Eco Homes is not a new concept. It’s been there for a while now. And not talking of recently, but our native homes back in our villages and country homes still comes under the category of eco-homes. Green lifestyle and sustainability is a very important trend to follow currently. Not because we want to run behind the trends but because it is important for current climatic condition, natural wellbeing and coexistence.
Read more : WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT?
Eco homes are one such way to start your eco-friendly journey and what great way to start from home isn’t it. If you are planning to build your own home or already staying in your own space, it is not hard enough to convert your space of living into an eco-space. We just need to recondition our mind and do some changes which will allow us to live in a surrounding of a natural, eco-friendly and zero waste set up.
The definition of building your dream home should be altered now. There is no need for a house which is using air conditioning 24 hours when you can utilize your home design to be cross-ventilated, there is no need for expensive materials & furniture which are travelling heaps of miles to reach out to you. There is no need to plant a garden which is not adjusting well with your geography. Work along with nature not against nature. Building your house with nature close to the environment should be your definition of the dream home.
What are Eco Homes?
Eco homes are the spaces that use minimal resources and maximum natural surrounding to sustain and work. Eco homes are like a self-sufficient independent lifecycle of activities that take place with a small living space of your residence to create minimum wastage, very fewer carbon footprints, proper utilization of water, conserving energy, generating food and maintaining health and well being.
Eco homes are the new trendsetter for the sustainability of the earth.
Imagine if every one of us has a home that does so much for the surroundings and has no negative impacts on the environment, we will be able to save and restore so much energy, power, money, time and resources. Isn’t it great?
We have listed some of the basic ways by which you can make your existing or new homes to be eco-homes without too much hassle. Eco homes work on a very simple and easy approach to bring together zero waste, consciousness and sustainability together.
Benefits of Eco Homes
Before we see how to start building Eco homes, we should know some of the many benefits of eco-homes.
Saves you lots of money
Low and easy to maintain
Build better home environment
Help the planet
Enhance Health benefits
Boost local economy
Encourage you to go zero waste
Help you in energy conservation
Work towards sustainability
Minimize your requirements
Better your productivity
20 Ways to Build Your Ecofriendly Home
Now straight up, below are the ways you can convert your houses, into dreamy Eco Homes.
1. Figuring out how much to construct vs green spaces
This is the basis of your home building. When you start to imagine your home and start drafting a plan, start with how much of construction you need. Or how much green space you need in your household. We would recommenced a minimum 60% of your land to remain green and rest 40% to be constructed. The more the better. Do not try to cover the whole land with your wants. Just focus on minimizing your wants and just do the needful. Make a sketch of the green space v/s civil work and obviously keeping in mind that “NO TREES ARE CUT during this process of building your home while destroying others”
2. Selecting the concept, look and feel
Then comes the concept. Eco homes are itself a concept of the home planning process but it also depends where you live, what is the exact location, what are the material availability there and how much natural resources are available easily there.
Selecting and streamline the core concept of your home as in the look and feel of the space and the exterior, facade and how the whole design will look like. Select whether you want to make a bungalow or a small cottage, you want to give it a traditional look or you want it the modern way. Selecting the concept will make many things very subjective and clear to you for the next step towards eco homes.
3. Choosing the basic green materials
The third step is to decide on what materials to be used in your home. We know that this is very specific to where you live and what is naturally and easily available to you at that point of time and location. But we will tell you how to go about it. There mare many sustainable materials available in the market currently like timber crate, recycled plastic, bamboo, ferrock, wood, rammed earth, straw bales etc. There are so many options to choose from. Figure out what are the sustainable construction-materials that are easily available around your area out of all the list of materials and select them to figure out the basic sketching of the building.
For example, Bamboo is a very good construction material and grown extensively in South East Asian part of the world. Now just because bamboo is good you shouldn’t export it to another corner of the world where it is not grown and will take so much energy and time to reach there. That’s not sustainable. So look for local and home-generated materials to start the framework.
Read here : Bamboo the ultimate eco-warrior.
4. Capturing the natural lighting
Next comes the planning part. Focus on the direction of the sun and try to capture the natural lighting for your home. Placing your important, occupied and busy spaces along the direction of the movement of the sun so that it is naturally lit throughout the day. Service spaces like laundry, janitors, service room etc. can be placed in the opposite direction. This way you will save energy, make the space lively and positive. Natural light will also give the space a bigger look. So to conclude look for the natural lighting to place your important room of the houses.
5. Focusing on Sunlight and its direction
The sun moves from east to west along the southern direction. So that means the south-facing spaces always have sunlight throughout the day. And north face the opposite. Therefore focus on sunlight and its direction to make the most of it. Like drying space for your clothes, pool area where you want to indulge in some sunbathing or for the matter the garden of your house that needs continuous sunlight for it to grow. This is a very important aspect for eco homes in the longer run.
6. Natural temperature regulation – Window and Doors
Next comes to mitigate the design of the house in such a way that the natural temperature is optimized in your home. Placement of doors and windows should be in such a way that the air is well cross-ventilated and the natural light and wind travel across the space of your house to regulate the temperature well inside the spaces. And well-ventilated space will save you the cost of heaters, coolers, fans, and air conditioning making it self sufficient to sustain.
7. Roofing Insulation
Insulation means layering up in such a way that the heat or cold is not transferred from one space to another. Insulating your roofs and walls with eco-friendly materials is also the next step to generate and save lots of energy. If you reside in a colder space, insulating your walls and roof to not let the cold from outside get in your living space will reduce the consumption and load on heating and ventilating systems and vice versa for hotter regions, it will save lots of air conditioning.
Some of the examples for eco-friendly insulation is cellulose, mineral wool, cotton, eco fibreglass, agriculture husk etc. Avoid using formboard or thermawrap.
8. Flooring Materials
Next up is the flooring of your space. Flooring is very important as well because some of the materials have a very high carbon footprint like tiles, wooden laminate and concrete flooring needs a lot of heat to get manufactured. Burning of fossil fuel in the factories make it not so sustainable and the carbon emission impact of these materials is huge. Going for the materials like bamboo, hardwood, natural fibre carpeting and natural stones are-comparatively good options to use it in your home for more eco-friendly and conscious choices for eco homes.
9. Walls Types
Once you are done with selecting the flooring and roofing materials, next comes the walls. The materials of the walls. Brick walls and concrete walls are not very green materials to use but the irony is that these are the most readily and popular products to use in the construction mostly. Straw bales, stones, steel, recycled brick, fire clay blocks are some of the options you can choose from to select the wall types for your home. This will make your entire home a structure of sustainable materials and you don’t need to worry about the foundation of your home. Adapting to these materials have already made your house a sustainable block.
Interiors include the choice of furniture, paints and finishes, glass and other things you wish to put in your home. Selecting second hand furniture, or thrifted home decor will make your home stylish and beautiful without wasting too much on new things. Reusing and remodeling to select the interior of your space will bring out lots of waste management in a proper sense. Don’t go hay wire with the color and finished. Keep it raw and simple and look for green ratings in the materials you choose.
Related : GUIDE TO PLASTIC FREE KITCHEN
Read more : HOW TO MAKE A ZERO WASTE BATHROOM
11. Smart Lighting
Lighting is very important in every household. Choosing your lights bulbs to be LED is a better choice for your homes. It will be a bit more expensive initially like all eco-friendly gadgets but for a longer run, it will save money on the electricity bill cost, will be eco-friendly, only use a quarter of energy comparatively and will last 10 times longer than normal light bulbs (CFL and Incandescent bulbs) to bring eco-homes together. So, therefore, ACT SMART CONSUME LESS AND CONSERVE MORE
12. Energy Conservation
Conserving energy in your own household by improvising several factors like switching the lights off when not in use or using technologies like auto trip, sensor water taps, using the sun drying method to dry clothes, only using dishwater and washing machine when it is fully loaded and using less heat and cold can conserve lots of energy in your home.
Read more : EASY WAY TO ADOPT AN ECO-FRIENDLY LIFESTYLE
13. Terrace garden and courtyards
If you are struggling with the space on the ground, you can utilize your terrace to make a beautiful garden and enchant plants and flowers. Designing the house in a courtyard set up can also help you with good internal ventilation if the open space for your home is limited. Creating internal natural ventilation to make eco homes is very important so, restricted spaces can adopt these methods to inculcate the same.
14. Make your own compost
Composting is the easiest way to take the first step toward the environment. Composting your food waste is an excellent way to build soil nutrition and avoids the waste to reach the landfills where they take too long to decompose. Instead of giving your food and garden waste to municipalities people, put your organic trash into the compost bin set up in your garden. You can build the compost bin or simply buy it. Keep turning the same frequently to see faster results. Use the decomposed food and garden scraps to fertilize your soil and increase its nutrients value. You can easily make compost at home.
Here’s how : MAKE YOUR COMPOST AT HOME.
15. Waste reduction / management
Adapting to a zero-waste approach, reducing all plastic and slow living is another factor to make your home eco friendly. You can make all your cleaning products at home avoiding all that extra plastic packaged mass products. Soaps, shampoos, dishwasher, multipurpose cleaners, floor cleaners, face masks, scrubs, lip balm, you can DIY everything and this will cut down lots of plastic, Minimize your lifestyle, organize you better, will keep you chemical-free, help the planet and Support local community.
16. Solar energy Panelling
Setting up the solar panels in your terrace or other space can make your home renewable energy-friendly and will save a lot of cost on lessening a load of electricity in heating the water and illuminating the space with solar lightings. It’s a great option for back up energy, instead of investment in energy exhausting generator which creates lots of pollution and takes up a lot of nonrenewable resources, solar panels are the great way to invest in for perfect eco homes.
17. Low carbon footprints
Selecting materials in such a way that it is less travelled, locally made, handmade and promote local culture and art is the perfect blend of selection. This way it will boom you a local artist and conserve local craft and handicraft. Exporting things that are not meant to be made at your place is not at all a wise idea.
Low carbon impact accessories and products should be your ideal choices. Promoting local buying, seasonal selection and preserving heritage, craft and art should also be a passive concern to make your home sustainable.
18. Water reduction and efficiency – Rain water pits
Rainwater pits and stormwater collection tank can help you save lots of water. It works in a way that in your terrace or space with is exposed to outdoors rains, the drain pipes takes the water within one channel and collect in an underground water tank. From there it’s connected to your garden area, your pools, your ponds and also compost bins. Efficiently using the rainwater and channelling it to proper use is an important factor for eco homes.
19. Eco Pools or Ponds
If you want to add a pool to your home, go for a saline pool instead of a chlorinated pool. But we would still insist to just skip the pool idea and go for a pond. The pond wherein you can grow flowers , birds can drink water and give a natural surrounding to your eco home.
20. Focusing of self sufficient garden and landscape to grow own food
Who doesn’t want to grow their own food and consume it which is free of pesticides and chemicals? Focusing on a good garden designing and working on a self-sufficient landscape to grow your own food is an excellent way to reduce packaged food from outside and not promoting pesticides. It will save you lots of money and will keep the surrounding natural and close to nature.
Here’s to know 30 powerful healing plants that you can grow in your garden. (This read has been selected for top blogs on medicinals plant blogs to follow in 2020 by Feed-spot !)
Future of Eco Homes
Green living is the present and future for the planet and HOME is the most important aspect of your lifestyle. Everything starts at home, your family, your food, your work, your travel and well being. So why not create and build a space that is naturally relaxing, green, well planned and protected to preserve the natural resources and aspects of nature.
Why not flow with nature, why not reach out to the roots and why not just save our beautiful blue planet to sustain. Because WHY NOT!