image below, accentuates the actual choice of lights and helps complete the sustainability cycle.
This sustainable lighting fixture has been made from items that lie all over the house like glow sticks, telephone wires and electrical tapes. Image Source – http://www.yankodesign.com/2007/09/07/bucky-sustainable-lighting/#sOLqjBSzrIupc6zy.99
Tip #5 – Opt for green accessories this time
Now is the time to change the way your home will feel like, not just in looks but also in spirit. Accessories made of organic green materials are a perfect way to complement this endeavor. Carpets and rugs made from recycled material, pillows, sheets and throws made from organic cotton with vegetable-based ink prints, décor items made from renewable materials, window treatments made from reeds and grasses, paper or natural fabric are all great ideas that will make your home green without costing too much.
If you are planning on renovating to a green home try out these simple tips and see your dream of an eco-friendly home come true effortlessly.