Eco Home

Shrinking houses: a new age of space-efficient living

Urbanization and desire to dwell in the city, close to all amenities have led to the outcome of shrinking houses. The study shows average UK home has almost reduced to half the size it used to be in previous centuries. Builders are opting for creating small living spaces so more and more people can afford and own a house in the capital cities.

Yes, the water stream & the surrounding woods near these abodes are missing but this new age space efficient living is designed so that we can protect our forest areas with minimal invasion to the natural resources.

Here is an Infographic from Flexispace, which divulges some incredibly small homes developed in the bare minimum area as well as the pros & cons of living in the petite homes.

Shrinking Homes

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm

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How to Grow an Indoor Garden

The benefits of growing and cultivating a garden cannot be overstated. But if you live in a tenement house or apartment building you may not be able to develop or reap the benefits of a backyard garden. If you relocate often due to the nature of your work, starting your own garden may be unrealistic without outside help and participation.

In case shopping at your local farmer's market isn’t enough to satiate that aching green thumb you have stuck in your pocket, try starting a garden inside your home.

While it may seem farfetched at first, think back and try to recall someone you knew or met that had their own herb garden out on a window sill, what we’re talking about here isn’t that different.

In the end, gardening boils down to space, soil and light.

Start by picking out a dedicated location for your garden. In its beginning stages heat will be more important than sunlight as seeds do best in warm soil. As your bulbs begin to come in you can transition them to a more illuminated location, but a major advantage to having such a setup will be its mobility. The manner in which you build your setup will allow you to transition your garden to and from optimal locations depending on the time of day.

You can use the same type of soils and fertilizers for an indoor garden as you would outside, but an advantage with this method are the recycling opportunities. You can plant your seeds in a majority of containers and items consumers typically throw out on a weekly basis, thereby saving money on pottery and plant holders.

The containers can be anything from empty yogurt cups, used plastic bottles and containers, recycled wine bottles and tin cans, etc. These options are not only cheap and eco-friendly but they have a great shelf-life, and allow for specialized alterations to fit your crops specific needs.

Also, the presence of plant life inside your home can improve air quality.

Anyone who has taken a high school biology class knows trees and plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, so having potted plants inside your home can be a very healthy practice. Not only will your indoor garden reinforce the health of your heart and brain, but it will improve the air quality of your home.

Plants absorb harmful particulates in the air when they take in carbon dioxide and the microorganisms in the potting soil help clean the surrounding airspace. By maintaining your interior garden and finding ways to expand it throughout your home, you’re changing the quality of your home’s atmosphere.

In order to make these particular improvements you should have at least two plants per 100 square feet of space, or 15 to 18 houseplants in a 1,800 square foot house.

Choosing the right “crop” for your indoor garden is important, but you would be surprised at the versatile options available.

Including herbs like basil, parsley, oregano, and cilantro which grow well and plentiful inside the home, you can also grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, carrots, radishes, mushrooms and potatoes. There are also a number of fruits like strawberries and blueberries which flourish under both fluorescent and filtered sun light.

Gardening overall increases hand strength and dexterity, can help combat depression and provide stress relief. Having a limited amount of outside space or opportunity should not keep you from reaping these excellent advantages.

A home garden, whether inside or out, inspires a positive change to you and your family’s eating habits and household overall.

Take a look around your apartment, home or loft and see if you can identify a location inside that could be perfect as a small indoor garden plot.


Bio:

Emily is a freelance writer, covering wildlife conservation, sustainability and green technology. To see her latest posts, check out her blog, Conservation Folks, or follow her on Twitter.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 18, 2017 at 9:01 am

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How to Heat a Mountain Home in a Green Way

Heating a mountain home is no easy task. The lack of connectivity and (sometimes) electricity can be an obstacle, especially for our generation that has grown so accustomed to it. Fortunately, there still are those who want to experience life in the most natural and green way possible. With that in mind we have elaborated this article! Just like you, we too like to embrace the earth, to live where others dare not to live, to experience different lifestyles and environments. Today, we explore green ways to heat a mountain home. It’s always important to acquire all possible knowledge, to make sure you can have a cozy atmosphere in the mountain while keeping everybody warm.

This being said, let’s find out how we can heat a mountain home. Either you are going on a holiday, a new job in the mountain or even if you decided to live the city and focus your life around a rural area, this is the guide you have been looking for.

Pellet Stoves

In terms of both size and design, pellet stoves are very much like wood stoves. However, they have a big advantage, they use highly renewable resources such as sawdust and switchgrass. They also burn at a lower rate than wood, therefore, being much more efficient and durable. You practically need no fuel to keep a pellet stove on. Consider having 1 pellet stove per 1,500 square feet (140m per square). You can easily get switchgrass, it is grown on soil which is too poor for crops; sawdust from mills. Keep in mind, before buying a pellet stove, that having a nearby source of resources is highly important. If you don’t have one of your own, a neighbor, or even a local supplier, you are better off with one of the following options.

Note: Pellet Stoves emit less Co2 than traditional wood stoves. They burn fuel that would otherwise get tossed away as waste. U.S. Department of Energy confirms Pellet Stoves are the cleanest solid-fuel burning appliance.

Masonry Heaters

Allow me to begin by being straightforward, masonry heaters are not cheap, they are very expensive. However, they are highly efficient, beautiful, and eco-friendly. It has been used for centuries in Scandinavia. A masonry heater is designed to capture and store the heat energy from a solid fuel fire through internal heat exchange flue channels. Thus, enabling a charge of solid fuel mixed with the proper amount of air to emission of unburned hydrocarbons. This allows the Masonry Heater to keep emitting heat after the fire has gone out. In shorter words, Masonry Heaters capture the heat from burning of fuel (mostly wood), and then radiate the heat at a constant temperature for a long period of time. As I said, if you can afford one of these for your mountain home that is great! Unfortunately, it is a very expensive product, we have more cost-effective options on this list that function just as great.

Electric Fireplaces

Of course, this had to be on our list, one of the eco-friendliest solutions to heating your mountain home. It is also the most common way people chose to heat their homes nowadays, just plug it in to an electrical socket and it’s ready to heat your home while creating a simple flame effect. It also allows you to adjust the heat temperature it produces.  However, it has some cons to it, requires electricity and it will never give the feeling of an actual flame.

Ethanol Fireplaces

Ethanol Fireplaces popularity is quickly growing, the world is discovering the wonders and benefits of Ethanol Fireplaces and bioethanol fires. Why? Well, firstly, it is highly eco-friendly. Ethanol is a renewable energy source, produced by fermenting sugar and starch, it is a carbon-neutral fuel with clean emissions, consequently having no harm to our planet earth. Secondly, it produces a good amount of heat, enough to heat a large room. It only takes on average 15 to 20 minutes to heat a room, you will quickly start feeling the hot air flowing from the flames. Thirdly, it has real flames with none of the danger of fumes and particles, no smoke ash and it requires no electricity.

Note: Bio-ethanol fireplaces are very easy to install, requiring no chimney.

 Propane Lamps

Of all the tips on our list, this is the one that we can say is the least “green way-ish”, mainly because it uses fuel. However, it is the one that is accessible to everyone. Of all the fuels, propane is the less harmful to our environment. In fact, According to Education Seattle, propane is a “relatively clean-burning fuel compared to diesel or gasoline”. However, only consider this option if none of the above are available to you.

Note: use Propane, not Kerosene, the latter is especially bad for the environment.

How are you Going to Heat your Mountain Home?

Tell us how you heat or are going to start heating your mountain home. We value our reader’s opinions and are always ready to start a healthy debate around news ways to protect our environment. Leave a comment below telling us what you think and asking any question you may have. Have a great day fellow earth-lovers!

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 17, 2017 at 7:28 am

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Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

Homeowners have become much more eco-conscious in recent years, with energy-saving appliances often preferred to older, less efficient models. This shift towards a ‘greener’ home has been triggered by a greater knowledge of, and commitment to, eco-friendliness, along with the realisation that efficient use of resources leads to drastically reduced utility bills.

EZ Living Interiors created this infographic which features several intelligent ways in which we can make our homes more environmentally friendly. Sometimes all it takes is a modification in behaviour, such as making a point of turning off the lights as soon as you leave a room, using the dishwasher or washing machine only when it is full or ditching baths in favour of a quick shower. Other changes might require simple purchases such as energy-efficient LED light bulbs which last for far longer than standard bulbs.

In the longer-term, you can improve the eco-friendliness of your home through greater insulation in walls and attics, or perhaps the addition of solar panels on your roof. Poorly-insulated homes result in needless heat loss, hence the heating doing overtime in the drab winter months. Investing in heavy curtains is another way of helping to retain heat in colder periods.

Check out the infographic below for further tips on improving your home’s energy efficiency and environmental friendliness – tips which will also improve your bank balance through lower energy costs.

Being Eco-Friendly in the Home-

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 16, 2017 at 10:45 am

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The Eco-Friendly Way to Clean Your Bathroom

Are you sick of all the expensive and toxic chemicals that don’t clean all the stains and scale properly? These chemicals are not only expensive, they are also very dangerous and the harmful to the environment. There are probably many people who are trying their best to keep their houses clean without all the harmful substances; if you are one of them and want to try the eco-friendly ways of cleaning your bathroom, then you’re in the right place.

The sacred trinity of the eco-cleaning is vinegar, lemon, and baking soda.

Vinegar

Alcohol vinegar is very useful for cleaning because it removes almost everything, from stains to odors. You should use white, plain alcohol vinegar, nothing more. Although you can pour some baking soda or squeeze some lemon in it. You only shouldn’t use it on stone or marble surfaces. In combination with baking soda, it’s a lifesaver when it comes to clogged sinks.

Baking soda

This ingredient we use at home is a mildly abrasive, and you can use it for washing and polishing in your bathroom. If you put some in warm water you can wash your bin, shower curtains and all of your brushes, and you can use it to wash your windows and get rid of all the water stains on them.

Baking Soda

All that sweet lemon juice

Lemon juice is often used in cleaning because it is a highly-effective stain and odor removal agent. Also, it can serve as a natural bleach. You can easily use it to remove, so be free to soak your taps in it from time to time.

Lemon Juice

The secret trinity of cleaning

We’re giving you the recipe to make your own homemade cleaning product from these three powerful ingredients. You will need 7 cups of water, ½ cup of the baking soda, 1/3 cup of the lemon juice, and ¼ cup of alcohol vinegar. Dissolve the soda in water, add a lemon juice and pour vinegar at the end, slowly. Wait for the chemical reaction to settle and then you can use it. This recipe is perfect for tile and grout cleaning. You can always use a toothbrush to clean grout lines.

The taps and faucets, the shower and shower curtains

The water scale is your worst enemy, we all know that. All those ugly white marks on your faucets and inside your shower are simply terrible to look at. Don’t worry, some lemon juice and white vinegar will remove all the scale in a matter of minutes. On the other hand, clogging can be a terrible headache. The clog inside your shower or a sink can cause damage to your bathroom; so, if this happens, we recommend relying on reliable plumbing services in your neighborhood.

Plumber

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

Believe it or not, one of the best ways to clean your mirrors is clean water and some newspapers. Yes, you heard correctly, newspapers. Put some water in your spray bottle and spray the mirror, afterward clean it well with one newspaper sheet. You will be amazed! If you like to have your mirrors disinfected, on the other hand, you can always use just alcohol, instead of any other glass cleaning products.

Bathroom

As you can see, eco-friendly cleaning is really not that hard. It can save you a lot of money since the ingredients are always inside your home. It can save your time for buying all of the expensive products and it helps the environment. We believe these are quite enough for you to start thinking more about our lovely planet and start cleaning eco-friendly.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 2, 2017 at 8:09 am

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Why clean with eco products

Since people are becoming more and more busy with their hectic schedules, they are looking for a quick way to do their house cleaning. This is why the new cleaning products on the shelves of the markets have a pretty big consumption. You may be fooled by the colourful packaging and the claim of making the chores much easier and faster, however, have you asked yourself what are the actual ingredients in these solutions?

Unfortunately most of these products are cocktails of harsh chemicals which are harmful not only for the environment but also for your health. This is why using eco products may be a much better and healthier option for you. There are a lot of benefits in choosing green solutions for the cleaning chores.

A safe and clean home

We all know that a proper cleaning of your home includes a good disinfection, however, the toxic chemical in cleaning products can cause serious health issues for you an your family. Recent studies have shown that these harsh chemical are very harmful for people with asthma and they can seriously deepen the problem.

If you choose to start using eco products for the cleaning of your house, you can be sure that there will be no harmful ingredients to put your health in danger. Green solutions are a great weapon to make your home a healthier place.

Less harm for yourself

If you use cleaning products with harsh chemicals regularly, you risk burning your skin or get an eye irritation. These toxic ingredients are extremely dangerous if you are not careful with them.

If you replace all the commercial products in your household with eco-friendly solutions, you can always be sure that you are completely safe from any irritations and burns because the natural ingredients in them are not harmful for you.

A pleasant scent

Most people with allergies are having quite a hard time with the smell of the chemicals in cleaning detergents. If you hate the strong and unpleasant smell of most of the solutions, you will highly appreciate the light and nice aroma of the scented oils in the environmentally-friendly cleaning products.

More budget-friendly

Why should you spend an enormous amount of money on cleaning products when you can use ingredients which you can easily find in every household. One of the biggest benefits of going green with your house cleaning chores is that you can safe significant sum of money. For some tasks you can use everyday items such as lemon, baking soda and vinegar. Making your own solutions of these ingredients will be great for your budget, because they offer efficient cleaning.

Protect the environment

As we all know the ozone depletion and as a result of that the global warming are serious issues which have a great impact all over the world. The waste from the cleaning products which we use is polluting the air and contributes for the worsening of the conditions of our environment.

If you decide to use eco products for the cleaning around your house, you can help to prevent the increase of toxic emissions in the air. We are all responsible for our planet and we must keep it clean and safe for the future of our children.

Don’t be tempted by the colourful shelves in the markets which are full with cocktails of different toxic chemicals. Those cleaning products may not only not be of any help, but on the contrary, they may cause a lot of serious problems for your home and your health. If you choose to use eco products you can get the same great results but you won’t be hurting yourself and you will take proper care of your health.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - August 25, 2017 at 6:47 am

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Tips for Creating an Eco-Friendly Interior

Outdoor pollution is a grave menace that looms over our society, but we must not overlook that people spend as much as 90% of their time indoors. In our beloved homes, we are surrounded by products and systems that impact the environment, our health, and our finances. The good news is that the green solutions have come into the spotlight, breathing new life into the world of interior design. We are moving past wasteful habits and reshaping our consumer mindsets. So, keep an eye on things you bring in your home and make good use of incredible green tools that lie at your disposal.

The best of both worlds

Upfront costs of implementing green tech may seem intimidating, but you do not have to invest in everything at once. Besides, if consider how environmentally friendly products perform over a long haul, the picture looks much different. Namely, the beauty of environmentally friendly solutions is that they benefit both the natural habitat and your budget: They lower the carbon footprint, and at the same time, they prevent energy waste. It also helps that there are also some inexpensive additions that can double as décor pieces, such as plants.

By the power of smart tech

Note that smart home technology poses an invaluable tool in facilitating the domestic transformation. It empowers you to manipulate the environment with a tap of the finger or voice commands. Programmable thermostats are some of the most popular products in the market as they allow homeowners to optimize the setting of a heater and trim utility expenses. Likewise, using other smart, cutting-edge solutions, you have a chance to control heating, cooling, lighting, and other systems even when away from home.

Same rules apply

Furthermore, to make the most of the green technology, strive to utilize Energy Star-rated appliances. They look great serving as centerpieces and improve the quality of one’s life. Focus on the biggest energy devourers first, such as refrigerators. Next, turn your attention to other systems, replace electricity-sucking light bulbs with LED ones. Yes, they are more expensive, but in the long run, they pay off for themselves many times over. Of course, do not forget to maximize the amount of natural lighting, which comes for free and brings great health benefits.

Free of pollutants

This brings us to the point that neglecting suitability can also impede the health and well-being of you and other inhabitants. Believe it or not, the concentration of some pollutants is two to five times higher indoors than in the outdoor environment. Take the example of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can still be found in products such as paints. They cause allergic reactions and other health issues and increase the pollution in your home.  So, opt for paints that are free of VOCs always be vigilant when repainting and sprucing up your space.

Clear the air and water

Do not stop at that, and make an effort to enhance the indoor air quality with purifiers and filters. There are innovations like UV-Guard products that inactivate bacteria, spores, and pathogens in your water, as well. Know that the choice of furniture has a crucial role to play, as some pieces can be contaminated with detrimental flame retardant chemicals. You do not even have to compromise on the visual appeal of your home- modern green design is a stunning blend of prime functionality and swell aesthetics.

Boosting the insulation

The envelope of the building is the first and the last line of defense against energy loss, most notably the unwanted leak of hot and cold air. Hence, homeowners need to consider ways of boosting the insulation with eco-friendly and organic materials. It is highly advisable to pay special attention to areas around doors and windows that are often the weakest link. See if you can invest in double or triple glazing or weather-strip the windows. Add rugs to avoid heat loss through the floorboards and make the most of other natural fabrics and décor piece like curtains.

The green shift

Winds of change are sweeping across the interior landscape and are changing its face. It is time to re-envision living environments in the light of superior concept, the sustainable design. So, opt for natural materials, energy-conserving appliances, and green systems. Play it smart and you will be able to reap great benefits, financial and otherwise. Just remember that no amount of technology can make up for the lack of sound habits and actions.  Assemble a space that matches your personal taste, speaks to your persona, and echoes what you believe in.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - August 23, 2017 at 8:25 am

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Enhance Sustainability of Your Home with Green Roofs and Walls

Switching to a sustainable lifestyle will help you create a healthy and green home for your family, while simultaneously protecting the environment. Green home upgrades will not only make your home more enjoyable, but also reduce its ecological footprint and increase its value. While smaller updates like introducing recycling or reducing your water and energy consumption are a great way to start, major upgrades can bring about greater and more significant changes. Thus, if you want to enhance your home’s sustainability, you should go a step further and make your walls and roof greener.

Green roofs

Having a sustainable roof can make your home more comfortable and enhance your way of living. If you’re building your house from scratch, you should start by investing in high-rated roof materials, such as metal or slate, because they represent a long-term and recyclable solution.

However, when you think of a green roof, the first thing that comes to mind is the obvious, literal one – a roof covered with vegetation. In practice, this usually means having a garden on your roof. Although this might seem like an unusual solution, it actually comes with a fair share of benefits. Namely, a roof covered with vegetation will provide your home with an additional layer of insulation and can extend the durability of your roof. In addition, plants will absorb, reduce and filter rainwater runoff, improve your home’s sound insulation and eliminate a range of airborne pollutants. Furthermore, with such a wonderful green haven on your own roof, you’ll have your own oasis of peace where you can escape your everyday worries and simply relax.

Since this is quite an architectural endeavour, you should seek professional help when designing your roof garden. When it comes to your options, you can choose between permanent green roofs – intensive and extensive, and non-permanent trays that you can place on your roof.

Green walls

Not only will green walls help you increase your home’s sustainability, but they will also bring a sense of freshness and make your space both stylish and enjoyable. Opting for a lovely vertical garden is a perfect solution if you don’t have a lot of available space. What is so great about this stylish green update is the fact that it can be installed both on your internal and external walls, as well as freestanding ones. This way, you can have a peaceful garden both in your home and outside depending on your needs and style.

Green walls covered with vertical gardens offer plenty of benefits, including high-end aesthetics and a relaxed, natural vibe. These gardens will improve your home’s heat insulation, while simultaneously reducing noise pollution. Of course, the most obvious benefit is the increased air quality owing to plants’ functioning as natural air purifiers. Your vertical garden will purify your indoor air from airborne pollutants and emit more oxygen, which will make your home both healthy and comfortable.

Designing a green wall can be quite a fun project for those who have some experience in the field, but keep in mind that this is a project that requires at least some level of skill. After choosing a wall for your vertical garden and building a frame, you’ll need to install an irrigation system and then pick and arrange your plants.

As for your options, you can choose from different styles and experiment with the arrangement of plants. Green walls can range from simple DIY gardens to sophisticated high-end installations. When deciding on a specific style and type of installation, make sure to consider the size of your wall because it can greatly influence the plant species you choose for your green wall.

Green roofs and walls have surged in popularity, becoming a standard feature of modern buildings and homes. Not only will these lovely high and vertical gardens elevate your home’s design, but they will also boost its sustainability and increase your quality of living.


Author’s Bio

Derek Lotts is an Advisory Editor at Smooth Decorator  and writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and everything related to home improvement. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - August 23, 2017 at 8:20 am

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10 Things You Absolutely Need in Your New Green Home

In love with the idea of a Green Home but don't know where to start? The good folks at We Love Costa Rica suggest 10 of the hottest trends to realize the Green Home of your dreams. Want to save money while saving the environment? It tells you which upgrades are the most cost effective and which will be gaining in popularity in the coming years.

Incorporating eco-friendly designs into a new home or upgrading your existing home is easier than ever thanks to new energy-saving improvements that can add to your home's value. Check out these 10 Hot Trends and get your Green on!

10 Things You Absolutely Need in Your New Green Home

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Posted by Eco Warrior - August 23, 2017 at 8:06 am

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Let There Be Natural Light

The best form of energy is natural energy and whenever possible, we should let natural light into our homes. This infographic from Half Price takes you through the many benefits of having natural light in a home and they extend far beyond the energy savings. Even surgery patients whose rooms have a view of trees and nature through windows recover 8.5% faster than those who don’t

There are some tricks you can use in the home to make the most of natural light. For example, if you arrange several smaller mirrors on a wall, you can create a fantastic light effect.

Not only does natural light make you feel happier, it is also kind on your pocket, and there are a wide range of great savings to be had just by tweaking a few things around the house. Find out more in the infographic and make more use of natural light in your home today.

Using Natural Light in the Home

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Posted by Eco Warrior - August 18, 2017 at 10:07 am

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