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Tag: eco-friendly housing

Eco Friendly Flooring Choices for Home Interior Design

The modern methods of homemaking and interior designing have changed the way people used to think. People have these days become conscious about the type of materials they use to make the different sections of the house.

One such large contribution is of the flooring which has been since ages composed of natural and artificial materials such as rocks, marbles, granites, carpets, etc. which are easily available but definitely not completely eco-friendly.

With this new age ready to think and implement eco-friendly solutions in the flooring that comprises of a big chunk of the material you bring in, you must give it a thought. Even if you do not want to use it you must visit the stores to see it for yourself to be satisfied with the way they look and the kind of comfort, friendliness, maintenance and costs they help you acquire.

A number of eco-friendly flooring alternatives are available in the market for them to be used in houses, offices and pretty much any interiors in any part of the world.

Eco friendly floorings

A number of eco-friendly flooring varieties are available in the market today, for you to review and book for your personal use in home interiors. You can study them online to know their benefits better and then use the same type to be actually beneficial in the long run. Some of the varieties are wooden, glass tile, bamboo, cork, metal tile, cement tiles etc. which are easily affordable and have long term looks and benefits.

These varieties are not just easily available but are available in many forms for your interiors to be spiced up with their looks. They have a glaze, color, smoothness and even finish which can be applied, maintained and lived with for a good duration of its life. Inquire about such varieties in the market and their forms that can be readily reviewed for you to get decisive about their installation. They all have some or the other benefits which are he reasons they are being used and tried by modern interior designers and environment friendly customers.

Benefits of modern eco-friendly flooring

There are several benefits of these types of floorings which can be seen upfront when you see their installation at the furnished store where they are sold. You can sit on it, walk bare foot on it, sleep on it, have your kids sit on it and even eat from it, them being so clean and safe with the environment and humans. Not just this, but also that these are made with recycled materials such as bamboo, wood, glass, marble etc. that can be of a good use here rather than being in the waste.

These materials are easy to find and not very difficult to maintain if you give a serious though about the environment. At a larger perspective we will review them one by one to see how they are and how can they be of use in home interiors.

Wooden flooring

Wooden flooring is available in the reclaimed form with different types of woods contributing for it. You can use chestnut, teak, heart pine, oak, maple, Douglas Fir as its material as they please you. These are being grown in human managed forests and are certified for them to be used as eco-friendly floorings.

With these types available in the finished and unfinished forms for as much as four to thirteen dollars per square feet, they are definitely not a bad option considering the elite look they give your flooring. People like wooden flooring in their drawing rooms and bedrooms as they give a very earthy feel to the entire theme and interiors.

Bamboo flooring

If not the wooden type, you can use the bamboo flooring which is made from bamboo, a type of a woody grass. This is easily found and even grows quickly for your interiors to be sporting the floorings made of these. They are easy to install, maintain and come in plans which can be installed. This durable variety is again eco-friendly considering the speed of its growth and cultivation. It can be easily mopped, finished glued and cleansed for it to be durable all throughout the years of your life. They are available in the rates of three to six dollars per square feet in the American market on an average.

Cork flooring

This type even though not very appealing to the ears is a good eco-friendly flooring option for your house. It is made from the regenerative bark of the cork oak tree. This type has the natural bark that is harvested every eight years and has good growth as certified by the government agencies. It is known for its softness, finish, resistance, patterns, colors and thermal benefits.

They are also used to design specific acoustics of the interiors.

They are apt for kitchens and children’s rooms with the need to stand more and have lesser bacterial infections on the floor. At two to six dollars a square feet these are a good choice for the interior floorings in your house.

Recycled glass tiles

These are the latest forms that are used in many houses like interior spaces with the benefits of them being available in many colors and designs. They provide a translucent surface with a depth different than you would get in material like ceramic. They are easily maintained and are made from recycled cglass being available easily.

You can order them as and when you want, them being available at about one to two dollars per tile which is because of the labor involved to make it. These can be easily installed to give a nice shiny surface flooring in your house that resembles the look of marble but in a shiny translucent way.

Use these different forms of eco-friendly floorings to contribute your share for the environment which does not compromise the looks and quality of the flooring.

Author Bio: The post has been shared by Jason Phillips. He is an environment conscious guy who writes articles generally on environment and green. He makes his ability popular by writing online about plumbers in Tacoma.

How to Make an Eco Friendly Environment

An eco-friendly environment is a like a natural habitat for its occupants, separated from the polluted world outside. People can make their place of residence or work environment friendly and contribute significantly towards the global efforts against earth warming. The execution of a plan to promote eco-friendly environment also helps to promote energy conservation by promoting the use of energy efficient devices. It also doesn’t take a herculean effort or huge expenditure to transform a person’s immediate surrounding into an eco-friendly environment. Some useful tips in creating an eco-friendly environment efficiently are mentioned below.

Using eco-friendly ingredients to build and decorate homes and offices

A useful way in which an environment is made eco-friendly is by painting walls of home and office spaces with paints that are lead free. Lead free paints ensure less spillage of toxic materials as waste from construction sites. Opting for natural fibers instead of synthetic ones for furnishing the interiors of a house or office space with materials like silk, cotton or linen helps in recycling them for future use and also renders the house less hazardous for human health.

Ensuring proper ventilation of cooking areas

A cooking space in an office or a kitchen at home must be constructed in such a way that it is bright with light and airy so that no artificial lighting or exhaust is required to work during daytime. Additionally, cooking gases must be used economically by collecting all the ingredients required for cooking a particular food item, before lighting the gas. Turn it to low, when so required.

Energy Conservation

One of the simplest ways to make a place eco-friendly is to conserve energy by using energy efficient appliances to reduce down total energy consumption. One such example is the use of Energy-efficient bulbs that are easily accessible, inexpensive, and guzzle five times lesser energy than ordinary bulbs. Motion sensor light bulbs are also a energy-efficient alternative to make a home or office space energy efficient.

Using eco-friendly methods of waste disposal

In disposing domestic or office wastes, maintaining two dustbins, one for collecting organic waste entitled to be recycled like fruit and vegetable peelings, used tea leaves, etc and another for collecting non-organic wastes like tin, plastic, stationery etc is always advisable. Emptying organic wastes in garden spaces can act as useful manures or compost for the plants growing therein.

Installing Solar panels to produce clean energy

People must consider installing solar panels in their houses or office spaces to meet their own energy requirements. Around 50% of yearly hot water requirements can be achieved by mounting solar thermal plants. People living in countryside or villages can use mini home wind turbines to generate clean and energy for their domestic requirements.

Using natural alternatives to the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers

The habit of spraying pesticides in garden, orchards and farm areas to get them rid of bugs can be counterproductive. This can result in poisoning the sub-soil and the groundwater running through it. Instead the use of ladybugs, which can be procured from local nurseries or hardware stores, can be used effectively to tackle the usual farm or garden pests and rodents. It is advisable to water the plants first and release the bugs during late afternoon or early evening.

Conclusion

The aforementioned tips and strategies are some of the ways in creating an eco-friendly environment around residential or office spaces. Although insignificant when viewed from a larger perspective the degree of personal awareness displayed by individuals and institutions can go a long way in ensuring the goal of striving to sustain a clean and healthy environment globally.

About The Author: Alia is a journalist and blogger. She is a contributor to several sites such as Marnie Bennett.

Green Ways of Powering Your Homes of the Future

The world is still dependent on fossil fuels, but for how much longer? While fossil fuels may be an inexpensive option, they won’t last forever. Due to this, many families today and architects are beginning to understand the importance of looking for alternative energy sources which are renewable for use in their homes.

There are many benefits to having a home is powered using green sources. In the long run there are definite cost savings which will come from the transition; but maybe more important is the preservation of the earth for the generations that will come in to the future. Rather than use up all the earth’s limited resources, it makes sense to instead switch, when possible, to greener energy sources. Going green is all about using energy sources which are renewable and not in jeopardy of being depleted.

Take a look at 2 ways families are using green power to heat their home in non-traditional ways:

Wind

Though a large enough turbine would quite easily power a houses power requirements these large wind turbines are normally difficult to get planning permission for without a large area of space away from neighbours. Normally local planning departments require 1/2 an acre.

It is always best to check and get planning long before buying any products.

A normal family size house to would be able to install a much smaller wind turbine, though small these can power a couple of rooms in a home but require a higher wind speeds.

Solar

Solar energy is another popular option to power today’s home. Solar power can be used to both create electricity and heat water making it perfect for home use. Of the three energy sources listed, solar energy is probably the most commonly thought of when an everyday person thinks of green energy sources.

Solar panels can be attached to the roof of a home or to a standalone shed (depending on which product is selected). The sun is an abundant source of energy which can be harnessed and stored to either create hot water or otherwise power a home. Again, there will be an upfront monetary investment, but in the end it will more than pay for itself with energy savings in the long run.

As many reports by the UN and energy companies have reported, average power usage across the world will rapidly increase in the coming years. With temperatures increasing across the world air cooling devices could be much more common, increasing the dependence on electricity. It is important that
the houses of the future factor in for the expected changes in climate reported by the IPCC report (2004). Many leading designers are now looking to incorporate architectural design of Mediterranean countries to future proof their designs against climate change.

WDSgreenenergy.co.uk are leading specialists in green energy technologies, installing solar panels in Cardiff to reduce building dependency on fossil fuels. WDS support many efforts to future proof lots of our civic building and company premises.

Redecorating Your Home The Green Way

When you decide to decorate your home, make sure that you don’t slip up and buy any products that are not planet-friendly. It’s easy to avoid this – all you need to do is spend a bit more time researching the products before you buy.

If you’re going to paint any of your rooms, there are many paint suppliers who sell a great range of eco-friendly paints. There are organic paints which are non-toxic and these aren’t just limited to emulsions. You can also find gloss finish paints and wood varnishes that are a lot more environmentally-friendly than you could a few years ago.

However, there are lots of paints that still have toxins like VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in them, so make sure you take time to read the labels before making your choice.

You can also research flooring materials to make sure that the glues and varnishes used aren’t toxic to the environment in any way. Using natural fibres like seagrass and bamboo can seem like a more environmentally sound option, but it’s still worth checking that they come from sustainable sources.

When looking at pieces of furniture like sofas, check their environmental credits by asking the retailer – for example, Harveys – about their supply chain. Can they show that the fabrics used on the sofa bed you are thinking about buying have been produced in an environmentally responsible fashion? For example, were any pesticides used in the growing of the cotton, or were any toxic dyes used to produce the fabric colours? Go down to any Harveys’ sofa bed sale and see if you can find a sofa bed that suits you. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to delve a little deeper and investigate how the furniture has been produced and where the materials it is made from have been grown or sourced.

This article was contributed by Celia Roche on behalf of http://www.harveysfurniture.co.uk/.

You say “Hemcrete”, I say “Hempcrete”

I recently raved about the environmental benefits of hemp. I also compiled a list of various ways hemp is being used around the world. There’s no doubt to the versatility of this fiber.

One industry that is reaping the benefits of hemp is the building industry. Sustainable housing is becoming more and more important and hemp can certainly step up to the mark.

There are many applications of hemp in the building industry. It can be used for insulation, fiberboard, stucco and mortar and more. The use of hemp in the building industry has even sparked a new word – hempcrete.

What is Hempcrete?

Put simply, hempcrete is an eco-friendly alternative to concrete. It consists of a mixture of hemp, lime, sand, plaster, and cement, and can be used in the same way as concrete. Hempcrete is typically mixed on site, then sprayed on to the building frame. Hempcrete can also be used for making pipes.

Hempcrete is self insulating. It’s resistant to rotting, mice, rodents, etc. It is also fireproof, waterproof, and weather resistant.

Hempcrete actually has some pretty cool benefits over concrete too.

Benefits of Hempcrete

Hempcrete has a number of environmental benefits over concrete. It also has a number of general benefits too.

General Benefits

Here are some of the general benefits of hempcrete over concrete:

  • Stronger: Hempcrete is said to be 7 times stronger than concrete
  • Lighter: Hempcrete is about half the weight of concrete
  • Less cracking: Hempcrete is more elastic than concrete, which means it is less prone to cracking

Environmental Benefits

Using hempcrete instead of concrete can drastically reduce carbon emissions produced by our buildings.

In the UK for example, the construction and ongoing use of buildings accounts for over 50% of of carbon dioxide emissions. Studies have shown that, for each square meter of house walling, up to 200 kilograms of carbon dioxide is emitted from its construction. This works out to be around 40 tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted for a typical house.

Hempcrete, on the other hand, can actually remove carbon dioxide from the air, and trap it within the wall construction. The producers of Tradical Hemcrete claim that it has been found to lock up around 110 kilograms of carbon dioxide per m3.

So, which is it? “Hemcrete” or “hempcrete”?

Both! Hempcrete (with a “p”) is the generic name for the product. Hemcrete (without the “p”), is a proprietary version of hempcrete. Its full name is Tradical® Hemcrete®, and it’s a registered trademark of Lime Technology in the UK.

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