Today we are much more aware of environmental issues and the need to recycle and save energy. Many of us do our bit by recycling as much as we can, and some of us try to buy green products at the supermarket. However, whilst we might be trying to do our bit, many of us live in homes that were built years ago, long before anyone had heard of global warming. Many of these older houses are not particularly eco-friendly. Despite this, there are still things that we can do to improve our homes and make them more environmentally friendly.

Making your home more environmentally friendly is not just good for the planet, but it may also save you a lot of money. There are lots of simple things you can do to reduce the amount of energy you use and the amount of waste you generate. Switch to energy-saving light bulbs, buy energy-saving devices, use a microwave to re-heat food rather than the oven and use eco-paints when decorating.

If you have the budget and want to go further, you can make changes even to older houses that will not only help to save the planet, but also help you save money. Double-glazing will reduce the amount of heat lost through your windows. Underfloor heating can be installed even in older properties, and it is especially good for bathrooms. It is also good for small bathrooms, as you do not need radiators. Insulating your loft can save you a lot of money, as a lot of heat is lost through the roof. Making sure that you hot water tank is well lagged will save you money as well; with less heat being lost, you will be able to turn down the thermostat a few degrees. If you have the budget, you could also install solar panels.

If you are planning a new build, then it pays to think about how to make your new home eco-friendly before construction starts. Green homes provide a better environment for people to live in. People who live in green homes suffer less from sick building syndrome and have better physical and mental health. There are new technologies coming on to the market all the time, so it pays to check what is available. You could hire a green builder if you know one, or hire a contractor. Many contractors work for an umbrella company, which will take care of finding the right contractor and sorting out the legal details.

Save our planet

Save our planet

You could go for something radical such as building your home from straw, which is a good insulator, or you could use recycled tyres or rammed earth, which is good in hot and dry climates. Alternatively, you could go for some high tech solutions. Houses have been built with walls that can store electrical and thermal energy and solar panel roof systems. When the sun is out, the roof and walls generate energy from the sun’s rays. Buildings of the future could not only consume energy, but could also create energy.

If recycled tyres or rammed earth constructions are not your thing, you can still build an eco-friendly home using more conventional materials. With careful planning and using local or sustainable materials where possible, along with incorporating energy saving technologies that are already on the market, you can create a green home that will be a pleasure to live in.

About The Author

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I've worked as an Occupational Therapist for many years dealing with physical and mental health patients, both in hospitals and the community. Living a healthy, well balanced life with a good diet, regular exercise and a taking a positive outlook are crucial to becoming a very well being indeed - sometimes easier said than done!

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