Connect with us


5 Ways to Perform More Sustainable Home Construction



Solar panels By wallheater Via Flickr

The harsh winter and sweltering summer this past year are reason enough to justify a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Our atmosphere can be affected by many human activities, and home construction qualifies as one of the most damaging.

According to the Zero Energy Project, the construction and operation of buildings accounts for 40 percent of all the energy used in the U.S. It’s among the most harmful if necessary activities we do.

Fortunately, a good portion of the construction industry has noted the harmful effects of its actions, and developed some useful strategies for creating greener home building. If you’re constructing a home, observe these practices to achieve a more sustainable result.

  1. Find a Green Contractor

Before you build, make sure your contractor has the same sustainable goals. If your builders have no interest in green construction, they may not operate with your eco-friendly building plans.

Many companies advertise themselves as being green contractors, but they need to be vetted carefully. Ask questions about their practices, materials, and ideals. The information you gather will indicate whether a contractor is a good match for your sustainable building orientation.

  1. Choose Sustainable Materials

If you’ve selected a green contractor, the company can help you choose eco-friendly materials. Still, it’s smart to do some preliminary research so you know your options.

Some materials have a much lower impact on the environment than others based on such aspects as how they’re harvested, their amenability to recycling or decomposition in landfills when you’re done, impact on your finished home’s energy efficiency, and other factors.

Some of the top sustainable building materials include:

  • Bamboo flooring
  • Fly ash concrete
  • Wool bricks
  • Solar tiles
  • Paper insulation
  • Triple-glazed windows

There are many more options for sustainable materials for the building process. If you do some research, you can find the best options for your home construction.

  1. Go for Green Interior Design

Your sustainable program shouldn’t end with the exterior of the structure. Today many indoor home trends are also green, so your house can be environmentally friendly as well as fashionable.

The items you choose to make up the interior structure of your residence will also have a bearing on your overall carbon footprint. Opting for LEED-certified lighting, for example, can reduce CO2 emissions for the standard home by as much as 34 percent.

Adding smart-home features, water conservation technology, window treatments, and eco-friendly decor materials can greatly reduce your contribution to greenhouse gas creation.

  1. Choose Materials that Boost Efficiency

It’s essential to monitor the impact of your home after it’s been built, as well. Many materials and appliances lend themselves to a more efficient home. Some of the most effective items include:

  • Programmable thermostats, which significantly reduce heating and cooling consumption
  • A high-efficiency, Energy Star-rated HVAC system
  • Double paned windows that trap inside air
  • Properly installed insulation that will help your HVAC system
  • Energy Star-labeled appliances and fixtures
  • Alternative energy tech such as solar panels that reduce power usage

Your energy bills and the environment will be grateful that you made efficiency a top priority in the construction phase.

  1. Watch the Details

Green home construction means covering all the details, not just the raw materials and construction process. It starts with an environmentally friendly location and goes from there.

Everything, from the size of your house to the landscaping to the paint colors you choose, can make a difference in achieving zero-energy construction. As you consider each of these details, don’t forget to apply the three Rs of sustainability: reduce, reuse, recycle.

If good-quality recycled materials are available, use them. If there’s a way to reduce the amount of materials you need for the project, find it. You might also be able to reuse such items as cabinets, flooring, roof shingles, appliances, and other features of your old home to reduce your environmental impact.



Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green



A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:

  • They arranged a carpool with their friends.
  • They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
  • They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
  • My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.

My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.

Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm

People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.

How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:

There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.

People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before

Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.

One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:

“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”

Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative

Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.

Cost and Simplicity

A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.

Green Weddings Are the Future

Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.

Continue Reading


Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?



Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.

Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.

Fulfilling a Genuine Need

Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.

Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.

After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.

Creating Opportunities

Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.

Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.

Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.

A Fundamental Foresight

Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.

However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.

They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.

Continue Reading