Going Green: How to Create an Eco-Friendly Home
The increasingly violent storms and the continuous melting of the polar ice caps are resounding manifestations of the harsh effects of global warming. While we may not feel we are personally at fault, in one way or another we have all have contributed to this problem.
As calls for greener living are taken up across the globe, we too can do our share in conserving valuable energy and reducing greenhouse emission by taking simple steps to creating an eco-friendly home.
1. Take Advantage of Solar Power
A great way to help with the plight of the environment and to save on electricity costs is to harness solar power through the use of specialized panels and products that can be used all around our homes. From security cameras to radios, these eco-friendly products are just as effective as their energy hungry counterparts but not as menacing to Mother Nature.
2. Use Programmable Thermostats
The beauty of a smart thermostat is that they can be pre-programmed to shut off in specific times of the day, say at night when all of we are soundly sleeping or during daytime when everyone else is at school work. Through this simple effort, we can lower as much as 20% of our home energy consumption. This is money that can be put to better use with the added benefit of lessening your footprint.
3. Look for Alternative Eco-Friendly Materials
Our market is now, fortunately, teeming with newer eco-friendly materials that are specifically created to conserve energy and make use of recycled material. Environmentally friendly paints, for instance, are created with safer technology and reduced volatile organic compounds for a cleaner air.
Bamboo flooring is also an excellent alternative to hardwood floors. Instead of chopping down trees that would take anywhere from 50 -100 years to grow back, bamboo can replenish itself in as little as 6 years tops. If you are unsure on which materials to use, several contractors can help you in your quest for a greener home.
4. Help Your Roof Get a Life
Energy efficient roofing systems like TPO for commercial buildings or fully sealed and insulated roofs in residential construction can help you save money fast. If you are feeling really adventurous, a green roof is a great way to add life to almost any home or building while protecting your home from the elements. Just be sure to work with a qualified installer, as these modern roofing systems can require additional bracing to support their added weight.
Most of our energy sources are taken from fossil fuels. They can and will deplete in time, which means we need to get smarter about our energy usage and find real ways to transition sources of renewable energy.
Jimmy is a writer for Heartland Roofing, a contractor that offers green roof design and construction.