Tag Archives: Home

Eco-Friendly Ways to Brighten Your Home

The 21st century has definitely seen a rise in the level of awareness regarding environmental conservation and sustainability. From efficient waste disposal to water conservation, everybody is looking for ways to make sure that the earth stays green.

But, if you are still wondering if switching off the lights when not in use is enough on your part, then think again. There are more things that you can do to not only reduce your electricity bills, but also save energy.

Here are some eco-friendly ways to brighten your home. With these tips, you can give your house a completely fresh and vibrant appeal, while at the same time reduce energy consumption significantly.

First of all, ditch those old tungsten coil bulbs. The rusty 70s look is not what you want to welcome your guests to. Prefer lighting up your living room with calm lights using LED bulbs. These are not just energy efficient, but also last reasonably longer than the traditional bulbs or CFLs. And the best part is, these go with everything! You can install them on the walls or ceiling, or give a creative touch to your living room with chandeliers.

Eco-friendly Ways to Brighten Your Living Room

These days, LED lamps have also become quite popular as living room accessories. These lamps provide great lighting and perfectly complement the furniture and décor of your living room. Lamps with bright shades go well for an elegant seating area, whereas bright colors blend seamlessly in more upbeat and colorful settings.

Another smart idea to save electricity in your living room is to install glass and mirror items. Such artifacts and accessories refract or reflect light, making the room look brighter and even more spacious than before. Having small lights at separate spots will help you reduce the consumption and get the perfect ambiance for all occasions.

Eco-friendly Ways to Brighten Your Bedroom

The lighting in the bedroom needs to be moderate, to give a cozy and relaxing environment. If you have a large window in your bedroom, consider only 2 or 3 LED bulbs so that you can regulate the brightness during night time. If you want more light during the daytime, then ceiling mount LED would be a great choice.

If you like to read at night, you can have a bedside tabletop or wall mount LED lamp. The table or lamp serves as extra shelf space to keep your books and other small items. Again, these serve as excellent décor accessories as well. If you think that LED lights could be too bright for your bedroom, then you can always choose dimmable LEDs that can create a much more subtle and relaxing ambiance.

Eco-friendly Ways to Brighten Your Study Room

Lighting is a crucial element of a study room or home office. If you spend considerable hours every day in your study or home office, then prefer wall or ceiling mount LEDs instead of the CFLs or tungsten bulbs. If you need lighting only on the desk area, install the bulb right above it or on the wall to the left or right.

The benefits of installing LEDs are many. Choose them to reduce the electricity consumption at your home and to create a bright space. Be smart and help in saving the planet.

Do It Yourself Pest Control With Eco-Friendly Bed Bug Spray For The Home

Having bedbugs in the house may be inevitable these days, especially if you travel frequently and stay in hotels quite often. To help solve this problem using a do it yourself pest control approach, many manufacturers have developed different types of insecticides to tackle this menace. Some of these products are effective while others are not; some are organically made while others are chemical based. It is important that one understands the different types of bed bug sprays before setting off to purchase them.

Residual insecticides

These are also called Deltamethrin and often found in the form of pyrethoids. They are usually available as aerosol. This insecticide is usually biodegradable and odorless hence suitable for confined spaced. The best was to administer it is directly into walls or floor cracks and crevices. It quickly paralyzes bed bugs of any age. This bed bug spray is safe for people and pets. However, they are not safe for the aquatic life.

Growth inhibitors

This is a special and unique spray, which uses Hydroprene. It is designed to inhibit the growth of the bed bugs. This leads to the prevention of the bugs from reaching maturity age thereby curbing their breeding. They help eliminate the bugs by shortening their breeding and maturity levels. These insecticides can be found in spray forms and other forms such as a powder. However, the hydropropene is not effective enough in the bugs’ elimination.

Others

There are other forms of sprays, which are effective in the bed bugs elimination. They are usually combined with additional agents thereby making them more expensive but sometimes more effective. However, some have been known to cause health problems hence the need to educate one about them before purchasing. Many of these sprays are only available to licenses exterminators and require you to be out of your house for a few days until the fumes clear.

Eco-Friendly Liquid sprays

These are very effective in the bedbug elimination process. These are sprayed directly into crevices and crevices in the home – main hiding places of the bugs. However, the application should only be done if it is said to be safe. Some of the liquid sprays are known to get inert after drying up hence frequent use if required. Many use natural plat oils such as red cedar oil that can be very effective at killing the bugs, but is harmless to your family and pets. One effective spray you most likely have in your home is the rubbing alcohol. This is quick in elimination and kills the

Green Homes – Green Home Building For Eco Friendly Living

Green homes are houses that are kinder to the planet. They use lesser energy, produce less waste, and are a healthier environment for the people inside. Green homes come out of a philosophy of being more eco-friendly to the environment. They save on electricity, find ways to cut down on carbon-waste and general energy consumption. Green homes can put money in your pocket, and give you the peace of mind you are doing your bit to help sustain our planet.

Energy

Most of us would to make the world a little “greener” by reducing our home energy consumption. There has been improvement in building techniques and materials over the last couple of decades, which means that homes are becoming more energy efficient. Do you dream of a house with no carbon emissions and zero-net-energy use? This can be achieved with a strategy that includes alternative energy sources, and conscientious fabrication methods and standards. We can channel in green energy into our homes without breaking the bank. There are DIY home energy programs that cost thousands of dollars but there are also DIY Solar and wind turbine schemes that will only cost a few hundred dollars, and that can be implemented without great technical skills. You can reach your goal of a Zero Energy Home, and it maybe just a couple of steps away…

Design: Living Green Designer Homes

When we think of eco friendly homes, or sustainable homes, we probably have an image of an odd-looking place? Too many panels and windmills all over it, maybe half buried on a hill, or too high tech for our budget? That may have been the case once but it’s now possible to design a home that is beautiful, and will give you a degree of independence from both present and future water and energy cost increases and shortages There is evidence of a growing concern about environmental and design issues. There is information available from government from which you can learn about design of green buildings for energy conservation. Good modern design standards readily integrate sustainable features such as rainwater collection, alternative power sources, grey water recycling, solar hot water and water efficient landscaping.

Sustainability

In December 2006, The Code for Sustainable Homes was introduced as a voluntary code in the UK and by May 2008 has become a national standard. It rates the key elements of design and construction which impact upon sustainability and efficiency. It is used by architects, builders and consumers alike in helping them plan and design new homes. The code awards new homes a star rating from 1 to 6, based on their performance against 9 sustainability criteria which assess the overall environmental impact. These are model green home building guidelines!

Building regulations require at least One Star. Six Stars reflects exemplary sustainability.The sustainability criteria by which new homes are measured are:

Energy and CO2 Emissions

Water H20 & Surface Water Run-off

Materials

Waste

Pollution

Health and Well-Being

Management of the environmental impacts of the construction and operation

Ecology

The key is to achieve sustainability without compromising either design or quality. The Code introduces minimum standards for energy and environmental factors affecting the sustainability of a home, and the rating takes into account different elements of sustainability. These include energy, transport, pollution, materials, land use and ecology and health and well-being. The UK Government has set the industry a target of delivering zero-carbon homes by 2016.

The aim of sustainable homes is to deliver real improvements in key areas such as carbon dioxide emissions and water use.

Carbon

Carbon reduction is high on the political agenda of all nations, yet there is a clear struggle for governments to come to terms with the measures that must be taken to achieve the reduction goals that our best science tells us is needed. Much can be achieved by action at the household level that can drastically reduce the enormity of the tasks that faces governments looking at the problems on a macro scale. Motivation for the changes that are needed is key, as it is in anything great but difficult that we strive for. One ‘carrot’ in the budget for households is the direct benefit of reduced energy bills achieved by making an effort to reduce their own carbon pollution. In the UK, London Green Homes service uniquely offers a free telephone advice service, a website and a paid-for green service to provide a free tailor-made package of carbon saving lifestyle improvements. The service has great flexibility, offering Londoners advice on a broad range of actions to reduce carbon emissions from lifestyle changes; and explains how best to save money on energy bills. It is the UK’s first one-stop-shop for information on how to make homes more carbon efficient.

Environmental

A US survey has shown that 87% of home buyers want to know how their homes rate in terms of environmental performance in order to make an informed decision when moving house. Further, 84% would pay an average 2% more for an eco-friendly home. Environmentally friendly homes are no longer a luxury reserved only for the richest Americans. Environmental concerns, dependence on foreign oil, water shortages, vanishing species, are all factors in an increasing the awareness of the call for us to be better stewards of the earth and its resources.

In this environmentally aware world, we are hearing more about green homes, eco friendly living and sustainable homes. Green homes that are designed to be energy efficient, use environmentally friendly and healthy materials and conserver water are becoming the standard. In addition to new building standards, there are simple environmentally friendly, DIY projects that will help curb energy costs, and improve your homes value.

Space is still the most important consideration for home buyers, but environmental considerations and use of eco-friendly materials are very high on the list of priorities. Architectural firms today are often committed to developing creative yet environmentally sustainable components of space for the betterment of lifestyle and family in a way that supports responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources. Green living and building, with an emphasis on health, energy efficiency and environmental conservation, has never been more relevant than it is today. As time goes on, there will be more attention given to advocating for socially just and environmentally-minded rebuilding solutions. Home-building imposes very significant environmental and social costs at all levels. Impacts of new home construction include:

quarrying to provide basic raw construction materials like aggregates,

water consumption, and the widespread use of toxic

chemicals in building materials.

Conclusion

Green homes can put money in your pocket, they don’t need to be thought of as an expensive way to do what’s demanded of us for the environment. Sustainable homes give you peace of mind from knowing that you are doing everything you can to help sustain the planet. Sustainable homes don’t have to be unattractive anymore, and unsuitable for residential architecture. Green homes are better for the environment because they use less energy, less water, and have a lower impact on the environment

10 Things People Appreciate Most About Log Home Living

There is no reason to wait until retirement to dwell in your dream house. Start looking into this alternative style of accommodation right now; and find your idyllic refuge.

10 Things people appreciate most about log home living

1. A log home is a retreat

A favourable escape from the accelerated urban sprawl is the rustic idyll of a log home. Indeed, most of them are located away from crowded urban areas and offer a peaceful retreat from the buzzy cities with their questionable air quality that city-dwellers have grown accustomed to. To make the most of a long summer evening or, for that matter any day with beautiful weather, they are often equipped with porches. This outside area of the house is ideal for relaxing or having drinks with friends while engaging in long scintillating conversations.

2. Wooden houses are eco-friendly

The environmental benefits of log home lodging are numerous. In fact, they are often praised as energy-efficient alternatives to traditional stucco-and-cement houses. The thick wood provides substantial insulation to keep residents toasty during the winter and comfortably cool during the summer. In a time when many people are looking to lower their energy bill, living in a log home can prove to be very economical. Furthermore, these houses are made with the most sustainable building material known to man, wood. From the forest to your house, the logs that are used do not have as much of a negative impact on the environment as other common building materials such as bricks, mortar or steel.

3. Stay close to nature while at home

For the hippie inside each one of us, a log home provides a oneness with nature incomparable to the alienating modernity of the city. Surrounded by lush forests, mountains, and other elements of nature, one gains an appreciation for wholesome natural beauty. The interior of a log home is deeply inspired by its natural surroundings. With stone fixtures such as fireplaces – commonplace in cabins – and intricately carved wooden railings and banisters, homeowners commune with the wondrous splendour of nature. These homes have personalized and unique interiors to surprise visitors. Whether you prefer a vaulted ceiling or a wraparound second story platform, you have a plethora of options to choose from.

4. Feel invited

A log home is notorious for its inviting warmth. Lavish creature comforts abound in cabins; lay down a bearskin rug and it will be a perfect complement to a ruddy oak floor. Curl up by the fireplace on a plush sofa or armchair and enjoy a classic novel; you will not be interrupted by street noise or pesky neighbours, since your house is innately and pleasantly soundproofed. Richly embroidered tapestries and classical baroque furniture are not oddities in a log home. For the less theatrical homeowner, modern stainless steel appliances and granite countertops are also suitable for these types of residence.

5. Enjoy the outdoors while you stay in

For the social type, a wooden house is the perfect location for a community barbecue or gathering of friends. A typical log home is wrapped by a vast and ornate porch elevated off the ground. It is the perfect spot for an outdoor kitchen or in-ground hot tub. You can relax on a comfortable porch swing while watching the sunset from your outdoor paradise. A log home is like a perpetual vacation. Bask in the natural light from the high windows of your living room or sunbathe on the balcony outside your bedroom.

6. A house that is nicely decorated

Log homes are renowned for their beautiful construction. Architecture of these houses is rich with delicately carved banisters and hanging wooden supports that give your home a comfortable, cosy feeling. Appreciate the wall hangings and luxurious art adorning your log home. The rustic charm can be augmented by gorgeous additions that emphasize the earthy nature of the lodge; recommended additions are tapestries in rich red velvet and pristinely oiled rugs.

7. A wooden house smells fantastic

The wood in a log home is durable and permanently imbued with rich earthy vibes. The scent of a log home is permanent. The appealing fragrance of fresh wood endows the cabin with a natural comfort befitting a vacation home. No car air freshener or scented candle can compare to the alluring aroma of natural wood. Pleasant scents are proven to be calming, if the reality of living the dream in a beautiful natural landscape is not enough to soothe you.

8. Excellent safety

These houses are not a fire hazard though that might seem counter-intuitive. The girth and durability of the logs resist fire in a very reliable way. An ordinary house is far more prone to collapsing due to a fire than a log home, making the latter a resilient lodging option. Should you be enclosed within a log home during a fire, it would not be difficult to escape. The numerous windows typically built into a cabin offer alternative escape routes to ensure your safety.

9. Maintenance is fairly easy

A properly constructed log home requires little upkeep. Aside from treatments to prevent mould and rot, a stain may be applied to the exterior of the cabin periodically, in mild spot treatments, to maintain the colour of the wood. And that is all you need to keep your house in top shape for many years if not generations.

10. You will impress your friends

There is nothing like a backyard barbecue to bring families and friends together. What better way to spend a summer afternoon than lazily sprawling on the front porch of your luxurious log home? Friends will be envious of your laid-back lifestyle and soon find themselves yearning for the simple life. You will have everything: the tranquillity of wide-open space and the comfort of a modern respite away from the hectic clamour of the city. The flats your loved ones reside in cannot compare.

There is no reason to wait until retirement to dwell in your dream house. Start looking into this alternative style of accommodation right now; and find your idyllic refuge.

Interesting Tips to Make Your Home Green

If your sky-rocketing utility bills are upsetting you, then it is high time to make your house more energy-efficient. In the last decade, home improvement sector has evidently exploded with environment friendly practices and products, which guarantee to save homeowners a lot of money in the electricity bills. These green products are basically made from sustainable or recycled materials that last longer, in comparison to their conventional counterparts. However, with so many green products available in the market, it is not easy for the homeowners to make right choices. Considering this fact, given below are some interesting tips on how you can make your home green.

* Evaluate insulation and siding – A significant aspect of green lifestyle is decreasing one’s carbon footprint. This can be done by using lesser energy in various parts of the house. One great way to decrease energy consumption is to make sure that your house is properly insulated. Using eco-friendly or green insulation, made from materials like wool, cotton, recycled fabrics such as soybeans, denim etc, is a great way to go. Besides, evaluate the outdoor siding of your house by poking the walls. If your house is old and needs a face lift, then go for green products, such as fiber-cement siding, insulated-vinyl siding etc. Both would last for several years and need no or very less maintenance.

* Improve air quality inside the house – People living in environment friendly houses with better quality of air are happier, healthier and smarter. One great way to improve air quality inside your house is using low or zero VOC paints. These are easily available at any home improvement store at almost same price as traditional paints. Besides, the type of flooring you have also determines the air quality in your house. Traditional carpets, over time, trap allergens, mold, pet dander, and dust mites, making it difficult to get rid of them. The worst it does is deteriorating the quality of air inside the house. The best way to deal with this issue is either choosing environment friendly carpets with no or low VOCs or go for the hard floors fabricated from materials, like bamboo, cork, hardwood etc.

* Update the dated appliances – A kitchen loaded with high-end stainless steel machines and appliances looks beautiful, but functionality and practicality is more crucial to consider. Kitchen appliances, like stove, dishwasher and refrigerator use high amount of energy. It is therefore best to replace older appliances with the new ones, having energy star ratings.

* Window or door replacement – Those who have an old house with drafty doors and windows, a window or door replacement project would definitely be a great idea. It can actually make a great impact on your energy bills. While shopping for the new doors or windows, go for top quality products, such as Energy Star labeled windows, which use recycled materials or sustainable woods, and triple-pane windows/doors, which would keep your home comfortable year-round.

Remember remodeling a house is not about spending a lot of money. Even with small changes you can create a significant impact. So, employ all these interesting tips and get set to make your house a healthier and happier place to reside.

A Green Home Buyer’s Guide On Choosing An Eco-Friendly Home

Eco-friendly living is the way forward, and it is currently the best time for you to follow this trend. So go ahead and own a green abode that reflects your personality. Below, are a few points that you should consider on your pursuit to acquiring a green home.

Building A Home Vs. Buying One: How Do They Compare?

Every house is energy efficient and eco-friendly one way or the other, which usually saves a considerable amount of money. But buying a home does not give you the freedom to use your own ideas on the house from the ground up, as opposed to building a house according to your plan.

Renovation Can Do The Trick

If you have a non eco-friendly house and you want to convert it into an eco-friendly unit, you can spend money on modifying the house based on your ideas. For instance, you could replace an old light bulb with the latest LED ones, which are proven to consume less energy. Note that reworking on your house could cost a significant hole in your bank account, but in the long run, it is definitely worth it.

Other Important Priorities

Living green will likely be next to impossible, if you are on a budget and looking to stay close to popular hubs. The same could be said, if you want to have restaurants and other recreational facilities around your neighbourhood.

Be Ready To Relocate If Necessary

Is living in an eco-friendly house a top priority for you? If the answer is yes, then you need to consider relocating to a location where it is possible, I.e, a place where there’s plenty of sunlight and a place that suits your budget. But most times, this would mean that you would have to relocate to another region. You would have to settle in an entirely new location, where you will need start all over again, which is a bad idea if you are not looking forward to change.

Get Hold Of A Green Agent

Now that green living is becoming more and more popular, there is a rise in the number of real estate agents specialising in the scouting process of such houses. Get in touch with one of them to get a tour of affordable alternatives that are available.

Although eco-friendly living is a great step towards a self-sustaining life, it also requires you to invest a lot of time, effort, and money that is usually not a sound alternative for working-class families. You should go for this lifestyle, only if you are absolutely sure it is a serious decision, and not just a hobby.