We often find everyone talking about how to be more sustainable, live a greener life and be more mindful with the choices we make at home in a bid to become more eco friendly. But exactly what is an eco friendly house? What defines a house as being eco friendly? Is it the way that it’s built, or is it how it consumes electricity? Here are 5 things you should know about what makes a house eco friendly.
If you want to know the easiest way to tell if a house is eco friendly, then just have a glance at their trash. If the family separates their organic trash from recyclable trash, then they are definitely taking an eco friendly approach at their homes. Recycling is one of the easiest ways to make your home more environmentally friendly, and one of the most effective ones as well. These recyclables are then sent to recycling plants where they can be remade into useful items, thereby reducing pollution and saving resources.
Saving electricity is another way you would define an eco friendly house. You would think saving electricity would generally mean using a renewable resource for powering your home. However, you don’t really need to spend a fortune to start saving electricity, but rather the smart use of electronics and, more importantly, using the right electrical equipment is key to saving electricity in an eco friendly house.
From something as simple as turning off the fan when not in use, or something a little more complex like installing smart devices that would save electricity for you. Either way, if you want to know “what is an eco friendly house”, you just have to look around and see the electronics it uses, and how it uses it.
Using plastic alternatives
This is something that, no matter if you’re an eco conscious individual or not, has to be one of your top priorities as a member of any society. It’s a no-brainer that using alternatives to plastic whenever possible are one of the primary factors that make a home eco friendly. Plastic is by far the greatest pollutant on Earth, affecting the land, the oceans and even the air (Find out more about how plastic causes air pollution).
In order to find out if someone is using alternatives to plastic, it could be as simple as looking at the water bottles he/she uses. Is it a single use plastic bottle that most water sold in stores comes in, or a reusable water bottle made from recycled plastic or glass? Today, even something as simple as a plastic garbage bag has an eco friendly alternative, and if a family is making all efforts to switch to plastic alternatives, you can definitely say that it is an eco friendly home.
Did you know? According to the EPA, an average US household’s leaks can waste around 10,000 gallons of water each year? Usable water is a scarce resource, and with the amount of people dying from drought in areas where there is water scarcity, it is no small issue. Saving water should be one of the main priorities of any eco friendly home, even if it is as simple as fixing a leaking faucet.
Checking if your house has proper plumbing installed and there are no leaks can not just help you save on utility bills, but it also ensures that your house is doing its bit to save water and promote a greener lifestyle. On top of that, saving water while doing chores such as laundry and washing the dishes can further help the eco friendly cause and save you excess water bills.
Using renewable energy sources
If we go back to before reading this article, your answer to “what is an eco friendly house?” would have probably been “a house that uses solar panels”, and you’re right! One of the most obvious ways you can tell if a house is eco friendly is to see what kind of electricity they are using. Most people even today use electricity produced from fossil fuels, but many are rapidly switching to more sustainable alternatives such as solar panels, especially in the US and Europe.
Although most of us would have thought that a house can be powered sustainably using solar panels, there are actually several ways to generate sustainable electricity. These span from popular ones to wind and solar, to lesser known ones such as geothermal and even biomass.
Although using renewable energy for powering your home is what comes to many people’s minds when they have been asked to define an eco friendly house, there are several other ways you can tell if a house is mindful of the environment or not. This is exactly why I had mentioned renewable energy sources at the end of the article, because what’s the point of mentioning something upfront if you already know it!
Just goes to show that an eco friendly home doesn’t have to be defined by expensive equipment, but rather by the practices the people living in it adopt to help save the environment in hope for a better tomorrow.