There’s no place like home. There many options for eco-friendly homes to choose from. From uniquely built Earthships to LEED certified, pre-fabricated homes, there is something for everyone. Even if you already have a home, there are lessons you can learn to create a more sustainable home life. Choosing to live every day in a sustainable way is a great way to know that you are making a difference for the Earth’s health.
Prefab Options for Fast Sustainability
There are numerous companies that specialize in prefab eco-friendly homes. The creation of these homes creates less waste since the process is standardized and perfected. Due to factory construction, your home is less likely to be damaged and the average construction time is about five months.
Bamboo Living Homes are the only code certified bamboo structures in the world. Bamboo is one of the most sustainable building materials because of the plant’s fast growth and compostability. These homes average around the $100,000 range and allow larger sustainable homes to be affordable.
On the more luxurious side, you have Bluhomes which start $195,000 and go up to $545,000. Built for everyday sustainability, they feature motion-sensing faucets and electric car chargers. Their frames are made from recycled steel that can be endlessly recycled if the house were ever torn down. These homes will lower energy costs by up to 50% per month.
Shipping Containers as Modular Homes
Alternative options are popular both for their ingenuity and novelty. Homes (and offices, cafes, and swimming pools) have been popping up made from reused shipping containers in recent years. There are many configurations available. They can start as low as $16,000 for a tiny home or go up to $300,000 for an eco-minded luxury establishment.
These homes still include AC and heating units, wiring, and plumping. You can connect the containers and end up with a larger home comprised of three or four containers. It is always easy to upsize or downsize.
Earthships are a type of passive solar earth shelter comprised only of natural and up-cycled materials. The sci-fi name fits in with the incredible and artistic design of many of these homes. They were first designed by architect, Michael Reynolds. These homes make use of solar energy, water harvesting, and special structural design to create zero-waste and net energy living spaces. For anyone looking to go “off-grid,” these homes are some of the easiest to live in. Earthships make use of used glass bottles to create windows and used tires or cans packed with earth for walls. Earthships architecture can range wildly in design from looking like futuristic greenhouses to traditional Greece styled architecture.
Upgrades to Pre-Existing Homes
Not everyone may be able to commit to a home built to LEED certification specifications or out of completely reused and natural materials. We can all still do small or large upgrades to our homes to make them eco-friendlier.
One of the most pleasant switches can be to install a smart meter. These meters can be set to turn on the heat or air at certain times of the day. For instance, you can have it begin heating your home about an hour before you get off work. This saves energy, decreases your bills, and still allows the same amount of comfort.
Another energy saver that can be used in our area efficiently is solar panels. With the new Hanwha HQ solar facility in Whitfield County, now is the perfect time to make the switch.
In your daily routine, begin using natural cleaning products. Lemon and vinegar will be your best friends. These allow you to keep harsh and harmful cleaning chemicals out of the water supply. Also, beginning composting and you can eliminate your food scraps from the landfill.
Living in a eco-friendly environment serves as a daily reminder of the importance of protecting the planet from unnecessary waste and pollution. Whether you make a big switch to a sustainably built home or even just start using fewer chemicals today, consider making a change to create a cleaner Earth.