Many people are looking for a way to make a difference in the environment, and some are lost. But a major way to contribute to the green movement and reduce your carbon footprint is to follow new trends and technology in green housing.
Many housing companies and architects are getting into prefab homes. What used to be thought of as a cheap housing alternative, like standard manufactured homes in the 1980s and 1990s, is now becoming a greener, more efficient way to produce high-style housing.
Prefab homes are assembled most or all of the way in a factory and then brought to the home site on a flatbed truck. This way, all the materials to build the house and the workers go to the factory instead of each individual home site, and this is a more efficient way to build homes. They can also be built much cheaper this way.
While some prefab homes still have about as much charm as a double-wide trailer, there are many firms going ahead with high-design green options, like Michelle Kaufmann and Rocio Romero.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
When you think about all the materials that go into building a house, it doesn’t seem possible that you could use totally post-consumer material. But you’d be wrong. A new trend in green building is using salvaged lumber and other materials, like doors and fixtures. What’s more, they can be less expensive and they sometimes benefit charities. When homes are destroyed, all the salvaged materials are often taken to a reseller, and that’s where you can find them. A simple Internet search for “salvaged building materials” in your city should tell you where to find them.
When you’re not too keen on using someone else’s old materials, there are also recycled materials available from manufacturers, like recycled glass tile and floors made from recycled plastic.
It’s important to look to recycling not only as a part of building the house, but of living in it too. Consider the installation of solar panels to recycle the sun’s power into energy, or a grey water system to recycle the water that runs through the house.
One of the keys in the green housing movement is to only build a house that’s big enough for your needs. That means living with less space and less stuff, but it also means an opportunity to get outside more and to bring yourself back to simple living that will inspire you to continue a green lifestyle.
One company that is striving to provide chic, well-designed green small homes is the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, which offers plans for homes from 65 to 837 square feet. There are also many other firms that specialise in small homes, knowing that efficient, green living is the product of only using what you really need and saving more energy and building materials for the future.