We all dream of having a home to cherish and grow old in, with a clear vision in our minds. But there is nothing quite as timely and as lovely as being able to build an eco-friendly abode from scratch. If you already have a home built but are thinking of making a greener transition in the near future, there are certainly many ways by which you can still transform your place into an eco-friendly haven.
Taking the eco-friendly route at home takes some research and patience in locating trusted sources and suppliers of eco-friendly materials. Give yourself time to browse and inquire so you can set a reasonable budget and a realistic project timeline.
Meanwhile, consider the following tips from custom home builders in your drive towards a sustainable lifestyle.
1. Take the wooded path
It may seem counterintuitive at first, but having wood floors is one way you can go on a greener path. Luxury home builders suggest that sustainable flooring options like cork, bamboo and reclaimed hardwood are all worth considering as well as any wood flooring material certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
The same principle applies to buying wood furniture. Just look for the FSC seal of approval so you know you are furnishing your home responsibly.
2. Be energy-efficient
Firstly, consider your home design using the summer and winter solstice. This plays an important role in how you can transform your home into an energy efficient dwelling.
Aside from the availability of home solar lighting and energy solutions which you may want to consider, there are simpler ways you can go green and save on utility bills along the way. You can invest in Energy Star-labeled appliances to replace your conking outdated washer and drier, air conditioner and refrigerator. Sustainable options are 50 percent more energy-efficient and usually come with extended warranties.
Replace old broken down lights with LED or CFL bulbs to save electricity. Make yours a smart home by installing motion sensors to turn home lights and heating systems on and off automatically.
3. Cultivate your green thumb
Taking the environmentally sustainable route doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. You can instantly make your home an eco-friendly space by adding “living green” into your household. Houseplants not only make your home more beautiful and alive, but they also give off oxygen and purify the air of toxins.
You can also plant your very own herb garden in the kitchen. You can use old pots, tin cans or repurposed planters. You can simply set them up by the window sill, or allocate a small space for them on your countertop or kitchen island. You may also want to do a little research on DIY vertical herb gardens which are now all the rage. This way, you get to have a nice little kitchen garden and fresh herbs any time.
4. Drop by thrift shops
Purchasing pre-loved household decor is a great way to live sustainably while beautifying your home. Visit your local thrift shops and secondhand stores to get rare finds or one-of-a-kind vintage items that can serve as focal points in your living room or hallway like vases, urns, art deco paintings and prints, wall-mounted rugs, cultural artifacts and memorabilia.
You can also do your own turn of eco-friendly material disposal by joining online auctions or going the Amazon route to market household items you are looking to dispose of — to give away or to sell off.
5. Go black or go thermal
Either way, when it comes to curtains, using the thermal or black variety or both ensures your home is well-insulated throughout the year.
If you have difficulty sleeping even with the tiniest of light sources, blackout curtains are the way to go. Aside from helping you get quality sleep, they help you save on energy costs just like thermal curtains. Both types of curtains reduce heat loss during the cold winter months and reflect heat in the summertime.
Thermal curtains, meanwhile, have the added benefit of blocking out noise. Just layer them next to your regular curtains to enjoy their insulating and sound-blocking benefits.
There are other ways by which you can recreate your home; you could also opt to get industry professionals to devise a custom home design that would allow you to make your contribution to the sustainability movement. But these should be enough to get you started on a greener, more sustainable journey.
Robert Allam is the Finance and Sales Manager for Trendsetter Homes. Through his journey from being a Sales Consultant then Office Manager, to assuming his current role, Robert has seen the company grow and has guided many clients through the process of developing their dream of a unique luxury home.
January 9, 2018