Eco Home

Smart savings: Energy saving tips that may surprise you

Most people are already aware of the most common energy saving tips for the home; never leaving your gadgets on standby or only using as much water as you need for a bath. However, together with Northern Powergrid, who can help out with any electric connection around your property, we’ve put together this handy guide to energy saving tips that might just surprise you…

Invest in a smart thermostat

Did you know that if you turn your heating down by just one degree, you could shave up to £80 per year from your energy bill?

By investing in a smart thermostat, you can take the hassle out of monitoring all your household devices. While these handy gadgets can often come with a large price tag (some will set you back over a hundred pounds), they could take as much as a third off your heating bills long term. Smart thermostats are able to learn the required time that it takes to heat up your home and then adjust themselves accordingly so that the heating comes on at just the right time to bring your home to your desired temperature. This also means that you’ll never have to worry about coming in to a cold house – smart thermostats can be controlled using your mobile even when you’re out and about!

Water-efficient showering

You can easily save energy in the bathroom too, especially if you use a shower. You can start by investing in a water-efficient shower head if your shower uses hot water directly from a tank or boiler, as opposed to it being electric. Doing so will mean that you’ll still get to enjoy a powerful shower whilst reducing the amount of hot water that you use. In fact, it’s been calculated that this nifty gadget could save you up to £75 a year on your energy bills!

Another helpful device that you should consider investing in is a shower timer – these are relatively inexpensive, with some models costing under £10. By reducing the amount of time that you spend in the shower by just one minute per day, you could save £7 a year per person in your household.

Smart cooking

When it comes to cooking, it’s easy to use more energy than you need – the good news is that it’s also very easy to save energy with these tips! When cooking rice or vegetables on the hob, remember to only use enough water to keep them covered and ensure that you’re using the right sized pan. When you cook a small meal in a big pan, you waste energy as it takes longer to heat the contents – the same applies to using the correct sized ring on the hob.

If you love to bake, you can save time by baking more than one meal at once and saving some to heat up in the microwave later. After all, when you use the oven every shelf has to be heated up, so making the most of the free space helps you save energy.

If you cook chicken in the oven often, it may be wise to invest in a pressure cooker – after all, cooking chicken using a pressure cooker only takes about half the time that it would to cook it in an oven.

Smart washing

Your washing machine can also help you to save energy. Did you know that 90% of a washing machines energy expenditure comes from heating up the water? If you can turn down the temperature of your washes, for example from 60 degrees to 40 or 30 degrees, you can save up to a third of the cost of running the cycle. Remember to run a hot wash every now and again though, as this will help to keep your washing machine clean.

Ideally, you should try to fit a lot of clothes in your wash, as filling it only halfway or less wastes a lot of energy. Additionally, reducing the amount of washing cycles that you run by just one a week could see you saving £5 a year on your energy bills.

On the topic of laundry, try to refrain from drying clothes and garments on radiators. Doing so means that your home’s boiler will need to work harder than is necessary.

A well-stocked fridge is a good fridge!

Keeping your fridge and freezer as full as you can will mean that they won’t have to work as hard. If you always have empty shelves, downsizing may be a good option – just try to choose an A++ model when switching, as these can save an estimated £190 throughout their product lifetime.

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to defrost on a regular basis to prevent ice from building up – causing extra energy use. You shouldn’t neglect the area at the back of your fridge either, dust can build up around the condenser coils found at the back of the fridge and can lead to more unnecessary energy use.

Energy saving on the go

For around £20, you can now purchase plug sockets which have been designed to be switched on and off via your mobile.

This design will definitely come in handy if you’re out and about and suddenly remember that you forgot to turn off the TV at the wall. After all, by turning your gadgets off at the plug rather than leaving them on standby, you could save an average of £30 a year for your household.

Sources:

https://www.moneysupermarket.com/gas-and-electricity/energy-saving-tips/

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/energy-saving-quick-wins

https://www.uswitch.com/energy-saving/guides/free-energy-saving-tips/

http://www.britishgas.co.uk/help-and-advice/save-energy-save-money/Energy-saving-tips/top-10-energy-saving-tips.html

https://britishgas.co.uk/energy/energy-saving/energy-saving-tips.html

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Posted by Eco Warrior - July 4, 2018 at 5:56 am

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5 Benefits of LED Lights

Australian homeowners are increasingly aware of the importance of an eco-friendly lifestyle. This is very much noticeable in the home décor and design which is changing with this in mind. Small changes within a household can mean a lot in terms of environmental impact and they are usually also a savings measure.

One of such changes is the increased usage of LED lights which come with many benefits in comparison to the traditional ones. These benefits outweigh the cost of installation that is still somewhat steep with LED lights.

Durability

When purchasing a single LED light bulb, it costs significantly more than an ordinary light bulb and it can cause a homeowner to give up on a purchase. However, when the durability is taken into account, an LED bulb is actually much less expensive because it’s a purchase that can last you up to 20 times longer than a traditional bulb.

Even the middle and lower class Australian families can afford this investment because it still pays off to change the bulbs if you do it in phases. You can start with the rooms you’re using the most.

No toxic elements

The research shows that most Australian businesses use fluorescent lights because they are cost-effective and provide good enough quality for the needs of an average office. However, there’s proof that these bulbs contain toxic elements and can take their toll on your health if you spend day after day under those kinds of lights.

On the other hand, LED lights can be used in the same way without such dangers because they don’t contain any harmful materials. They also make less noise which makes them more pleasant to use in the office.

Ease of installation

Simple LED lights are easy to install and that can be done by any homeowner on their own time, without any preparations. However, if you’re changing the lights in the whole house, you should also check your installations in the process.

Additional features, such as a switch for dimming the lights or adding a timer for them, should be dealt with by a professional electrician. A local electrician from Parramatta could add these features and change the lights in an afternoon and no further maintenance is needed.

Energy

Energy consumption is the biggest concern for Sydney households since that’s also the largest bill to pay. Any household appliance that lowers the energy consumption can be important in the long run if a family is trying to save money. This is more noticeable with the lighting than with the largest appliances, since the lights are always on.

LED lights are therefore a good choice for saving because they offer the same quality of lighting but they waste much less energy than any other type of light bulbs. The difference will be noticeable when you calculate your yearly expenses.

Heat

The Australian climate isn’t always pleasant, especially during the summer. Any appliance that creates additional heat isn’t really helping with keeping the home cool or with keeping the energy bills low. Traditional bulbs heat up the place and it takes a long time to cool it down afterward.

LEDs are much more useful in this regard because they use and waste less energy. Electricity wasted with lighting turns into heat which means that LED lights aren’t making the room hotter while it remains as well lit as with traditional lights.

LED lights have a lot of benefits in comparison to other light bulbs. They are both more eco-friendly and less expensive.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - July 4, 2018 at 5:21 am

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Greenspiration: Home Design for the Eco-Conscious

A green home means a happy and healthy home that everyone deserves. By going green, not only will you reduce your ecological footprint and protect the environment, but you’ll also create a healthy space that exudes style and freshness. Eco-friendly design brings numerous ideas, from subtle changes and nature-inspired decorations to major remodels. So, if you’ve decided to give your home a new look, why not make it a green one?

Simple, but eco-friendly changes

Starting small is always a great way to begin your home’s green transformation. When it comes to eco-friendliness, even the smallest changes count, so you should make one step at a time and work your way up to a green home. For example, you can simply introduce the recycling system to your home. You should also adopt other eco-friendly habits that can make your home greener. From turning off the lights and unplugging the appliances to turning off the water while brushing your teeth and line drying your laundry, these simple changes are not only eco-friendly, but they can also pay off in the long run. In addition, they will help you become more eco-conscious and prepare you for some major remodels.

Vintage and pre-loved

Buying new furniture, for example, is more expensive than finding the beauty in the vintage and antique.  Furthermore, the production of new pieces requires the use of materials and the very production process is often harmful for the environment. Therefore, you should embrace vintage and pre-loved pieces that you can find in your own attic or basement or on the flea market. Not only is this an eco-friendly alternative, but it will also give your home a rustic charm and an authentic appeal. You can even repurpose your old furniture and other items and find them a completely new use. A set of old chairs can be transformed into an outdoor bench, for example, at minimal cost and with no effect on the environment.

Nature as an accessory

Nature-inspired designs are a popular trend that can make your home more stylish and eco-friendlier. Houseplants are always a beautiful addition that can green up your home, both literally and figuratively. Namely, apart from adding a splash of green to your space, plants act as natural air purifiers that will free your home from airborne toxins, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing fresh oxygen. This will increase your indoor air quality significantly while also making your space more open and pleasant. From large leafy plants to small succulents, there’s no better accessory than greenery. Vertical gardens are another hot trend that you can implement both inside and outside, elevating your home to a greener level.

Natural all the way

While regular materials are treated with certain chemicals that are then off-gassed into the air, sustainable materials are produced according to certain eco-friendly standards that prohibit the use of harmful substances. In addition, certain materials are produced using finite resources that cannot be replenished. Switching to eco-friendly materials, such as bamboo, cork, natural stone, reclaimed wood and others, is not only eco-friendly, but stylish, too, as these materials will add a beautiful, natural touch to your home. Such an example are beautiful natural rugs made out of jute or wool.

You should also be mindful of synthetic materials found in bedding, covers, area rugs, etc., since they are also unhealthy. Natural materials, including organic cotton, jute, wool and sisal, are a much better choice for a green, healthy home.

 

Colourful green paint

Regular paint contains high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), toxic chemicals that may be extremely harmful after prolonged exposure. Green paint, on the other hand, contains little or no VOCs at all, which makes it a much healthier alternative. So, if you’ve been thinking about applying a fresh coat of paint to your walls, make sure that it’s VOC-free.

Not only are green designs beneficial for the environment, but they are also healthy and extremely stylish. From simple changes and everyday habits to various upgrades and remodels, there’s plenty of ways to make your home green.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - June 28, 2018 at 7:10 am

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Becoming more environmentally friendly with a new water pump

A water pump isn’t always the first thing you think of when you consider ways to becoming more eco-friendly. However, it definitely should be as the European Commission (‘Putting Energy Efficiency First‘) shared that an additional 20% is added to energy bills as a result of inefficient pumps.

What is a water pump used for?

It’s fine if you don’t immediately know what a water pump is. It’s a centrifugal that uses a rotating impeller to move water into the pump and form a pressurised flow. You actually use water pumps every day of your life, even if you don’t realise it.

Heating systems reply on circulation pumps that move hot water through the pipes and they even help water reach your house from the main supply.

How do I know if my pump is Faulty?

A really obvious sign that your pump isn’t running to its full potential is visible leaking. Even if you can’t spot an obvious leak, you may notice damp spots around the location of the pump. There are other obvious visual elements such as a crack or rusting nozzles. You may even see some mould forming or notice the pump has an odour.

An inefficient pump will usually form a choke point. This is where the pressure builds up and can burst without any warning. It’s dangerous and expensive to repair the damage made to the property, plus the cost of a new pump on top.

Why are old pumps more inefficient?

It’s simple; more energy is needed to push water through a blocked water pipe. An inefficient pump often uses way over the average amount of electricity usually used to normally function.

The European Commission is currently trying to bring in wide efficiency measures. The focus is very much on making efficient and eco-friendly circulators mandatory. This has already shown to help improve the efficiency of water and sewage pumps. However, the pumps can still block, crack and develop choke points and thus timely repairs will still be necessary.

What impact does this have on the environment?

Well, using more electricity not only burns a hole in your pocket, but it also causes further damage to the planet. As a majority, we still rely heavily on burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. We all know this method is highly unsustainable and highly damaging to the ozone layer.

Using more power than necessary is causing you to release more harmful chemicals and thus, increasing your carbon footprint along with it.

Ensuring your pumps, pipes and utility system are all working efficiently helps combat the risk of using more energy than necessary.

New pumps and cost-effectiveness?

The cost of repairing or replacing your pump with a new version will cost less than it would to repair structural damage a burst pump would cause.

As we’ve discovered, inefficient pumps will add money to your energy bills. The pump will use more energy than needed to push water past a blockage or just to keep the water flowing at a constant rate.

Replacing your old pump in a timely manner is more cost-effective and more energy efficient. As a result of this, it is better for the environment and will help towards keeping your carbon footprint at a minimum.

If everyone had a new, fully functioning water pump and they each would be saving 20% of their energy bill – just think how much money and energy we could save by making this movement together.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - June 22, 2018 at 5:58 am

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Swimming Pool Energy Saving Tips

Having a swimming pool is a true blast. The only problem is that it can also bite off a big chunk of your budget every month. After all, you need to spend a great deal of energy on heating and filtering the water. Well, it does not have to be that way, not if you are prepared to invest a bit of time and money up front in order to save much more later on. The initial outlay pays for itself many times over down the road. This is your chance to champion smart energy use, cut your ownership costs, and do something good for Mother Nature.

Line up tech stapes

First off, you have to carefully select technology for your backyard oasis. Various equipment pieces and components make a big difference in terms of power consumption.  The key pieces to keep an eye on are the heater, pump and filter. Let us start with the pump, the heart and soul of the pool. It needs an adequate supply of power to circulate the water. What many people do not know is that it can operate on lower pressure for a number of hours and still get the job done.

So, take your time figuring out whether you should go for a single-speed, two-speed, or variable speed pump. I would advise the latter option: it offers the most flexibility, user-friendliness, and is a must consider. That being said, the gains depend on the type of pool. For instance, high grade fibreglass pools have smooth finishes that resist algae and mildew. That means shorter pump run times compared to granite and other counterparts.

Furthermore, the choice of filter makes a difference because it impacts the demand on your pump. For residential pools, three main solutions are sand, Diatomaceous Earth (DE), and cartridge. You should steer away from sand filters as they are the biggest energy consumers. DE products are a bit less wasteful, but they require a lot of maintenance. Hence, from an energy-efficiency standpoint, cartridge is the way to go.

Cover all the bases

A type of pool heating system can make or break your efforts. Three primary categories are heat pumps, solar systems and gas heaters. They all have their pros and cons, but solar systems take the prize in the area of energy-efficiency. They are basically a no-brainer in areas that receive a lot of sunshine or in countries with high electricity prices. The only drawback is that you could struggle to satisfy major pool and spa heating requirements.

Another element that plays a pivotal role is insulation. It determines the pool’s thermal efficiency, the amount of heat retention and loss. Therefore, you should consider insulating the walls and ground surface. You would need tools such as aluminum tape, pipe insulation, reflective bubble, tape measure, etc. On the other hand, in case you have a self-insulated fiberglass construction, you probably do not have to invest in the pool’s envelope.

At last, bear in mind that your habits also matter. So, mind how often you run your pump, maintain your filter regularly, and check skimmer & pump baskets every now and then. Make sure there are no performance hogs like filters jammed with debris and leaves. Accept nothing less than peak efficiency. You will also be able to boost the lifespan of your water sanctuary and main components in the process.

The best of both worlds

A pool is a perfect outlet for get-togethers, personal pastime and exercise. And if you want to have an environmentally friendly pool with lower energy consumption, you need to make informed, conscious buying decisions. Opt for components and accessories that make the softest hit on your budget. The upfront investment might be high, but the benefits in the long run are too great to miss. At the same time, commit to doing regular maintenance. That way, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits in your yard without overpaying for the privilege.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - June 22, 2018 at 5:19 am

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Ways to Bring Natural & Organic Elements into Your Interior

The trend of including natural elements into your home has been present for decades, and its popularity is reaching new heights every single year. It seems that everyone has realized how important getting back to our roots and finding inspiration in nature really is. The aesthetics found in natural elements is something you can’t duplicate, and that’s the main reason why people decide to include it in their interior. Not only will you get a unique set of decorations, but you’ll also realize this new way of life is something you’ve been missing during your whole existence. That’s why this was one of the hottest trends last year and is still what designers recommend. With just a few simple upgrades, your house can become environmentally-friendly and your interior worthy of the front page in every magazine.

Decorate with plants

This is probably the easiest thing you could do, and in a couple of hours, you’ll have some green space in every room of your house. The amount of plants and flowers you’ll include in your interior depends on your desire and the ability to take care of greenery, so there’s nobody stopping you! Don’t be scared, though, as there are lots of types suitable for those who enjoy caring for flowers, as well as several sorts ideal for the people who love flowers, but aren’t exactly sure how to care for them. Before buying what looks good, ask your local florist for a recommendation based on your preferences and the conditions in your home. It’s important to consider the amount of natural light, fresh air, and the watering needs, too.

Introduce wood

Wood has the ability to turn into the focal point in every part of the house if you have the knowledge and imagination to use it properly. You can’t go wrong with installing natural barn doors which will stand out from the other elements in your interior. Having an addition like that will immediately boost the look of your home, and make it more appealing and welcoming. In addition to that, you have so many options when it comes to wooden flooring and wooden decorations, which gives you a great palette to choose from, and find out how it can be combined with the rest of the furniture. The type of flooring also depends on the floor plan and how often you wish to clean your floors

Use natural stone

When you think about stone, probably the first thing that comes to your mind is pavements and patios. However, there are lots of different ways this natural element can be used. One of them is to make an accent stone wall which can be implemented into every room of your house, including the bedroom and the bathroom. If you want to start small first, you can add this organic addition to your coffee table, decorative flower pots, or any other piece of decoration that needs to be accentuated and updated.

Also, you can add bricks to make your fireplace stand out – this project won’t be too expensive, but it will present a significant change. Another great way to successfully add this element is to cover a small part of any wall in your home with it, as this will result in a more sophisticated look without making too big of an alteration. The effect provided by this project is an instant and intensive change that can be fitted into every home, regardless of its type or style.

Choose natural materials

Sustainable way of living has changed the way we think, and that’s why even the smallest things in your home have their eco-friendly variations. If you’re looking for bedding, for instance, you can find a great choice of natural cotton, or even some made from recycled materials – all of these in lots of amazing color variations and trendy patterns, so you’ll definitely find a combination that suits you and your style.

Apart from that, there are so many natural rugs, both indoors and outdoors, that you can implement into your home, patio or balcony. No matter what your taste is and whether you like to follow trends or not, a cozy rug is always a great way to make every room stylish. From jute to leather, all rugs are aesthetically pleasing, durable, and can easily blend in with the rest of the furniture.

Although many homeowners think that having natural elements in their home is too expensive, the truth is totally the opposite. These home additions can be implemented into every home in just a few minutes and are proven to be more frugal in the long run. You don’t have to rush into lots of big projects at the same time – instead, start small, and work on the projects you feel comfortable with. In the end, you’ll have a home you’ll be proud of, so start making new green changes soon enough.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - June 15, 2018 at 6:26 am

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How to Choose the Perfect Solar System for Your Home

In this world of climate change, outrageous resource prices and the unstable financial situation of many homes, going solar is a very reasonable choice. However, the road to energy independence isn’t always completely straight. In fact, there are numerous turns you have to make until you choose the perfect system for your home. Here’s a little guide that will make your decision easy.

Choose the right type

There are several types of solar systems and all of them have their good and bad sides.

An off-grid system

If you wish to be completely independent of the grid, you can opt for an off-grid system. This system uses batteries that control excess production and excess demand periods and utilizes a generator that protects against shortfalls. Most people who live in remote places far away from the grid opt for an off-grid system, because it’s just cheaper than to extend a power line. It’s also quite practical if you have a mixed renewable power system—solar and wind systems. However, an off-grid system doesn’t usually generate as much power as some other systems.

Grid inter-tied system

This type of solar system is connected both to a home and the usual electric grid. This means that owners can power their home from their home’s solar power system and the utility grid. It allows people to have a balance between production and demand and even sell some of the unused energy to the utility company through a process called Net Metering. Basically, your electricity provider will pay or give you credit for the electricity your system feeds into their grid. This system also costs the least because it requires only a few components.

Grid inter-tied with a battery

This type is very similar to the previous system, but it also utilizes a battery backup. This means you can have a complete balance between production and demand and be protected in case of power outages. If there is plenty of sunshine that the supply exceeds the demand, the battery allows you to store excess energy for later (when the production is lower or in case of power outages). However, the constant cycle of charging and emptying of the battery can reduce the system’s efficiency. Also, this system is very complicated to design and install, so it’s the most expensive one, too.

Choose the right inverter

In order to use the power your system generates, you need an inverter that will convert the direct power (DC) into alternating current (AC) that is used in homes. String inverters are always a good option since they are inexpensive, small and practical, especially if you live in an area that has good sun conditions. Unlike module-level power electronics (MLPE inverters) where each panel has its own inverter, a string inverter takes all of the DC power your solar system produced and changes it to AC. There are many models on the market but, for now, efficient SMA inverters showed to be very practical for both residential and commercial use. They do a pretty good job with inversion and even offer other services that can ensure your whole system is working cost-effectively.

Consider the price

People always tend to think about the cost of their system (after all, this is a large purchase), but the price should really not be a deciding factor. Today, there are rebates, incentives and other different financing methods that can hugely help you finance your solar system. This means that many people can install their system for a very reasonable fee and start saving money really fast.

Pick the right installer

Picking the right installer is just as important as choosing the right system. Make sure to opt for professionals with certification, licenses and plenty of good referrals. Also, according to recent research, it turns out that large national solar companies tend to leave you with a bigger bill for the installation and equipment than their local counterparts. So, don’t hesitate to compare prices and look for smaller, local companies.

So, there you have it, a very simple guide to choosing the right solar system for your home. Of course, if you want any more information and a more personalized design, there are great consultants that can help you find a good system. However, this guide can help ease you into the world of solar and ensure you have some information before you contact your installer.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - June 15, 2018 at 6:19 am

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Waterproofing and Energy Preserving House Renovation Techniques

In order to adapt to the ever-changing environment, you have to be flexible. This means that you should always consider novel ways to renovate your home, especially now when we are facing a rapidly deteriorating biosphere and volatile climate conditions. If your own home is ripe for a building project, here are some waterproofing and energy preserving house renovation techniques that are bound to pay off in the long run.

Waterproofing

It starts off with shadow-sums added to your monthly utility bills, and before you know it, you realize the foundation of your house is filled with cracks and they are seeping precious, clean water from the broken pipes. Make sure you hire professionals who can add waterproof coating to both the toilet and the kitchen area. This is where most of the water-related problems tend to occur, and they can stay invisible for a long time, slowly deteriorating the integrity of your walls, and even concrete. While you are at it, look for brand new water conserving fixtures – like low-flow showerheads, faucets and toilets. They are the most viable solutions for you when it comes to both waterproofing and preserving resources – with lower bills as the additional benefit.

The gardening matters

If you have a sizeable backyard, it is certainly prudent to allocate a certain portion of space to a garden in which you can grow your organic produce. In this case, you’ll have to think about reasonable water expenditure, as well as ecologically viable gardening methods. Adding a cistern for rainwater harvesting, which is dedicated to the garden, can truly help out, as you won’t have to spend precious tap water on watering crops. In addition, you can add another cistern which is encased with additional layer of protection through solid bunding and collect compost in it. Without getting into nitty-gritty of it, you can even connect this compost cistern with an outhouse. You get the picture.

Insulation is a life saver

Did you know that at least 50% of your home’s energy consumption (or loss) can be easily attributed to heating and cooling processes? Older homes are especially prone to such financially unsustainable states, so you seriously have to consider proper, solid insulation. Insulation foam is probably the most viable solution when it comes to time and money invested – just find the one that is called – Icynene. The spray foam is elegant, easy to apply and it is solid, however, you need to vacate the premises and hire professionals who will wear appropriate protection gear throughout the process. Of course, since lowering toxic environmental impact is intrinsically connected to energy preservation, you’ll be happy to know there are different kinds of this insolent, and some of the newer generation spray foams are definitely environmentally friendly – like the aforementioned Icynene.

Refurbish with energy stars

Products evolve fast in the competitive market, and the trendiest new attribute most big-name companies have latched onto is “energy efficient”. This bodes well for your energy preserving refurbishing tendencies as you can easily find affordable energy efficient appliances and update your entire household. It is actually rather simple – all you have to do is look for the energy start label on any random piece of equipment that piques your interest. Such products had to be vetted by environmental protection agencies, so you can safely purchase them without thinking it is some sort of superficial marketing ploy.

Renovating your home with cutting-edge green techniques and adding environmentally sensitive facilities to your lot sure sounds like a big investment. In truth, without sugarcoating it, depending on the way you approach these renovations, they can cost you quite a dime, but always bear in mind the fact that you are investing into your future and that many of these new additions to your home can save you a fortune on utility bills as the years roll by.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - May 22, 2018 at 5:52 am

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Eco-Friendly Interior Design: Tips to Go Green at Home

Making your home eco-friendly and introducing sustainable changes might be a lengthy and complicated process, but it’s definitely worth your while as something that might change your entire life for the better. The world we live in today needs our help to survive, and the only way to make a visible difference and stop the negative trends is by introducing eco-friendliness into our daily lives and homes. Interior décor and design are good starting points and ideas we can all turn into positive practices – whether you’re decorating your living room, bedroom or kitchen, you can always incorporate a couple of sustainable and green ideas that are going to make a difference. However, you might be ready to try them out, but aren’t sure how, so here are a few tips to help you raise the level of eco-friendliness at your home in a matter of seconds!

Recycled materials

No matter how big or small they are, frequent home renovations are perfect for all those homeowners who are fed up with their living space and wish to spice it up a little bit. Nevertheless, these can get quite pricey and you’ll have to stretch your budget if you wish to turn all your ideas into reality. That’s why you should think outside the box and find unusual solutions that could turn out to be helpful.

Relying on recycled materials and second-hand resources is the best way to combine sustainability and unusual design. Not only are you going to add something unique to your home, but you’ll also minimize the need for raw materials, and that’s always good. Therefore, start exploring green building materials as soon as possible and keep in mind that some of them – bamboo, recycled plastic, ferrock and straw, among others – are even more durable and sustainable than concrete!

Reused and reupholstered furniture

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The philosophy of recycling goes well beyond building materials and you can accomplish a lot by opting for recycled and reused furniture instead of purchasing new one. Not only are you going to save a ton of money, but also protect some quality pieces from being destroyed and smashed into pieces. Although some people don’t like visiting flea markets and digging for salvaged furniture, it’s the way to go if you wish to become more sustainable.

Another idea you might want to try out is reupholstering your old furniture. This is quite useful when it’s time for a renovation and you need lots and lots of new furniture in a matter of days, but don’t have enough money in your budget for it. Luckily, you can fix and reupholster your old chairs, sofas and coffee tables, giving them a new life, a new look and a new meaning. Keep in mind that a little love goes a long way and all your visitors are going to notice your unique furniture.

Eco-friendly décor

When it comes to decorating your home, you need to keep in mind the number of people that are going to be using a certain area and how much freedom you have decorating it. Namely, the living room is usually the largest room of the house and a place where you entertain your guests and spend time with your family, but it’s also a room that requires a ton of furniture and seating area. That means you won’t have lots of maneuvering space there or space for numerous decorative pieces, so everything you include has to be 100% green.

You can solve a giant decorating problem by throwing an eco-friendly rug into the mix – it’s going to cover the majority of your open space, provide room with lots of color and show your visitors how serious about sustainability you really are. That’s the reason why an appealing jute rug can do wonders for your living room décor, but it will be just as effective in your bedroom or even dining room as well.

Energy-efficient lighting

Let’s be honest: natural lighting is the absolute best type of lighting there is! It’s healthy, regenerating, pleasant and it has the ability to turn your frown upside down immediately – not to mention being absolutely eco-friendly. That’s why you should keep your windows open as much as you can, from the moment you wake up until it’s time to go to bed again. However, not everyone lives in a climate that provides them with enough natural sunlight in their living area every single day, so they need to find other environmentally-safe alternatives for illuminating their homes.

Opting for LED light bulbs instead of those regular old kinds seems like the perfect way to do so. Yes, these might be quite expensive at first, especially if you decide to replace all of the bulbs at your home at once, but can ultimately save you a considerable amount of cash in the long run, and that’s something we all need. So, the plan is quite simple – purchase as many of these LED light bulbs as you can and begin installing them one room at a time, and you’ll notice your electric bill plummeting almost instantly.

Of course, these aren’t the only ways to introduce eco-friendliness into your home, but are the simplest and most effective ones. Some of the things you should also try out include getting some solar panels, using low-VOC wall paint, installing double-glazed windows and bringing in a few plants that are going to make your living space greener in more ways than one!

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Posted by Eco Warrior - May 22, 2018 at 5:34 am

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Eco-Friendly Kitchen Remodeling

You want to renovate your dull looking kitchen and upgrade its design to match the current trends, but you are unsure how to achieve this successfully. Luckily, by sticking to a thorough plan and being bold with some creative remodeling ideas, you can create an amazing look. Additionally, opting for eco-friendly materials and décor solutions has become popular among homeowners since it helps both the environment and their budget. In order to help you have the best eco-conscious remodeling project, we have prepared a list of key features you must incorporate into your new design. Let’s take a look and get inspired.

Choose sustainable materials for your cabinets

First things first, feel free to express your care for the environment by opting for cabinetry that is made from sustainable wood sources. For example, make sure you opt for some FSC-approved lumber alternatives that can look and feel better than rosewood or Russian ash which are among the most endangered species today. Additionally, one must also make sure to avoid the use of VOC glues and paint while constructing the kitchen cabinets because these emit toxic fumes that can seriously harm both the nature and your health.

Lighting solutions

The majority of remodelers today know how important it is to invest in smart energy-efficient lighting options in order to reduce their electricity bills. Therefore, it’s high time you switched from your current incandescent bulbs to fluorescent ones and start saving more money while at the same time reducing your carbon footprint. On top of that, these bulbs shine equally as bright as the common ones and last 10 times as long. Finally, if you want to add a touch of drama with some focus lights, we recommend opting for stylish halogen or LED ambient lighting designs.

Kitchen appliances

We all know that the main reason why our electrical bills are so high at the end of the month is because of the devices we use in the kitchen. Luckily, there is an energy-efficient alternative to solve this issue. Energy Star rated appliances represent high-end products that can potentially earn you thousands of dollars yearly in savings. On top of that, they can perform twice as well as the regular ones. Therefore, make sure to switch to Energy Star rated products and help contribute to a more environmentally-responsible society.

Gas vs. electric stoves

Another often asked question by homeowners who want to make their kitchen green is whether to opt for a gas or electric stove. When it comes to electric ones with induction elements, the heat is transferred directly into metal cookware leaving the stove-top feeling cold to the touch. However, their biggest downside is that they spend too much energy. On the other hand, if you want to opt for a more affordable solution, natural gas stoves are the way to go since they can heat up almost instantly and provide a smoother cooking experience. Lastly, if you decide to go with the latter, we recommend investing in a high-quality gas connection and opting for the one that fits your eco-friendly consumption needs the most.

Invest in a water filter

Investing in a quality water filtration system will help you lead a healthier life and won’t be too hard on your wallet. For instance, you can get a regular tap-filter which will instantly purify your drinking water. However, if you want to be certain that the water you and your family drink is absolutely safe, don’t hesitate to go for an activated carbon filter which can remove almost all dangerous bacteria, pesticides and even heavy metals from your tap water.

Green flooring

Last but not least, if you want to add some style to your planet-friendly kitchen, feel free to go for some chic natural flooring alternatives. This season, bamboo is making a big comeback in the interior decor world since it is easy to maintain and very simple to install. Additionally, it creates a traditional feel and brings class to your kitchen design. However, if you want a slightly more practical solution, we advise you to go for linoleum flooring for the kitchen since it offers great protection against moisture, mold and fire.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much effort to turn a dull looking kitchen into a classy eco-friendly one.  All you need to do is make sure to use renewable materials and energy sources. Good luck with your remodeling project.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - May 14, 2018 at 7:41 am

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