What does it mean to live sustainably?It is said that in the future we might all be returning to sustainable living, but what does this mean? Sustainable living means relying only on yourself and your self-made resources for living. Green living entails reducing the use of energy and water and recycling your waste in such a way that some of it is reusable. Sustainable living would mean that you grow your own produce, find ways to use the sun for energy and manage your own cattle. This way you would rely less on commercialized products with additives and colorants. Living a sustainable life can be highly fulfilling and a very healthy lifestyle. By living a green life you can reconnect with nature and learn to be thankful for what you have.
The architecture behind sustainable living
A lot of families are interested in living a green and sustainable life, but they don’t necessarily understand the main aspects of this lifestyle. In order to truly live a sustainable lifestyle the house you live needs to have certain architectural features.
- Maximize solar energy
Your sustainable home needs to be designed in such a way that you can make use of the sun’s energy as much as possible. Not only does this mean you will have to rely on solar panels for creating energy, but the building’s thermal mass needs to be correctly placed.
- Reduce harmful materials
Something that a lot of homeowners don’t realize is that the presence of certain materials can give off very damaging emissions. Items like paint, plastic and treated timber are included in this list, the house needs natural ventilation to minimize the risk.
- Collect rainwater
A sustainable house would have a method in place of collecting rainwater. Nothing has to go to waste in sustainable living and if you can reuse water in a variety of ways it would be best for nature. Water that cannot be used to drink can also be used as a irrigation system for the garden.
Stuff to watch out for when buying a home
- Insulation and Bricks
It is very important to find out what the house is made of. The insulation is a very central issue to green living and plays a big role in the level in which you can save energy. Check if you can find a house consisting of blanket insulation in the form of fiberglass or wool.
If you have the option, go for a house that is made out of bricks since they will lock in the heat in winter and block out the heat in summer. Brick walls are also easier to maintain and you don’t need to do constant touch ups.
- A garden of possibilities
If you want to start a sustainable lifestyle you will have to take note of a few things. Apart from setting up a solar panel system you will have to invest in a garden. This garden can be divided in two sections, one for fresh produce such as vegetables and fruits and the other for herbs. If you are thinking about buying a home see if it has the ability and space for a small garden.
- Commuting Options
It’s great if you can buy a house that is within walking or cycling distance from your workplace. This way you can further limit your carbon footprint and get some exercise while doing so.
- Tech driven appliances
See if you can buy a house that has limited technological appliances and one that is easy to maintain. If the house makes use of a lot of electronic gates and garages see if there is a way in which you can change it to a manual setting.
- Keep your long term plans in mind
As is the case with sustainable living you are probably thinking ahead. If are trying to maintain a sustainable lifestyle you probably have some sort of plan or goal in place. You might be half way there with your independent living but dream of herding your own cattle or producing more fresh produce. Have a look at the area and space surrounding the house and see if everything you have planned for the future would be possible on this plot.
These are just a few things to consider when wanting to buy or create a sustainable home. The most important thing is to understand what sustainable living entails and what you can do to help the future of the world. If you are having any trouble with understanding the concepts or need more tips on what you can do you can always gain knowledge from environmental data resources.
Kate Simmons is a fresh graduate and occasional blogger. She currently works for a company offering Environmental Data Resources.