Living in a self-sustaining home has become an idea that many are pursuing. With the constant increase in the prices of electricity, water, and other utilities, self-sustaining homes and green buildings have become an easy and safe solution to that issue. All it takes is some dedication and a few steps to follow. The result will definitely lead to a cost-efficient and healthier home.
The best part is you don’t have to start from scratch. Of course, if you are still in the construction phase, there are many recycled materials that can be used. If not, however, then focus on the changes you can make.
The first step to having a self-sustaining home is to embrace the use of clean and renewable energy sources. In recent years, making the switch has become much easier due to technological advances. Depending on your location, you can opt for solar power, wind power, or even a hybrid of both. Although the initial installations may be costly, it is much more efficient in the long run. It will continue to provide your home with free electricity that has absolutely no harm on the environment.
Now, this next step can be a little tricky and requires a little more work on your part. There are a few options ahead of you if you decide to go for it.
Drill a Well
Simple as that! If you live in an area where drilling a well is possible, then, by all means, go for it. You can even go the extra mile and have the pump wind or solar powered.
Of course, not everyone is able to drill a well in their backyard, so here’s what you can do.
Rely on Rainwater
Again, this may be hard to do if rain doesn’t fall regularly where you live. However, if it does, then you should use it as a clean renewable resource. Harvested directly onto the roof, this water cannot be used for drinking. However, there are plenty other uses for it.
The water is then channeled into a pump system and filtered and used for showering, cleaning, and laundry. You can even install solar water heaters to cover your hot water demands.
After you are done using the collected rainwater indoors, you can still use it around the house. Filter the water to remove any large residue then use it to water your plants. Soil and root systems will naturally clean the water.
If this sounds too complicated, you can simply collect the water using freestanding barrels. You can then use it directly in the garden and cut down on your water bills.
Although this will require effort and dedication on your part, it is definitely worth it. Grow your own organic fruit and vegetables using the rainwater you harvest for a truly self-sustainable home. This is a major step not only towards having a self-sustaining home, but also towards having a healthier alternative for you and your family. You may not have enough room to grow all your needs, and in that case, start small. Grow a few herbs that you regularly use and enjoy the fruit of your labor.
Natural lighting and climate control
A truly self-sustaining home tries to reduce its carbon footprint in the world. One way you can do that is by reducing the amount of energy you use when heating, cooling, and lighting your home. Build a skylight that can light up an entire room during the day. Use cross-ventilation for cooling and green roofs to keep your home insulated all year long.
It is also important to use insulation on your windows and doors to control the temperature inside your home throughout the year. Make small changes such as keeping the curtains open during winter days to heat up your home. Shut them during summer days to preserve internal cooling.
Moreover, if you are still designing your home, try to design it around the annual shifting of the sun. This will keep it cool in summer and warm in winter.
If you happen to be during the first phase of building a self-sustainable home, then this step should be easy. Ask your contractor to use recycled material when possible instead of using regular building material. Also, hire a contractor that is efficient and does not waste material.
Recycle inside your home as well, don’t throw away items simply because you don’t need them. Try to find another use, sell, or donate anything you no longer need around the house.
In the end, building a self-sustaining home for yourself and your family might take considerable time, effort and money, but it certainly pays off well in several aspects. The earlier you start in turning your house into a self-sustaining building (i.e. in the early stages of its construction), the easier the process will be for you.