Eco Home

Smart-Home Trends That Are Saving the Environment

As our supply of fossil fuels begins to run out, homeowners all over the world are looking for energy solutions that are more sustainable. So far we’re doing a good job of coming up with new renewable energy sources, and everything from solar power through to wind power can be used to create enough electricity to power the average household. But for us homeowners to be more eco-friendly, we need to be able to streamline how much energy we use on a day-to-day basis.

This means cutting down your energy consumption in relation to the things that you probably think are unavoidable. You might think that this means going to an unreasonable amount of effort, such as turning your heating off in the height of winter, or sitting in the dark to save on electricity, but there’s an unlikely hero on the horizon.

Smart-home products are there to help you cut down on energy consumption and save you money in the process. You can make one-off investments in tech products that link up to your home, and these will do all the hard work when it comes to spotting unnecessary energy usage, which is why the smart-home is becoming an increasingly popular way to try to save the planet.

Smart-Heating

When it comes to energy consumption, the traditional convection heating system is a notoriously inefficient way of heating your home. These systems work by heating the air in a space, which then rises and falls, cooling in the process. This wastes energy because it takes longer for the room to feel warm, so you naturally leave the heating on for longer, which means your boiler is using more gas to generate that heat.

Smart-products are bringing an end to this level of wastage. Technology such as the smart-thermostat connects to both your heating system and your Wi-Fi, which allows you to monitor your energy usage through a handy wall-mounted interface or a smartphone app.

Using these tools, you can pinpoint where your heating is using energy unnecessarily and put a plan in place to combat this. Whether it’s using the technology to turn your heating on and off at more appropriate times, or it’s using it to select the a right room temperature effectively, smart-tech can reduce your energy consumption and save you some money in the process.

Alternatively, you can swap out the convection heating system for a more eco-friendly unit altogether. Switching from gas to electric heating seems like the more expensive option, but choose to install an infrared system and you’ll see a dramatic decrease in energy consumption, which in turn brings down your heating bills.

Infrared works by heating the objects in a room rather than the air in a room. This means that the room heats up faster, and by integrating these panels with a smartphone app, you can effectively moderate your energy usage.

Smart-Lighting

Smart-lighting works in the same way as smart-heating. You can monitor your energy usage from a smartphone app, and control your lighting at the touch of a button. This means that you no longer have to worry about unnecessary energy waste from your lightbulbs.

90% of the energy required to power a traditional incandescent light-bulb is lost through heat, whereas smart-lighting uses LED bulbs which are designed to lose less heat than the typical light-bulb. For this reason, smart-lighting offers up to an 80% improvement on energy consumption, saving you money in the long run.

Smart-Plugs

If you’re looking to make make your home smarter, but you aren’t too sure whether you want to make a large investment, you can start by using smart-plugs. These devices work in the same way as the other smart-products, in the sense that they link to an app and allow you to remotely monitor and control your energy consumption.

All you have to do is pop your smart-plug into the socket and plug any appliances into the smart-device. It will then begin to collect data on how you use your appliances and highlight any areas where you can reduce your energy consumption. Although smart-plugs don’t offer the same energy savings as the more expensive products, they act as a firm stepping stone into home-tech.

The Future of Energy-Saving

One-off investments in smart-tech products give you the opportunity to reduce your energy consumption over time, which not only helps the planet but has huge potential for reducing your heating bills in the process. With more day-to-day functions being automated through home-tech, there is potential for a huge decrease in energy consumption.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - April 17, 2018 at 6:49 am

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Detoxify Your Home – Green Cleaning Trend

These days, it’s almost impossible not to come into contact with harmful chemicals. They’re in our food, our cleaning products, even our air. It’s a sad fact that convenience has usurped safety and now we surround ourselves with dangerous additives and cleaners. Our food are often given longevity through chemicals, we clean our homes using abrasive chemicals and we spray commercial chemicals into our air to make it ‘fresh’.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are easy changes we can make to our everyday lives that will reduce our exposure to harmful chemicals and have a big impact. And using organic ingredients in our lives can be the first step on the road to change.

By replacing processed, chemical filled food with healthy organic foods, you’ll not only start to feel better, but you will inevitably become healthier too, no longer bound to additives and preservatives. And it’s easier to make the change to organic than you might think. You can start by adding healthy, organic snacks to your diet to take the first step.

You can make a similar change in your cleaning habits to make the biggest impact. By replacing chemically bound cleaners with organic, natural cleaners that are readily available and far easier and safer to use, your home will become a safer environment for your family and furry friends.

Detoxify Your Home Green Cleaning Trend

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Posted by Eco Warrior - April 5, 2018 at 6:12 am

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Sustainable Summer: How to Reduce Energy Consumption

During colder seasons, people usually sacrifice sustainability in order to live in a cozy, comfortable, well-heated environment. Summer months on the other hand give ample opportunity for responsible energy usage, and yet far too often we end up consuming more power than needed due to habit, negligence, and being uninformed.

Fortunately, with the abundance of heat and sunlight during summertime, saving energy is much more manageable than during other seasons. With a little bit of creativity and effort, you too can reap the benefits of lower electricity bills, a sustainable relationship with the environment, and even healthier living. If you don't have the time to figure things out on your own, please check out our guide on sustainable energy consumption during hot summer days.

 1. Give The AC a Rest

The main culprit when it comes to energy use during summer is an air conditioner. It is easy to give in to the temptation to keep it running throughout the day, but this attitude can incur significant costs down the line. Getting blasted with cool air all the time is not healthy, and the temperature difference you get to experience between whenever you go outside is not pleasant either. Instead of keeping the AC running, consider installing a ceiling fan. They are cheap to buy and maintain, and they make the room temperature feel a couple of degrees lower, close enough for comfort during summer.

2. Set Up Shade

Set Up Shade

Another alternative to keeping the AC on all the time is providing adequate shade for your living space. Sunlight is the main source of heat during summer, so keeping it out of your living quarters can bring room temperature to manageable levels. Various kinds of window curtains are available on the market to match your needs for shade. If you live in a house, setting up awnings above your windows and doorways can substantially decrease the amount of light that enters your home.

3. Hang Your Clothes To Dry

Hang Your Clothes To Dry

Next in the line of energy hogs is the dryer. The convenience of just throwing your clothes in a dryer cannot be understated, but summertime temperatures can do the job equally well, and for free. Put your clothes on a dryer stand for a couple of hours, or let them hang on a balcony under the sun. In terms of wear and tear, letting clothes dry naturally is the preferred option as well.

4. Use Alternative Cooking Methods

Use Alternative Cooking Methods

Cooking can require a lot of energy, especially when making dishes in the oven. Even cooking on the stove can produce enough heat to make your kitchen feel uncomfortable. Instead, try using the microwave to quickly heat-up your dishes. Alternatively, try eschewing cooking all-together, and make a healthy meal out of raw ingredients. A light salad with seasonal fruit and vegetables is especially refreshing during summer, and it's good for your health to boot.

5. Install Solar Panels

Install Solar Panels

Sustainable energy consumption doesn't just mean using less energy – it can also include using the right kind. If you live in a particularly sunny part of the world, putting a couple of solar panels on the roof can provide a clean, efficient source of electrical energy. They take some effort to set up, and it may take a while for them pay for themselves, but in the long run, they are your best bet for sustainable, environment-friendly living.

6. Replace Inefficient Light-bulbs

Replace Inefficient Light-bulbs

We usually need less lighting during summer due to longer daytime hours, but going the extra mile by installing energy-efficient light-bulbs in your home can reduce expenses even further. Fluorescent light consume less energy and are more luminous, making them perfect for use during summer. If you want to upgrade further, LED are the next logical step. They significantly more energy efficient than even the best fluorescent lamps, and their share in the marketplace is scheduled to grow in the years to come.

7. Take A Cold Shower

Take A Cold Shower

One energy-saving measure we are naturally inclined to take during summer is taking colder showers. The warmer weather drives us to find ways of cooling off, and cold running water is the perfect solution. The upside to this is that we are spending less on heating and electricity, as we don't have to keep the bathroom warm and the boiler filled with hot water.

8. Spend The Day Outdoors

Spend The Day Outdoors

The fact of the matter is, while you are spending time inside of your home, your are consuming a lot of energy. Then, the best way to reduce consumption would be to spend more time outside. Luckily, summer is the perfect time of year to have a taste of open air. There are plenty of leisure activities outside that don't require fuel or electricity, and you can hardly get more sustainable than that. However, even everyday activities such as drying clothes or cooking are more energy efficient when they are done outside.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 22, 2018 at 9:54 am

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Five Ways to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient

In this day and age, people are searching for ways that help them become more energy efficient. With the growing awareness of our impact on environment as well as increasing energy costs, it’s easy to see why. Energy efficient homes save energy, lower unnecessary energy consumptions, prevent greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the demand for non-renewable resources.

You might think that energy efficiency is only for the elite but we’ve come up with a list of 5 simple solutions – 3 of which you can use even if you don’t own your property. With the latest tech to help you conserve energy, anyone can take steps to reduce their energy load. Our guide provides you with a set of precise instructions to enable you to develop an energy efficient home. It also offers step-by-step DIY instructions for every house owner who wishes to create a more efficient home. With this information, you will improve your quality of life, increase the value of your home if you’re a home owner and become more aware of your energy efficiency options.

#01. Invest in Proper Insulation and Draught Proofing

Whether you want to manage condensation, prevent heat loss during winter, or ventilate your home, appropriate insulation systems and draught-proofing will do the trick. Improper insulation leads to a lot of heat loss, a situation that could be costing you as you spend more on replacing the heat that has been lost, and is also detrimental to the environment.

#02. Do Not Overuse Appliances

Even after installing energy efficient appliances, you do not want to overuse them. Use your heater fewer times during the winter months, unless you absolutely have to. Keep your thermostats at a comfortable setting rather than changing them up all the time and turn particular things off when they are not in use.

#03. Purchase Energy Efficient Appliances

When shopping for new appliances to help make your home more energy efficient, look for devices that have the HE logo.  High energy-star certified appliances use low power, and while they may cost extra in the beginning, they are an incredible investment for you than the conventional devices. For example, an energy star certified hepa air purifier consumes around 40% less energy than a standard air purifier, this equates to a saving of around $30 per year (and saves 225 kWh/year!)

Energy Home

#04. Make Smart Landscaping Decisions

With proper plant landscaping outside your home, you will be able to protect your home from the intense sun during summer days and chilly winds during the winter season. Trees and their leaves will safeguard your house from the sun’s rays during hotter days and make it cool to live inside comfortably. If you are a high energy efficient appliance user and you make use of sound insulation, the effect will be much smaller as your home is already blocking all the heat.

#05.Invest in Reliable Solar Panel Systems

If you can afford it, solar panels can serve as a significant investment. You can place them on your rooftop, and they will help cut down on your electricity costs because solar panels will help you produce your electricity. It is something to consider, especially when you think about the fact that they are becoming increasingly more affordable. Solar-panels might not be for everyone, but as we head-on to the green movement, you will begin to see more people opting to have solar panels installed in their homes.

Energy is the driving force behind all living creatures and human-made systems, and in today's fast-paced world, people take it for granted, misuse it or waste it. With a shift on the horizon, recent environmental issues coupled with the ever-growing energy demands of modern life have resulted in more and more people applying energy-efficient solutions to their homes. Most of us tend to believe that energy-efficiency is difficult and expensive. However, with these few simple, practical steps you can make a real difference.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 7, 2018 at 8:36 am

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5 Tips to Make Your Relocation Eco-Friendly

Moving away from your home is a difficult and stressful event, regardless of the reason behind the move. Apart from this, it causes a lot of air pollution (due to transportation), waste (due to an improper choice of packing supplies) and even debris. In other words, it can become a true ecological disaster, which is a proper nightmare for anyone who is green-minded. Fortunately, avoiding this problem may not be as difficult as it seems since there are a number of ways to make your relocation eco-friendly. With this in mind, here are five tips to help you do so.

Reusable moving supplies

When it comes to the move, you will need many boxes and bags, yet the choice of going with cardboard, plastic, paper or even wood is all yours. A lot of people underestimate the importance of sturdy wooden crates, and your ability to reuse them is quite a boon. According to one survey, about 11 percent of all Australians have moved five times or more in the past 15 years. That being said, it is quite clear that investing in reusable moving supplies is not a wasted investment.

Sell or donate

Apart from being the conscientious thing to do, tidying up the place you’re leaving behind is a great way to declutter the inventory you are about to relocate. Here, you will see just how many unnecessary items you’ve hoarded in the previous years or months, which is also a great opportunity to get rid of some of it. First of all, you might want to look for the items you might sell and offer them on eBay or even throw a garage sale. If there are some items you don’t believe will yield a great ROI, you might want to look for a cause to donate to and, therefore, at least do a good deed. Before you do so, however, it might be worth your while to research where you can donate the things you own.

Recycle

As for the items you can’t sell or donate, you need to dispose of them for good. Still, you need to find the eco-friendliest way to do so. Nonetheless, this can take a lot of work, seeing as how recycling different materials means making a thorough selection of all the items that need to go. Both the research of proper ways to recycle each material and the effort to actually do so are a matter that takes a lot of effort. If you have a backyard, you might even want to try composting, in order to give at least some of it back to mother earth.

Don’t take absolutely everything

Next, when it comes to the transportation of the items from your former home to the next one, you will find that the most cost-effective and the greenest way to make the move is to prioritize. The reason behind this is quite simple. Let’s say for a minute that you’re moving from Sydney to Brisbane and are, therefore, looking for Ute hire Brisbane options. The number of trucks that you will have to hire, even the size of the truck you’re hiring, depends on the number of items you are carrying to your target location. In other words, the less you decide to bring, the lower the carbon footprint of your move and the less costly the move itself will be.

Eco-friendly farewell party

Finally, a lot of people like to throw a farewell party before they move. Needless to say, this party should also be eco-friendly. When it comes to invites, make sure they are in verbal or digital form, seeing as how this will help you cut down on paper. Next, hire a recycling unit that will make it easy for you to dispose of any party leftovers later on. Finally, make sure to explore eco-friendly and biodegradable dishware and serving ware for your party. Bowls, compartment trays, cups and cones can all be eco-friendly if you invest enough effort. Luckily, in the age of the internet, this is not nearly as difficult as it once was.

At the end of the day, if there’s one thing you need to keep in mind, it is that eco-friendly relocating doesn’t take a lot of money, it takes a lot of time. Because of this, you need to start planning your relocation on time. This will give you enough space to sell, research your donating options and properly dispose of all the items you can’t carry with you. Apart from this, it will ensure that you have enough time to plan everything to the letter and in this way, ensure that it’s all going according to plan.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 7, 2018 at 8:15 am

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How to Design an Eco-Friendly Apartment

Your home should be a safe place where you can relax and unwind, feeling absolutely protected from the outside world. But, how safe are our apartments, really? The truth is, an average apartment contains hundreds of pollutants and toxic chemicals that are harmful both to humans and the environment. Additionally, there are various items that do tremendous harm to nature during their production and transport process. So, if you want to live in a greener and healthier environment, here’s what you can do.

Choose eco-friendly materials

Eco-Friendly Apartment

Sure, hardwood is beautiful, but it also carries a variety of environmental issues with it. Wood harvesting is getting out of hand, and a lot of chemicals are being used in wood coating and sealing processes. On the other hand, materials like bamboo, cork, glass and concrete are much more sustainable and eco-friendly, and they look quite stylish.

Opt for natural textiles

Eco-Friendly Apartment

Textiles we put in our home can be quite harmful—they can be hazardous to our health and air quality. For instance, a new area rug made of artificial materials can off-gas for weeks and release chemicals into your indoor air (you might recognize that familiar new-things smell in your home). The best thing you can do is invest in items that are made of organic, natural materials. Textiles that are dyed with natural dyes and have no extra finish are probably the greenest option.

Avoid VOCs

Your carpet isn’t the only thing that off-gases. Most wall paints can also release gasses that are harmful for both people and the environment. Traditional paints contain VOCs that can cause nausea, headaches, respiratory problems and severe irritation. Luckily, today, there are low- or zero-VOC paints that are much greener and healthier.

Reduce energy waste

A very cheap, fast and eco-friendly way to stop energy waste caused by drafts is to improve your window treatments. Some studies show that having neutrally-colored drapes with white plastic backing can save more than 30% cooling and heating losses. These window treatments will block cold draft and keep hot air from escaping during winter. On the other hand, they will shade your interior from sun and keep your home cool in the summer. This will both save you money and reduce energy consumption (and make your home look stylish). You can also invest in Energy Star appliances, replace traditional bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs and maybe even check out some smart thermostats. All of these items will allow you to save energy, money and the planet.

Conserve water

Eco-Friendly Apartment

Every year, the supply of fresh water is decreasing due to droughts and water pollution, so water conservation is more important than ever before. However, we still waste almost 50% of all water in the household! For instance, one of the most common and easy to handle plumbing issues in Australia is leaky taps and toilets. These leaks can add up to around 10,000 gallons of wasted water a year, yet many people choose to ignore them! So don’t be irresponsible and make sure to find someone as experienced as a good plumber from Melbourne who will stop all the leaks and prevent this tremendous water waste. Another thing you can do is invest in aerators that regulate water pressure and buy low-flow showerhead and toilet. There are also Energy Star washing machines and dishwashers that save both electricity and water. They have an amazing modern design and will be a great addition to any green apartment.

Decorate with plants

Eco-Friendly Apartment

Many studies show the beneficial effect of indoor plants. They make people feel happier, less stressed, more focused and motivated. But, probably the biggest advantage of keeping greenery indoors is its ability to filter the air. Some plants have an amazing power to filter out toxins, absorb chemicals, soak up heavy metals and replenish the air with oxygen. So, don’t hesitate to add plants to your home and make it truly green and healthy. Some indoor plants, like herbs, can also double as food—a win-win situation! Additionally, plants are highly decorative. For instance, green walls or vertical gardens can act as an amazing design statement.

These are just some of the easiest and most effective ways to green up your apartment and create an eco-friendly environment for you and your family. Plus, you’ll help our Mother Earth and ensure a green and healthy future for your kids, grand-kids and all other generations who are yet to step on this beautiful planet.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 3, 2018 at 7:34 am

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Eco-friendly Construction With Advanced Building Materials

Green building that conserves energy is becoming a necessity and trend of the modern world. It’s still a bit difficult to completely transform the idea of what traditional building and construction look like though, especially considering the cost of some eco-friendly building materials. However, together with recycled elements, paying more at first in this regard is definitely going to lower the overall bill price for the household as the whole point is to reduce the need for cooling and heating. Moreover, thanks to the energy efficient appliances, homeowners can recover the invested money relatively quickly and continue to save from then on. In that respect, it’s very important to talk about and stay on trends when it comes to advanced building materials that will make the construction process as well as the finished home eco-friendly.

Better insulation

There are plenty of eco-friendly options when it comes to effective insulation. For example, one can opt for insulating concrete forms. Essentially, these are blocks of concrete in between insulation layers. Thanks to the durability of this type of insulation, these forms are often used in freestanding walls and blocks. Moreover, plant-based foam that’s generally used for surfboards turned out to be a perfect eco-friendly material for insulation, but furniture and wind turbines as well. One of the more unusual materials that can be used for construction and insulation is undoubtedly straw. When kept dry, straw can actually last for thousands of years. Would you imagine that? Then there are structural insulated panels (SIP) which combine foam insulation in between plywood or cement. This type of insulation is noted to reduce the energy cost by almost 50%. Finally, it’s important to mention vacuum insulation panels (VIP). It may be mind-boggling but the truth is that vacuum panels offer seven times the insulation protection compared to the traditional options. It’s only a matter of time when VIP is going to become widely available for residential construction as well.

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Green and eco-friendly roofing

Of course, you can choose whatever color you want for your cool roof these days. The point is that cool roofing uses a technology that allows the roof material to reflect light and heat, thus preventing the warmth to enter the building as much as possible. Just like any eco-friendly material, this is going to have a higher initial price. However, it will undoubtedly reduce the bills as the need to use coolers during warmer months will be significantly lower.

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Low-E windows

Basically, low-E windows have a special coating that prevents the heat from leaving during the colder months as well as entering during the warmer months. Again, they play an essential role in insulation, and even though they are a tad more expensive, these windows come with considerable benefits. The extra costs will be recovered in no time.

Concrete

Interestingly, concrete has slowly made it to the top of the list when it comes to eco-friendly building materials. Essentially, concrete is durable, sturdy, easy to maintain and relatively inexpensive. In that respect, it’s used for a wide range of construction projects, flooring included. And with the rising availability of concrete formwork companies, opting for this particular solution is quick and simple.

Recycled steel

When it comes to the framing process, beams and panels, recycled steel seems to be the right option. After all, for this part of construction, traditional wood material would actually require 40-50 trees, while the needed amount of recycled steel can be produced with just 6 scrapped cars. Moreover, steel recycling is getting bigger every year since it’s a great way to reduce energy waste and reuse functional, durable and sturdy material.

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Earth

Speaking of construction and building, earth is undoubtedly the biggest renewable material out there. However, it can be troublesome to find skilled craftsmen and necessary permits within different codes. But, in case you find an adequate solution to this, it’s worth noting that walls made of earth make for the perfect thermal mass.

Aside from the technical part of construction using eco-friendly materials, it’s important to adopt an eco-friendly mindset as well. Even though our homes may be the biggest source of energy waste and carbon footprint, people have the power to change the consumption and minimize the waste with their own behavior, too. Therefore, don’t ignore the importance of leading a green lifestyle once you settle inside your green home.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 2, 2018 at 7:01 am

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4 Basics of Conserving Water at Home

The dwindling drinking water is turning into a global problem, as opposed to something notoriously only happening somewhere in Africa. We can’t expect to start being mindful with water use as a species – the change in mentality comes from an individual, who contributes little, yet serves as a great example. Conserving water doesn’t mean being paranoid about the water problem, it means being reasonable enough to know how to limit the excessive water usage.

Seeing as how smart water use starts at your very own doorstep, here are some great ways to conserve water at home.

Learn when to turn it off

Learn when to turn it off

Quite honestly, this shouldn’t even be a thing of debate; turning the faucet off when you’re not using it seems pretty obvious, when you think about it. Unfortunately, we are creatures of habit – the decades of ignorance have led us to take water for granted. However, even if all the world’s drinking water was for us to take (which it isn’t), there simply won’t be enough of it around for us to exploit, before long.

On a more down-to-earth note, here’s what we’re talking about here: turning the faucet/shower off when it’s not in use. For example, there is virtually no reason to keep the faucet running while brushing your teeth – this can take as much as five minutes, which is a whole lot of water spent for no particular reason. The same goes for showers: turning the faucet off while applying soap and scrubbing can save gallons per session!

We could list all kinds of examples that range from washing the dishes, to watering your lawn, but most of us are well-aware of our spending; we’re just too stubborn to change. Well, change! Our planet deserves it.

Install low-flow faucets and showerheads

Install low-flow faucets and showerheads

It may not seem like a big deal, but a low-flow faucet in the kitchen can cut your water spending, let alone a low-flow showerhead! Sure, these do tend to be more expensive than your regular faucets and showerheads, but consider what limiting the water flow entails; yep, less water spent means a curbed water bill!

Jumping from the comfort of a high-pressure to a limited water flow may feel uncomfortable in the beginning, but you won’t even notice it after a while, especially when it comes to faucets.

Check for leaks

Check for leaks

If your kitchen or bathroom floor is wet frequently, chances are that you have a leak somewhere that can account for that nasty wet sock feeling, but more importantly, for water wasting. Check all of your appliances, from the shower to the bidet and try limiting yourself to as few of these as possible. For example, there is no need to install an actual bidet – for instance, a reputable Australian bidet company offers bidets as toilet attachments, which are very convenient, spend less water than an actual bidet and save you the trouble and the space.

Low-flow toilets are vital

Your regular toilet might not seem like a water guzzler, but make no mistake about it – on average, the toilet accounts for 28% of water use per home, or as much as 7 gallons per flush! This is a huge deal, and it should not go unchecked, especially owing to the fact that low-flow toilets can be flushed two times and still save you a gallon or two. Even if you don’t care enough about our planet’s underlying water problem, you’ll still end up saving money in the long run!

Conserving water starts at your very own doorstep. There’s a whole lot you can do that can serve the purpose of helping our planet and your pocket, simultaneously! Be conscious about keeping those faucets and showers running when not necessary and opt for low-flow kitchen and bathroom appliances. Oh, and be sure to check for leaks; where there’s a puddle, there’s wasted water.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - February 17, 2018 at 8:45 am

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7 Green Ideas for Outdoor Rooms and Granny Flats

Just like your main building, your granny flat and outdoor rooms can also be environmentally friendly. All you need to do is use the right materials and be smart about the design, and your home addition will be eco-friendly and beautiful.  Here are some great tips you must check out before you start your building.

The size

No matter the materials and efficiency of fixtures, if you have a large addition to your property, you will leave a bigger footprint. A larger outdoor room will require more turf to be destroyed and paved, while a large granny flat will require more materials, stronger cooling and heating and more electricity. Unless you need all that extra space, keep things small and compact.

Proper insulation

If you want to ensure minimum energy gets wasted during your granny flat cooling and heating process, your property has to be well insulated. How much insulation you need will greatly depend on your climate, and the proximity of trees and other buildings that might provide shade during the summer and some protection from the wind during winter. In most cases, the R-value ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 for your ceilings is a good choice, both in cold and warm climates. The best way to insulate walls is to use both thermal and acoustic insulation that will make your granny flat a peaceful and pleasant place.

Positioning of the property

Location is one of the most important things if you want to be green. For instance, if you want to reduce energy consumption in the granny flat, you have to have an adequately positioned space. If the building is surrounded by trees, this might mean the interior will be better protected from direct scorching sunlight in the summer. Additionally, when winter comes, naked branches will allow the sunlight to pass all the way to your windows and provide you with extra warmth. You should also think through the position of your outdoor room. If your location is well shaded and protected from the elements, you won’t need much cover to keep the space pleasant all year round.

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Green materials

When building your outdoor room or granny flat, it’s important to use sustainable, repurposed or green materials to make sure your addition has a minimal effect on the environment. Today, there are many green materials you can choose from, so there is practically no excuse. Locally harvested wood can be a good choice since it doesn’t require long transport hours. Additionally, eco-friendly flooring options like sustainable bamboo and cork are also great solutions. When it comes to fabrics, try to opt for carpets made of natural materials like jute, hemp, coir, sisal or wool. Some companies provide completely custom design, so consult with your trusted granny flat builders during the material choosing stage, and they will surely provide you with valuable insight and extra advice.

Practical furniture

When equipping your outdoor room or granny flat, your greenest option is to buy recycled or repurposed items. Buying cheap store furniture pieces is not a very green option since these materials usually contain a lot of toxins and waste a lot of energy during their production process. Also, make sure to choose durable materials, especially for your outdoor room that will be exposed to the elements.

Green walls and partitions

If you want to boost “the green” in your granny flat or outdoor room, you might want to invest in some extra greenery. Green walls and partitions will offer you an opportunity to have a lot of plants in your property, even if you lack the square footage. Additionally, green walls offer great shade, provide clean air and extra thermal and acoustic insulation. And, as a cherry on top, they look amazing both indoors and outdoors.

Eco House

Energy-saving appliances

Your granny flat and outdoor room can be very energy-efficient as long as you provide them with Energy Star appliances and proper lighting. For instance, equip the interior with high-quality and efficient fridge and microwave, and concentrate on using LEDs for lighting. These fixtures will look amazing and save you some money along the way. The same goes for water. Install low-flow toilets, showers and faucets that waste a lot less water than your traditional fixtures.

Granny flats or outdoor rooms are a great addition to your home. And if you want to make them green and sustainable, you’ll be doing a lot of good for the planet and future generations.

Small ECO Houses: Living Green in Style

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Posted by Eco Warrior - January 28, 2018 at 1:23 pm

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How to Make Your House Greener than Ever

Despite numerous perks, the problem with the modern world is that it’s closer to extinction that we can realise. By doing lots of things that have a negative impact on our planet, we have jeopardised the future of Mother Earth and everyone living on it, and it’s high time we did something about it. Making a positive change is never easy, but you need to make an example and start with your own personal space before moving onto bigger and better things. Making your home eco-friendly requires quite a lot of time, money and energy, yet you can’t put a price on knowing that you’ve done something good and actually made a considerable difference in your own micro-system. That’s why we all need to turn our houses greener than ever, and here are a few ways to do so.

Reuse, recycle and repurpose

Not that many people know this, but the amount of second-hand materials available to you is extraordinary – just because you’re not using these doesn’t mean they don’t exist. So, if you’re planning to build your own house from scratch, make sure you pack it with second-hand timber, wood, steel and glass. You can also think about using materials made from waste products – newspaper wood, bottle bricks and wine cork panels are just some of the ideas you could look into and make your home greener that way.

Install solar panels

Solar Panels

This might be sound a complex and difficult idea at first, but it’s actually one of the most effective ways to elevate the overall sustainability of your house. If you have a spacious roof, be sure to fill it with solar panels that can produce a significant amount of energy and actually power up your kitchen devices or light up your place. Moreover, this is the way to lower your electric bill month after month and actually start saving a huge amount of money you can use for other eco-friendly purposes.

Build a greenhouse

What better way to make your house greener than by building a greenhouse right next to it? If planned, designed and executed properly, your greenhouse can be more beneficial than you’ve ever thought, but be extra careful when doing so this. No matter how handy you are and how small this project seems, you still need to use adequate safety clothing in order to make sure you don’t hurt yourself and endanger your life. Keep in mind that even a small greenhouse has a number of benefits – from making the air around your home much cleaner and more pleasant, to saving you a ton of money on vegetables you would otherwise purchase in a supermarket. This way, your family will always have healthier, more natural and totally safe food in front of them every day of the week, which is quite great in the long run.

Use LED bulbs

LED Bulbs

This could easily be the oldest trick the book, yet its efficiency and practicality are amazing. Using LED light bulbs instead of regular ones could save you a significant amount of money, but also make your living space healthier and cozier at the same time. The technology of LED bulbs has advanced quite a bit in the past couple of years, and you could easily find a whole range of models that might suit you aesthetically and visually. Finally, these bulbs are among the best ways to show your visitors and guests how eco-friendly and environmentally-aware you are, and that’s always appreciated.

Turn off appliances

This is another popular method of making your home greener and it’s quite easy too! All you need to do is remember to turn off your computer, printer, kettle and oven after you’ve finished using them instead of leaving them on all night long. Some people even unplug their appliances just to be safe, and the amount of money you can save in a year is definitely worth all the extra effort. Therefore, think about this idea and start turning off your appliances as soon as possible.

Turning down your thermostat, installing double-glazed windows, furnishing with recycled furniture, using eco-friendly wall paint, as well as adding a few plants here and there are a few additional ways to make your home greener than ever, so try these ideas out and start practising them on a regular basis.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - January 28, 2018 at 1:06 pm

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