What are the Benefits of Having an Eco-Friendly Home?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency in Victoria, Australian households generate at least an average one-fifth of the entire greenhouses gases emitted nationally – that’s more than 18 tonnes per household every year(1). The amounts can vary, depending on where you live, and also on your lifestyle. The annual greenhouse gases emitted per household can be as low as three tonnes for an eco-friendly home where the residents are careful about their footprint. But they can go as high as 30 tonnes in homes where emissions are not curbed.
Most families can lower their greenhouse gas emissions and save money by reducing their energy bills and by carefully choosing what they buy. For instance, products that are heavily packaged need a lot of energy to manufacture and distribute. Decaying waste in landfill generates a lot of greenhouse gases, so people are being encouraged to recycle and compost their waste where possible.
Eco Awareness is Growing
The positive news is that Australian households are becoming much more aware of how much energy they’re consuming, both to cut power bills and because they’re cognizant of the consequences with regard to the environment. Which also means eco-homes are becoming much more popular. Going green yields some obvious benefits not only to homeowners but eco-friendly rental properties are also gaining in popularity for the benefits they can have both for owner and tenant.
There are many ways to either build an eco-friendly home or green your existing property, and it’s not just a matter of installing a few solar panels on the roof, even though it is a start. Greening your home isn’t only about switching off lights that are not necessary, either. Read on to find out how to green your property or things to consider if you’re building from scratch or renovating.
To Build An Eco-Friendly Home Will I Get a Bank Loan?
While it’s true that banks like to lend to those who want to build conventional homes using materials such as bricks and mortar, and weatherboard etc., there are some lenders who will accept buildings constructed using unconventional building materials. The financial institutions will generally label any building material that departs from the traditional as ‘unconventional’ which will include:
Homes built from these materials include dugouts, rammed earth, and gypsy wagon houses. Before you decide on the lending institution you can use any of the home loan calculators to determine how much you can borrow for your eco-build, but in the end, it’s best to talk to your bank’s home loan specialist.
Many eco-friendly homes are now designed with the natural climate in mind. This is called ‘passive design’, and if it’s done well, there will be a big reduction in the necessity for household heating and cooling, by using nature with cooling from the sun and shade. These designs take into account the best position to place the home so that it makes good use of north-facing sunlight and available shade, but you’ll also need insulation. Your home can be renovated to make it green, so it’s not confined to new homes.
The environmental status of your property can be determined by the materials used to build it. If you choose recycled, durable, and sustainable building materials, it means you can use less new materials later on. This will lessen the environmental impact of both the building phase and the extraction of the materials.
Energy Efficient Add-ons
The building phase is not the only aspect to consider when greening your home, you also have to lighten your carbon footprint as the owner or tenant of the new or renovated eco-friendly dwelling. If you add renewables like rainwater tanks and solar panels you can save money by being more energy-efficient.
The Benefits of Being Eco-Friendly
There are many benefits of living in an eco-friendly home, including the peace of mind of knowing you’re doing the best you can for your finances and for the planet if that’s something you value. The most obvious benefit is that green buildings are more energy-efficient than the run-of-the-mill, traditional constructions.
Lower Gas and Electricity Bills
More people are interested in eco-friendly homes and they’re sure to be popular on the housing market, with environmentally-friendly add-ons like solar panels and hot water pumps. They could also greatly appeal to tenants because even after the original investment, the renewables will significantly lower their power and utility bills, making your investment in a rental property worthwhile. The renewable additions could also help you as a homeowner to lower your costs.
Over time, there’s less maintenance needed on eco-friendly homes that have been built using sustainable and durable materials. Doors are used constantly, so in an eco home they’re usually made from sustainable timber with good quality locks and fittings for the protection of the occupants and their property.
The details outlined above can serve to lessen the stress and financial burden of major home renovations down the track, while greatly minimising the amount of household waste that goes to landfill every year.
Alex Morrison has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including home improvement, financial support and health care. As the owner of Integral Media, he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals.