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What Makes a Home Eco-Friendly?

What comes to mind when you hear the term “eco-friendly homes”? Energy efficiency is something that people most often equate with this term and that is certainly an important part of eco-friendly homes, but there is more to being eco-friendly than just saving energy, a whole lot more. True eco-friendly homes should be created from materials that are either recycled or at least are not made from fossil fuels. Eco-friendly homes are about reducing waste, making better use of space and keeping things clean. Reduce, re-use, recycle is the mantra of the eco-friendly home builder.

Green Building Techniques

In fact, even the building techniques used to make a home can be easier on the environment. Builders are starting to think about building homes on fewer square feet of land (more earth left for plants to grow) and even including roof top gardens that help to insulate the home, while making more room for carbon monoxide-loving oxygen-producing plants, to grow. That is an example of what it truly means to “go green” with eco-friendly homes. Even small things like building the home in a south facing position can help to make better use of natural sunlight which can help the home to be more energy efficient.

Eco-friendly Building Materials

Building materials that do not result in deforestation of the earth, especially the delicate rain forests also help make eco-friendly homes. This can be anything from reclaimed wood that comes from river beds, standing dead wood or even from buildings or homes that are being torn down. So long as no living tree was cut down to build a home, that home is more eco-friendly. Mud, stones and even straw are natural building materials that are commonly being used in eco-friendly homes along with renewable resources like bamboo. Nowadays many types of products are being made from bamboo, a member of the grass family, from flooring to cabinets, to wall coverings.

Energy Efficiency

Of course, energy efficiency is an important part of eco-friendly homes. A well-insulated home with low E glass, double glazed windows, will help save energy and adding solar panels can help you create energy. Some eco-friendly homes even add power into the power grid and make money back from the electric companies by using solar or wind power. And adding solar panels to a home isn’t nearly as expensive as it used to be, you can even make your own solar panels with simple instructions and a kit that you can purchase. Some choose to heat their water with solar panel, thereby reducing their need for gas or electricity.

Making the Earth a Better Place

More and more people are realizing the importance and benefits of creating eco-friendly homes to better manage the earth’s natural resources so it can be a better place for future generations. More homes are being built with green building materials and techniques and people are even taking steps to make their current homes more environmentally sound. As building eco-friendly homes becomes more popular, these techniques will likely become more commonplace and actually become the standard for the home building industry. Meanwhile, a people who are looking to purchase or build a new homes should seriously consider “going green” with eco-friendly homes.

By: Gregg- Camp
About the Author:

Gregg Camp is an experienced Santa Cruz real estate broker who has spent more than 20 years working in the beautiful Santa Cruz home market. Search for homes with a Santa Cruz Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)

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