It is a widely known fact that the world is made up of finite resources, and that we need to make greener choices in order to help the generations ahead of us. But it is a lesser known fact that our homes and offices are actually a major contributor to the problem. By building greener houses, we can reduce the negative effect we have on the environment immensely, and feel better in the process. There are many ways that this can be done cheaply and easily.
Our homes alone consume approximately 25% of the worlds energy, and are consequently responsible for around 19% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. When considered that this is solely from our houses, and doesnt even touch on the statistic concerning our offices and skyscrapers, the need to build green becomes apparent.
Most peoples reason for not building green is because of the widespread opinion that it is costly. While this may have been true many years ago, it is simply untrue today. In fact, it is often times more cost effective to build green because you are expending less energy by working with the environment around you, instead of against it. By building your home to receive better natural light, you minimize the need for electric light and have the benefit of the feel of sunlight in your home. By using materials such as protective coating and non toxic coating for the paint on your house, it improves air circulation, ventilation, and longevity. By building your home to last, you are saving yourself a huge amount of money that you may spend in the future to fix arising problems. By using these environmentally friendly resources, you are saving money, and you can feel good about doing it.
Materials for the actual building of your home can be green if they are made of renewable resources, rather than nonrenewable resources. These are surprisingly easy to find, and are of course, better for the environment. For example, using wood harvested from sustainable resources is encouraged. Materials that have been manufactured in certified ways that minimize waste and reduce energy consumption are also readily available.
The greenest type of house to build currently is called a roundhouse. A roundhouse is simply a structure that has round exterior walls and a round roof, though some come to a point instead of being perfectly rounded. While you still have a considerable amount of space on the inside, the exterior is green because there is actually less square footage to the walls because of the shape. By using less materials, you are being more eco-friendly. The less exposed surface area allows you to work with nature, and not against it. Roundhouses are also designed in such a way to do very well in extreme weather, like wind storms. Because there is not ever a flat surface to build up pressure against, they are far more energy efficient and less drafty. They are also generally known for their expansive windows, which contribute by allowing in massive amounts of natural light. On top of all of that, they are very attractive homes!
If the cost and logistical benefits of building a green home still havent convinced you, consider this statistic. Studies consistently show that views, natural light and healthier air can significantly improve your productivity. Building green is better for your health, and your efficiency. By improving the environment, you are also improving yourself.