Raising ecological awareness has become imperative in this modern era.
It is our responsibility and a great necessity to advocate and apply eco-friendly practices in order to stop climate changes, prevent global warming and eventually protect our precious environment. Thus, it does not surprise that self-sustaining homes have gained so much popularity. The idea has been welcomed by an impressive number of people and we can rightfully expect to build a more sustainable world in the near future.
So, what are the best practical ideas for self-sustaining homes? Here is a comprehensive answer.
Features of self-sustaining homes
Self-sustaining homes have emerged as a logical outcome of an economic and ecological lifestyle. Much is expected from a home that is primarily friendly to our environment and yet gives us financial freedom. The features of self-sustaining homes are the following:
- These homes are mostly built from recycled or low carbon materials.
- They do not cover the area that exceeds the recommended and required size in the given circumstances.
- Self-sustaining homes have their own heat, cooling, and power sources.
- They include systems installed for the purpose of water and waste management.
- Finally, they provide their owners with an opportunity to produce their own food and livestock and enjoy the benefits of a healthy and green lifestyle.
Numerous measures have been taken to promote the concept of sustainability and improve the implementation of these ideas into our day-to-day living. In the case of self-sustaining homes, it is an outstanding experience to participate in a sustainable house day and exchange ideas and practices with other people. Only then will you be able to master this extraordinary lifestyle and use its benefits to the full potential.
The best practical ideas for self-sustaining homes
Whilst it is more effective to build a completely new house with sustainability as a leading goal, it is not impossible to conduct some changes in the existing homes as well. It is of utter importance to focus on the principles underlying the concept of self-sustaining homes. Should you decide to relocate overseas or anywhere else around Australia, you will be able to apply these principles easily and efficiently.
Use solar power in your self-sustaining homes
Luckily, nowadays we can say that solar power has become more affordable and accessible. To be able to use it, one needs to install solar panels. The type of panels you will use depends on your preferences. Whether you choose rooftop or standalone, these panels are necessary to generate enough energy for your lights and appliances.
Understandably, it is of key importance to know how to save energy we receive in this manner. Providing natural light is a vital component in this process of saving energy. In addition, installing large windows is a sensible decision concerning this aspect of self-sustaining homes. Moreover, choosing energy efficient light bulbs and home appliances is undoubtedly very helpful.
Install a rainwater harvesting system
Rainwater harvesting system is necessary for self-sustaining homes because it helps homeowners with accumulation and deposition of rainwater for reuse in the upcoming period. Water received as the final product of this process can be used for watering plants, for animals or even for washing.
Minimise the generation of waste
One of the practical ideas for self-sustaining homes includes not only minimising the generation of waste, but also its efficient management. The waste should be classified into two categories – organic and inorganic.
We cannot but mention an excellent practical idea within this category and that is to build an outdoor composting box. By installing this box, a homeowner gets a chance to conserve resources through the process of transforming, for example, food leftovers into rich soil. The process is not only cost-efficient, but it can provide you with the soil of good quality to use in your garden.
Cultivate your own food
The concept of sustainability is intrinsically related to a green and healthy lifestyle. Growing your own food will most probably cause some considerable changes in your diet. It will become much richer in fruit and vegetables, which is one of the healthiest life choices you can make. Furthermore, the whole concept will be inexpensive and, most importantly, it will be completely friendly to your environment.
Use a wood-burning or water stove to provide heat
Using wood-burning or water stove will provide you with an excellent alternative heat source. One of the advantages of this strategy to provide heat to your self-sustaining home is that you can use these stoves for cooking as well. However, if you prefer traditional heating systems, you can use them in this type of homes as well, but they will use solar or wind power to function properly.
The pros and cons of self-sustaining homes
The pros of self-sustaining homes are countless. Firstly, to feel comfortable in this new type of dwelling, you will have to change your everyday habits. Your lifestyle becomes healthier and more eco-friendly. Secondly, you can influence people in your surrounding and contribute to raising environmental awareness. Furthermore, you become more financially independent. This is possible by investing in self-sustaining features of your home. Finally, living in self-sustaining homes prepares you for living in extreme conditions, for example after natural disasters.
The whole concept of living in self-sustaining homes has some downsides as well. Firstly, it requires a lot of your time to finish all the necessary tasks. Then, despite the existence of some sustainability tips that require minimal effort, building this type of home or even adaptation of your existing home to these practices is highly demanding. Finally, orchestrating and then conducting the whole process is considerably expensive. Nevertheless, building self-sustaining homes is a long-term investment which will prove its worth very soon.
This article was kindly written and contributed by Sally Norton.