Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Guest Post - How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Around Your Home

Turning off lights, recycling waste, ensuring you have proper insulation are all well-known ways of reducing your carbon footprint around your home. But what if you have already done all this and want to take Eco-proofing your home one step further?

When it comes to energy efficient homes it is architects who are leading the way. An increasing number of architects are designing buildings and homes that have Eco-friendly designs integrated into their plans, so much so that it is now at the forefront of cutting edge modern building designs.

The good thing is that many of these ideas can be recreated by homeowners looking for ways to make their homes more energy efficient. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Natural light
Many architects are now designing buildings that let in as much natural light as possible. From floor to ceiling windows to complete glass structured buildings. The environmental benefits of living in a home with more natural light is that it reduces the amount of electric lights you need to use. This is particularly beneficial if you live in regions that don’t get a lot of bright sunshine and which have long dark winters.

You can replicate this at home by installing skylights, especially into rooms that are often dimly lit. If you don’t want the expense of adding skylights just by making sure nothing obstructs your windows and adding reflective surfaces into your interior will help to make better use of natural light.

Sustainable furniture
In the same way that many architects are creating more Eco-friendly designs, an increasing number of interior designers are also looking for ways of making home interiors more environmentally sustainable. This has led to a boom in furniture and home accessories made from sustainable materials.

Look around and you will be bound to find furniture that is made using sustainable materials and, as a bonus, they are often manufactured using ethical methods. Just remember to drop your old furniture off at a charity shop or a local freecycle programme.

Solar panels
Solar panels are becoming a common feature on new buildings, but they are also available for installation on many old buildings as well. Solar panels can not only produce electricity for your home but will heat up all your water too. They are a particularly good investment, both environmentally and financially, if you live in a predominately sunny area, however they are known to be beneficial to those that live in colder regions as well.

For those who don’t have the money to install solar panels there are now a number of solar powered home appliances available that will help to cut down on the amount of electricity and batteries you use at home.

Outside areas
Many people spend so much time thinking about how to make their home more Eco-friendly they forget about their outdoor areas. By making good use of your outside space can go a long way to reducing your carbon footprint. For example just by growing your own organic fruit and veg will mean that you don’t have to rely on buying food that has a high carbon footprint.

Even simple steps like purchasing a water butt for your garden, which will allow you to make use of rainwater instead of depending on using water from the mains when watering your garden, can help make your home more sustainable.

Written by Derin Clark, a writer, editor and blogger