House trends will always come and go but something that is gaining popularity with every stride is the adoption of greener initiatives in the hopes of creating a far more eco-friendly house. It comes as no surprise when you consider the rising cost of energy supply and the impact that consumption is having on our environment but would you know where to start in your bid to be a better friend to our planet?
From sustainable furniture through to reduced water usage, there are a host of ways that you can use to improve your green standing and some of them ask for minimal or no financial commitment.
Take a look at our top tips for creating a more eco-friendly house and see how easy it is for you to do your bit!
We know that not everybody will be keen to install a green living roof on their property but it does bring us onto an exceptionally important point and that is, insulation. Necessary for trapping all the heat your home produces, without it, you may as well simply turn up your radiators and open all the doors so you can watch all the energy (and your money) escape.
Any form of insulation, whether loft or external, will have a dramatic impact on how much energy you need to use to keep your property warm and toasty, especially in winter, and with many UK companies offering free insulation, this could be our cheapest tip of all!
We love this incredible open plan kitchen space and how perfectly it illustrates our tip for creating a more eco-friendly home; by using natural light instead of artificial and expensive illumination.
By installing copious amounts of glazing, the talented team at Meulen Architects have succinctly answered the question 'how can I reduce my energy consumption?'. Angled panes of glass seek to make the most of every drop of sunshine and the fully opening back wall floods the room but, for darker days and evenings, flush fitting LED recessed spotlights have been included, which naturally use less energy and need replacing far less often than standard bulbs. So, if you can't stretch to enormous windows, that is a great place to start!
Baths use so much water that staying on top of your usage can be difficult, especially in a busy household with more than one person in it! Though sharing a bath can be romantic, we don't recommend it for every day so why not think about taking proactive measures such as only installing a shower?
Perfect for families with no young children, showers naturally encourage a faster washing time, hence less water being used and an overall improvement in the green footprint of your household. You really will be surprised at just how much water you save by taking this easy and relatively in expensive step, plus, you will have extra room in the bathroom without a big tub in there!
Sustainable furniture. What exactly is it? Well, essentially, it's anything that will have a good long life and hasn't accrued an enormous carbon footprint during production so anything made from recycled products is a bonus and locally crafted pieces are also be a great choice.
A rather unusual example, we couldn't not include this incredible cardboard furniture, as it really sums up what we are talking about as well as showing exactly what is possible if you want to go as eco-friendly as possible! While we know these pieces won't be to everybody's taste, we think they represent a fantastic alternative to cheaply made and frequently replaced furniture that ends up costing you and the earth a high price.
There is no getting away from it; if you want an eco-friendly, or at least slightly greener house, you can't have appliances for everything. A major source of energy consumption, excessive additions to your home will drive your usage sky high and with it, costs and consequences.
Rather than seeking to have the latest dishwasher, washing machine, microwave and tumble dryer, we suggest you look to pare things back a bit, like this lovely kitchen. Seek to include only what you really need, not just things that you want or think will bring unnecessary convenience, as they might seem to lighten the load now, but when you electricity bill comes in we think you will be reconsidering!
It sounds unlikely but even something as simple as opting for eco-friendly paint can make a huge difference to your home. Many look to increase the insulating properties of your walls, as well as minimising chemical fumes and being easy to clean, making them a fantastic all round green option.
We love this picture, complete with some eco-firendly paint that you might be surprised by. It's the inks that have been used to create gorgeous patterns on the sofa and lampshade, not the background wall, so even if you have finished painting your home and still want to get involved with green initiatives, think about buying accessories that have done all the hard and ecologically sound work for you!
For more ecological home inspiration take a look at this Ideabook: Alternative Living: Eco-Houses.