‘Eco-friendly home’ is a term that has been around for years and how people have interpreted that term has changed over time. Over the years, we have heard of solar power, double-glazing for added insulation and even recycling water but today, we talk about carbon footprints, zero emissions, photovoltaic systems and many other strange descriptions, words that have come with advanced knowledge.
Houses have been made out of tyres, bales of straw, bottles and even caves have been adapted to create a greener home.
• With tyres, I really did believe that these would be all lined up and an undulating wall would be the result but it seems that the same tyres can be compressed and tied into smaller and more compact shapes, to resemble building blocks. That gives me a much better understanding of how tyres can insulate a house. In fact, I can even feel the warmth in my mind.
• Bales of straw can also make fine walls. Again, I couldn’t get my head round this until I was told that once they are packed into place on concrete foundations, they will be strengthened with cement, to make whole walls which won’t be eaten away by mice and other rodents. Again, I can see how such a wall can provide excellent insulation though, at this moment, the tyres definitely have my vote.
• A wall made from bottles seems a strange idea and, although some walls are made with bottles lying flat, it seems that bottles standing like bottles can make quite a sturdy wall. These are held in place with cement and again, you have good insulation, as the empty bottles act like that well-known vacuum flask, keeping what is inside warm as a result of the empty space that exists between the inner and outer walls. This isn’t my cup of tea but I can almost understand the mathematics.
• The cave idea seems sensible, when you understand that heat is held within the soil as little as ten feet below the surface and the interior walls of the cave back on to that same soil and don’t have to fight off heavy winds or vicious winters. Such a home won’t have a roof open to the elements so, with only the front of your house exposed, your cave home is being hugged by the land, a very warm place indeed. Caves have acted as shelter over the centuries and, in Galera in the Andalusian province of southern Spain, caves still used today hold a constant temperature of between 16 and 18 degrees C, even when the winters bring minus15 degrees centigrade and the summers boast 40 degrees and more. I can feel that comfortable temperature and appreciate the savings on the heating bill.
The Latest Eco-Friendly Homes.
Although these building ideas are still popular today, we are now talking about modular buildings and even recycled shipping containers, the latter of which can be bought cheaply and then adapted to contain all of the elements of a green building. The metal container itself is very durable and has proved to stand up to extreme weather conditions, so we’re not just talking about using them on private land in England but also in disaster areas and even in war zones.
For those of us who are not into DIY, or live such busy lives that picking up a screwdriver is only a dream, there are companies out there, such as My Space Pod, who adapt the shipping containers to meet the individual’s requirements. Buying a home of this nature is much cheaper, as you can start off small then add on at a later date so, instead of paying a heavy mortgage in instalments, you can build your house in instalments, finding the finance and adding space as you need it. That saves you paying for a huge house that you might need in the future, as you are only paying for what you need in that moment.
Once you have your eco-friendly home up and running, it’s time to address what goes on inside, because even the household products you use contribute to the whole picture of going green. This part is a little easier though, even if it is an ongoing thing!