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With the ongoing financial recession, along with the global warming, my husband and I decided that it was time for a drastic change. A change for good — for the good of us as a family, as well as to contribute to the whole Earth’s well being.
We have always been eco-conscious, not wasting energy, recycling, etc. However, when living in the big city started getting a bit too tough in terms of bills and pollution, we decided that it was high time we did something.
Remodeling our current house was kind of out of the question, as it did not belong to us and we didn’t receive our landlord’s permission to change a couple of things so that they would match our eco-friendly aims.
So, after giving it a bit of a thought, we decided that the next best thing we could do is move to the country. And not to buy a new house, but a rather old one, and turn it into the eco-friendly home we have always wanted.
This is already in the past, as we are now living in our new, eco house in the country. Both me and my husband are quite happy with the final result.
For everybody out there who is considering eco-friendly living, I have a couple of personal experience tips…
How To Build An Eco-Friendly House
#1 – Eco-Friendly Flooring
For our home, we used cork flooring. Cork is a renewable resource, as it is harvested from the bark of cork oaks that will actually die if their bark is not regularly harvested. Cork flooring is comfortable, durable and easy to clean. It even works great for insulating against temperatures and noise.
#2 – Eco-Friendly Windows
In our former home, a lot of the energy loss was because of the windows. For our new one, we chose reliable double glazed windows to keep the heat in and cold out during the winter (vice versa during summer). For an optimal effect, I recommend using low-e double glazed glass. Low-e glass is coated with metallic coating, which cuts UV and heat radiation’s transmission.
#3 – A Green Roof
You’ve probably seen roofs that are covered in plants of all kinds. Well, our current roof is such. Not only does it provide great insulation, thus contributing even more to our low energy consumption, but it is also environmentally friendly. If your roof, just like ours, is not that steep, you can even use it as a garden. This is what we do and it really doubles our benefits.
#4 – Non-VOC Paint
VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds and, as we found out, paints that contain such compounds are harmful not only to the environment, but also to the health of the people in the household. On the market there are quite a lot of alternatives to these harmful paints.
#5 – Eco-Friendly Lighting
Probably the first thing we did once we moved to the new house was to change all the old light bulbs, regardless of whether they were still good to be used. We decided to install CFL bulbs as they are really energy efficient, and some people even claim that they use 75% less energy than regular bulbs. Not to mention that they last longer.
#6 – Geothermal Heating & Cooling
After consulting with a couple of eco-friendly builders, we were advised and eventually convinced of the efficiency of the geothermal system. It uses the Earth’s consistent temperature of natural heat both to cool and heat a home. This kind of system also provides our home with hot water, so that we don’t have to use the traditional hot water tanks. We installed the geothermal pump, which maintains the water flow outdoors whereas the other part of the system is secured indoors, in our basement.
Long story short, we are quite happy with our new eco-friendly home and eagerly urge all of you to think about what you can do for our environment. It’s not that hard and the results will definitely be satisfying.
Heather Roberts is a writer from London, UK. She has great flair for decoration and interior design. She is searching for new challenges and hence often moves to different places. Heather writes about home and office removals New Eltham.
My experience with living green consists of taking baby steps (like making one big change each year as my New Year's resolution) — because I've seen too many people burn out on trying to 'Save the Planet'. I share a lot of Simple Ways To Go Green, as I find new and successful strategies that have worked for me. While I'm baby-stepping my ecofriendly habits in life, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).