If you’re designing your dream home and you like to keep an eye on your carbon footprint, you might be concerned about the impact of all your construction plans. But don’t despair! There are steps that you can take to limit your emissions and minimise the effect that your new home has on the environment.
One way to do this is to use eco-conscious companies whenever you contract work out to a third party. From the architects through to the builders, choosing to give your business to those professionals who have a good green policy will limit your impact as well as sending a message to the industry as a whole.
Another way of making a difference is to insist that environmentally friendly resources are used as often as possible within the construction of your home. To get you started, here’s a list of 5 eco-friendly materials that you could incorporate into your plans.
Standard decking has moved on dramatically over the years and composite decking can now provide a green choice for your garden. Made from reclaimed and recycled materials, composite decking does not use any new timber so it leaves our forests intact. Composite decking is low maintenance and resistant to stains and mould, so it doesn’t require chemical cleaners or lots of on-going resources to help it reach its impressive life expectancy.
Bamboo is an extremely versatile material that can be used in a variety of ways both inside and outside your home. With a high strength to weight ratio, bamboo can be used for solid structures as well as furniture and cabinets. Since bamboo is the fastest growing grass in the world, it is an easily renewable source of material and has the added bonus of being biodegradable too. While it is growing, bamboo releases a higher concentration of oxygen into the atmosphere than hardwood forests, and helps to prevent erosion and landslides by holding soil in its roots.
If you do decide to use wood in your home designs, using reclaimed lumber rather than freshly felled trees will help to minimise the impact of your plans. This timber is reworked from wood that has been salvaged from structures and products that have been demolished elsewhere. Reclaimed lumber is just another form of recycling that is utilised by construction companies that are interested in sustainability.
Post-industrial and domestic glass scraps can be transformed into new materials for your home. Whether you have a counter top made from old beer bottles, a beautiful piece of recycled jewellery or a set of reformed wine glasses, you might be surprised by the range of options that are available to save old glass from the landfill.
Most domestic paint contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are slowly released into the atmosphere as the paint dries. These compounds are harmful to the ozone layer and create an unpleasant smell for you, but they are no longer our only option. It is now possible to buy low-VOC paints in a range of hues that are inspired by the natural world. These paints allow you to improve the air quality of your home while you reduce your effect on the environment at the same time.
This post was written by Nicky Hand. If you’d like to incorporate composite decking into your home designs, Millboard Decking offer a solution that is a cut above the rest when it comes to environmental impact. Photo by Marcelle Guilbeau