Simple Ways to Make Your House More Green

Going green is not just meant for Earth Day. You don’t need to join rallies. Inside your house, there are simpler ways to contribute to a greener and healthier environment. Here are simple ways towards a greener home.

Energy savers

Make your house greener by saving energy. The more energy you save, the less you contribute to greenhouse emission. Instead of using incandescent bulbs, why not switch to CFLs or compact fluorescent lights. They have longer life spans than the incandescent. Unplug appliances when not in use. Make schedules on when to use the washing machine, dryer, and flat iron. Do not use them on few pieces of clothes. It’s more advisable to use them on full load.

Lights are necessary but you don’t have to turn them on all day. Let natural light from the sun enter your doors and windows. Open your curtains, drapes, and blinds. The sunlight can also help lessen the running times of your coolers.

Air refreshers

The quality of indoor air should be cleaner than the air outside. When possible, smoking should be avoided when inside the premises of the house. If there are smoking family members, encourage them to stop the habit.

Utilize the air-sieving capabilities of plants. It will help if you have plants and some trees in your lawn or garden. Their leaves can sieve pollutants and prevent them from entering your house. They also play essential role in the oxygen-carbon dioxide cycle.

Go natural

Sometimes it really pays to use natural things than artificial ones. This is particularly relevant when cleaning agents are talked of. There are many commercially-available cleaners but most of them contain chemicals that are harmful both to the health of your family and to the environment. Baking soda is a popular alternative to cleansers because it is nontoxic. It can serve as a multipurpose cleaner. If you can’t refrain from buying commercial cleaners, it is better if you’ll inspect the labels to see if they contain natural ingredients. There are detergents, soaps, and dishwashing pastes and liquids that are made from natural fruit extracts. Within your kitchen, you can make use of readily-available natural ingredients like citrus fruits and tea tree oil. Vinegar is a very good toilet-cleaning agent when mixed with borax.

You don’t have to spend much just to make your house greener and healthier. You don’t even need to possess fantastic powers to make your house an amazing headquarters of comfort, convenience, and relaxation. Sometimes, it’s all in your hands and minds!

Achieving Greener House Through These Easy Tips

Green is in – not just in the sole sense of its color, tones, and hues but also due to its association to efforts done to help preserve Earth and its resources. If you are a homeowner who is concerned of helping in the large-scale conservation efforts, making your house greener and more at tone with nature through the following easy tips can be your right start.

Cut down on what you consume.

Consumption reduction is probably one of the easiest ways to make your house greener. Cutting down on what you use and consume will reduce your household waste production. According to available stats, the United States generates an annual municipal solid waste of 208 million tons – and the figure has your waste contributions. By reducing your consumption of every thing such as toilet paper, bottled water, and other packed things- you are actually contributing not only in lessening waste production but also in reducing energy consumption needed to manufacture those things.

Replace old appliances with those bearing the Energy Star logo.

The use of appliances contributes to about 20% of a household’s electric bill. Of this 20%, a large segment comes from your old appliances. Replacing them with Energy Star compliant counterparts would cut down on your energy consumption. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the energy-efficient appliances utilize up to 50% less of what the standard models use. This is a huge slice on your average electricity usage.

Change your water usage behavior.

While a lot of water can be saved with the use of water-efficient fixtures like shower heads and toilet flushes – a lot more can be saved if you would change your water usage behavior. Simple things like turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth can save up to 4.5 gallons of water. Bigger volume of water can be saved if you will use a broom to drive away the dirt and sand particles on your driveway. This act alone is estimated to save up to 80 gallons of water.

Choose bamboo over wood.

If you are into replacing your floor for a greener feel, the use of bamboo is better than using hardwood. By using bamboo, you are actually contributing to hardwood resources conservation. You are also directly contributing towards lessening operating energy used when cutting the hardwood into standard dimensions. Although bamboo comes from nature, it is a fast-replenishing resource that just takes a maximum of six years to mature as compared to hardwood which normally takes 5 to 10 decades to grow mature enough.

Use compost instead of synthetic fertilizers.

Tune up your garden greener with the use of compost rather the commercially available synthetic fertilizers. Compost supplies your plants with all of the essential microorganisms needed to help the plants absorb the rich nutrients within the soil. Compost will not damage the soil’s pH as compared to the synthetic counterparts which have been proven to degrade the soil’s nutrient content through repeated use. Also, the use of compost as natural fertilizer can be your way to garden-to-table produces which are healthy options for your daily cooking.

Being green doesn’t mean you always have to go to the streets and bring a placard to join demonstrations. Action is greater than speaking loudly without actions at all. Be green now and start it right in your doorstep!

Energy Efficient House Design Tips

The year 2017, according to the Chinese Zodiac, is the year of the Fire Rooster. The Pantone color of the year is green. Despite green being the year’s color, do you know that there are other ways to atone your house to the idea of becoming green? One method is by making your house more energy-efficient. The rest of the article gives you some tips on how to align your house design towards energy efficiency.

  • Be wise with your choice – fans over lights!

Making your house cooler is a much more energy-efficient way than making it appear brighter. Achieve this by installing fans in each room rather than putting lights. During summer, you’ll see the great benefits.

  • Higher tag price isn’t always quality.

There are many fixtures you may want for your house. Browsing through the internet and looking at glossy home magazines will open your eyes to a lot of pricy and classy home fixtures. But do you know that quality does not mean expensive?

There are quality choices that will not burn you off much of your hard-earned money. For instance, cheaper bathroom and kitchen fixtures may have the same energy-efficient capacities than more expensive ones. The same principle applies to other household appliances.

  • Window coverings over more windows

Windows should be strategically placed in areas where the right amount of natural sunlight can enter. By this, you’re actually saving a lot of energy. You won’t be needing to turn of your fluorescents and lamps at an earlier time.

During the day, when you just want to have a darker setting, you just need the right curtains, drapes, or blinds to cover the window. This will also prove useful during winter months.

  • Install rugs and carpets.

The winter months can really give chilling effects to the skin. By these months, you’re on to wearing your thickest pieces of clothing. You’re also burning more woods in your fireplaces. But do you know that you can have a more efficient way of getting more heat inside your house? The secret lies with the proper choice of rugs and carpets on specific house parts. Aside from getting the house decorated, these home decor help trap warm air to give you a warmer feel.

  • Rethink of your ceiling – do you want it lower or higher?

Higher ceiling creates a more spacious look and feel. Lower ceiling gives you an easier way to heat or cool the house and cut your energy costs.

Are you seeking for an existing home which is energy-efficient? Don’t be afraid to contact your local real estate broker. Your choice might just be in his or her listings.

Tips for Making Use of Natural Lighting When Building a House

Natural light is bestowed by nature free of any charge. The more of it that enters your house, the more advantages you’ll get from it. Imagine the cost you’ll be able to save from your electricity bills. It also give a refreshing glance of your house because it imbibes positive energy. Here are some tips to let natural light help enlighten your house.

  1. Build house to where the sun is oriented. Most builders recommend to have most windows face the south direction. They will get the most sunlight than have it lost. According to experts, north light is more pleasing and free of glare.East and west-faced windows gets more sunlight but they can be difficult to manage and can trap more of the sun’s energy and give a hotter feel. If you can’t avoid having east and west-faced windows, be sure to have low E-coatings on those windows. Deciduous trees can also help give shade during the summer months, and let more sunlight enter during the winter months because they shed leaves.
  2. Have light control materials in your windows. Curtains and blinds are light control materials that will help natural light enter your house depending on the amount you want. During the first hours of the morning, it is good to get sunlight in because it gives a refreshing energy to move. As the day heightens, the curtains and blinds will help you control the amount of sunlight. They may seem low tech but they can help keep in or keep out the amount of sun’s light you just need.
  3. Have daylight harvesting system installed. This is an automated system which through the help of sensors and detectors can control the light inside your house. It combines natural light and artificial light to illuminate the parts of the house. This system detects the natural light intensity and signals the artificial light to give off the right percentage of luminescence to give an atmosphere that will be conducive for movement and productivity.

Natural light is important in a house. Aside from illumination, it gives health benefits particularly to the skin which needs the natural vitamin E that it gives. However, maintaining the amount of natural light that enters the house is still within the control of the owner. Through the tips given above, it is hoped that you somehow grasped the general idea of how to keep natural light inside your house just as you need it.

Green Building – Sustainable Materials For Home Construction

There are prominent issues in the contemporary society especially those that tackle the massive impact of things in the environment. In the real estate industry, preferring technologies and systems that cater to the preservation of the environment is becoming a trend. One of the concerns prevalent today is on the use of sustainable materials for home construction.

There are innumerable criteria you can actually consider when talking about sustainable materials and how such items are qualified under this category.

One of the main properties that sustainable and green buildings must be eligible with is its less environment impact. Since such real property entities account for many effects on the use of land, water and energy consumption as well as the alteration in the air and the atmosphere, buildings must primarily reduce its consumption of natural resources which are slowly depleting and eliminated without chances of renewal.

Sustainable materials are the ones that are recycled and reused in order to build or renovate homes and buildings. This way, you are not contributing to the exhaustion of the natural resources in order to answer the demands for new materials and items to use for construction and renovation of your property. There are numerous industries in the world of real estate that cater to the notion of recycling and refurbishing materials instead of producing new ones for constructing new properties or improving old ones.

In general, bear in mind that the process of building construction is definitely producing a lot of wastes. Hence, the materials that are recycled and reused must have the ability to reincorporate whatever scraps or wastes are made and remixed or reused it for other building construction purposes.

Another important criterion to consider is to look into the sustainability features of the material and to know if it is truly sustainable from the very moment it was harvested or gained as a raw material up to the time of its eventual disposal.

The material must have very minimal impact to the environment especially in terms of the waste, emission, energy consumption and its capacity to replenish itself in order not to deplete the resources taken from nature due to its production. The energy consumption especially in terms of the harvesting process of the material, its actual processing and the transportation required are all considerable qualities to tag a material that is truly not hazardous to nature.

There are different types of resources which are not recyclable however are still considered sustainable because these primarily have the capacity to highly replenish. Examples of such materials are straw, hay, bamboo, cork, adobe and clay among others. They are tagged with this kind of quality because they can quickly replenish and renew their quantity after they have been harvested. These materials also have low or very minimal rates on emission and are highly deemed for energy conservation.

Hence, if you want to build an eco-friendly and healthier property, you must consider using all natural materials which are sustainable and renewable in nature in every corner and foundation of your home.

A Green Home Buyer’s Guide On Choosing An Eco-Friendly Home

Eco-friendly living is the way forward, and it is currently the best time for you to follow this trend. So go ahead and own a green abode that reflects your personality. Below, are a few points that you should consider on your pursuit to acquiring a green home.

Building A Home Vs. Buying One: How Do They Compare?

Every house is energy efficient and eco-friendly one way or the other, which usually saves a considerable amount of money. But buying a home does not give you the freedom to use your own ideas on the house from the ground up, as opposed to building a house according to your plan.

Renovation Can Do The Trick

If you have a non eco-friendly house and you want to convert it into an eco-friendly unit, you can spend money on modifying the house based on your ideas. For instance, you could replace an old light bulb with the latest LED ones, which are proven to consume less energy. Note that reworking on your house could cost a significant hole in your bank account, but in the long run, it is definitely worth it.

Other Important Priorities

Living green will likely be next to impossible, if you are on a budget and looking to stay close to popular hubs. The same could be said, if you want to have restaurants and other recreational facilities around your neighbourhood.

Be Ready To Relocate If Necessary

Is living in an eco-friendly house a top priority for you? If the answer is yes, then you need to consider relocating to a location where it is possible, I.e, a place where there’s plenty of sunlight and a place that suits your budget. But most times, this would mean that you would have to relocate to another region. You would have to settle in an entirely new location, where you will need start all over again, which is a bad idea if you are not looking forward to change.

Get Hold Of A Green Agent

Now that green living is becoming more and more popular, there is a rise in the number of real estate agents specialising in the scouting process of such houses. Get in touch with one of them to get a tour of affordable alternatives that are available.

Although eco-friendly living is a great step towards a self-sustaining life, it also requires you to invest a lot of time, effort, and money that is usually not a sound alternative for working-class families. You should go for this lifestyle, only if you are absolutely sure it is a serious decision, and not just a hobby.

Environmentally Friendly Construction Materials

The use of environment-friendly construction materials is becoming more popular these days. Partly, because of the louder calls for sustainable living; and largely, because of the immediate need to improve earth’s health. The acceleration of environmental problems such as resource depletion and climate change has strong association with the real estate industry – specifically with new construction.

If you are buying a new home, you could already be thinking of purchasing one that is more conscious of the environment. Here are some of the construction materials that befriend nature, deserving your attention of probable choices for the house you are going to buy.

Lime

This material has been used in buildings since the ancient times probably dating back to some 5000 years ago. Evidences point to its usage because of its resilient, durable, and water resistant properties. Contrary to modern coatings, lime in its original state which is calcium carbonate, has the ability to release the moisture from the surfaces – rather than trap it. This material has been rediscovered by construction engineers and applied today as one of the eco-friendly materials in green home sand buildings.

Cob or Mud

Have you ever read history books with sections dealing with houses made of mud or clay? These houses are called cob homes. Many of them are located in Asia and in some parts of Africa and Europe. Cob made use of clay-based soil, water and straw – mixing them together until desired thickness and ladling them into the stone foundation trodding them into place. Modern construction got inspiration from this and basically employs the same materials and principles. But with the use of mud loaves, the cob can get thicker to up to 300 to 500 mm. Rubble trenches, earth bags, and rammed tyres can be used as cheap foundations.

Flax and hemp

These materials are eyed as natural alternatives to expensive insulation materials like fiberglass, mineral wool, and multi-foils. Flax and hemp are natural plant fibers which are made available to the construction industry in batts and rolls. These plant fibers contain borates which have fungi and pest-killing properties along with its fire-retardant capabilities. To bind them together, starch is added. The eco-friendly property of these materials relies on their low embodied energy.

These are just some of the environment-friendly materials which you may want to consider for use on your new construction house. For other eco-friendly construction materials, you can talk to your local real estate agent who has the freshest information about green building and green real estate.

4 Green Home Renovation Tips to Tune Your House With Nature This New Year

The New Year is one of the most anticipated and most celebrated holidays. It is during this time when family and friends gather together and share merry-making activities and mouth-watering dishes to give thanks for the blessings that were received the entire year. But before the year ends, many individuals also indulge themselves into various home renovation efforts and re-imagine their house as if new. If you are one of those individuals looking for some tips, here are some suggestions that can overhaul the look of your house while making it more eco-friendly.

Add plants inside out.

The garden is not the only part of your property where plants are supposed to be planted. Even inside your house, you can add some greens in potted forms. Choose those that grow minimal heights. They can be placed in the middle of a center table or a side table. It is better to choose plants that have light menthol scent in order to bring an aroma that mosquitoes and other insects avoid. You can hang ornamental plants in your terrace using empty plastic bottles. Decorate them if you wish.

Use tables made of wood or bamboo.

Wood and bamboo are two materials that will never be out of top lists when it comes to tables. Aside from being cheaper than steel and glass counterparts, they are more eco-friendly too. Their sources are renewable. They can also lessen the carbon foot print of your household.

Colorize your walls with zero-VOC paints.

Paints have long been used to transform the looks and give new life to idle spaces. If you are tired with how your wall appears, this is the perfect time to splat it with new colors and hues through zero-VOC paints. This type of paint is harmless to the indoor air. They are deprived of chemicals and thus are non-hazardous to the health. Choices of color depends on your mood, motif, or what appearance you want to achieve and impart. For the coming year, general recommendations include earth colors.

Inspire your garden with plastic bottle built-wall.

Aside from selling empty plastic bottles to junk yards, another eco-friendly idea with them is for use on walls. With ample amount of cement, you can actually eliminate the use of hollow blocks to form a wall. Plastic bottle-built walls are starting to gain attention because of its sustainability. Some are even making colorful patterns with the use of colored cement. If you are still empty of this idea, you can browse the web and look for patterns and inspirations.

Indeed the New Year is one of the most appropriate times to do home renovation. But a home owner should never forget to keep in mind that with changes, the environment should always be considered, especially these days when green efforts are strongly pushed through.

Green Architecture – The Future of Real Estate

As we continue to find ourselves in a situation where natural resources are getting depleted at rapid rates, it becomes imperative that we consider as many options to bring ourselves closer to the environment, and to the use of eco-friendly, non-depleting resources as possible.

Take the case of fossil fuels; they are both depleting as well as non-eco-friendly, with harmful emissions being a resultant of their consumption. In such a scenario, the use of solar energy as well as wind energy can be excellent alternatives.

While the usage of alternative energy sources like the aforementioned is being explored in diverse situations, real estate is one such area where the same can actually be used effectively. In addition to the obvious benefits to the environment, long term cost savings are also multifarious. In this article, we look at some of the ways in which you could incorporate green architecture initiatives into your construction.

Usage of LEDs and CFL Lamps

LEDs and CFL lamps are an excellent way of conserving energy; their intuitive, inherent technology allows significantly reduced electricity consumption for their usage. This not only results in more efficient usage of electrical resources, it also paves the way for major energy savings. Therefore, make sure you consider the option of using light emitting devices like the aforementioned, for your construction.

Usage of Solar Panels

Solar energy is one major energy source that is not going away anywhere, anytime soon (or so it seems!). Thus maximizing the usage of solar energy in real estate constructions makes ample sense. The relatively high initial costs of solar panels is what keeps a majority of realtors away from considering the usage of solar panels as indeed the overall implementation of solar energy in buildings. Yet, one should look at the long term implications that such an initiative would have, particularly the huge cost savings.

Waste Management

Waste management is one area where green initiatives can be applied effectively. Segregation of waste at the initial stage can save a lot of effort later, for waste disposal entities. Additionally, when applied effectively, you can actually recycle a lot of the waste that you generate, yourself, and use it for your own purpose. Already, numerous home owners across the country are using the biodegradable waste that they generate, as fertilizer for their own gardens.

Thus, as you can clearly see, the green initiatives that can be taken in real estate are numerous. Ultimately, common sense coupled with a drive from within to implement such initiatives and make a difference to the environment would be the key factors in ensuring that these steps see the light of day.

4 Easy Tips To Go Green And Thus Attract More Tenants

Going green is the trend these days, and it’s because more and more people are becoming environmentally conscious. As a landlord, you should be able to identify this trend and use it to your advantage to make your house look more attractive to the tenants. There are several ways in which you can make your house green. Here are 4 easy environment-friendly tips on attracting more tenants:

1. Introduce Green Replacements

If you are about to renovate your house before putting it back on the rental market, or even before doing something as small as fixing a broken bulb, consider getting green replacements. This is generally better if your tenants are already living in the house, as it reduces the downtime.

Check if the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer have Energy Star ratings. Replace older shower heads with low-flow models. Other small things that you can pay attention to include light bulbs, carpets, window coverings, and paints.

2. Use Solar Energy

It has been found that heating water using electricity is a major contributor to power consumption and electricity bills. While solar panels have been making a leeway into apartment complexes, you should make it a priority even if it’s an individual house. Solar heat pumps are available on the market, and the government has been supporting the idea with subsidies. The future will see better storage technologies for solar power, and your house will appear smart to the tenants with this choice. And hey, it would reduce the bills too!

3. Insulate Your House

Insulating your home is a direct step towards encouraging sustainability. You can trap cold air in the summers and warm air in the winters. This reduces the annual costs involved in using air conditioners and heat radiators. There are ample cheap, recycled insulators in the market that are made of wool and polyester. You should definitely consider getting them.

4. Get Compost And Recycle Bins

You can get your tenants some inexpensive recycle bins. It would be great if you can get compost bins too, as these will promote waste reduction and proper recycling of food waste. You can even buy some fruit gardens to use the compost. Tenants will really appreciate this.

These days, more and more house hunters are looking to live in environmentally friendly areas. Follow these simple steps to not only ensure that you attract green-savvy tenants, but also help the house live long.