Being green conscious, we may recycle, reuse, reduce and repurpose.
The next and ultimate step is to live in a green smart home.
A green smart home blends green features with smart home technology. Smart technology is used to manage and further improve on the efficiency and costs of running a green home. Energy-and-water-efficiency – and comfort are maximised.
From monitoring the water level in the rainwater harvesting tank to adjusting one of the zone temperatures within the hydronics radiant heating and cooling system, smart technology makes living green, easier.
Schedules are set up to run the green features automatically. We balance comfort and efficiency while doing our part for Mother Earth. And homeowners who move from traditional homes to …
Heat pumps are designed to work off air temperature. They use a minimal amount of electricity and work like air-conditioners in reverse.
The heat pump is usually mounted outside the house where it comes into contact with free-flowing air. Hot air is drawn into the heat pump, where it then passes over a refrigerant. The refrigerant boils and evaporates, heating up a condenser coil which heats water in the tank – and warm water then flows to the taps.
Dual function heat pumps heats water, cools water down, or heats and cools water at the same time. This leads to twice as much efficiency.
And while it isn’t convenient to climb into the ceiling to turn down the thermostat, in …
Use the following household items:
- Lemon: is useful against most household bacteria and leaves a pleasant fragrance.
- White Vinegar: cuts through grease and gets rid of mildew and odours.
- Cornstarch: is used to clean windows and carpets.
- Borax: cleans, deodorises and disinfects.
Making Cleaning Solutions:
All-purpose cleaner: Mix a ½ cup of vinegar and 2 teaspoons of borax into 2 litres of water. Use to clean the shower, bathroom chrome fittings and windows.
Air Freshener: Having pot plants inside the house reduces odours inside the home.
Bathroom mould: Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with 2 parts water and spray onto the mould. Wait at least an hour before using the bathroom after spraying.
Carpet stains: Mix equal parts of …
Eco-Sabbath: Once a week, for an hour or other set time period, don’t use any man-made resources – no buying, using electricity or answering your phone.
Replace your disposables: When these run out (razors, batteries, etc), replace them with reusable materials.
Buy used goods: Furniture, such as tables in good condition, costs a fraction of the price of new.
Make your own resources: Where possible, making your own goods reduces waste. Make gift bags out of old cereal boxes and cover with old gift-wrap.
Share: Share books, magazines, newspapers and games between friends and neighbours.
Use less paper (including paper towels): Store used kitchen swabs in a small container in the kitchen before washing and reusing.
“A circular economy is one that builds economic, natural and social capital” (petco.co.za).
Plastic bottles are valuable and aren’t actually waste. In modern times, packaging is necessary to get the product to the consumer, but once it has served its purpose, packaging is considered dirty and unwanted.
As an example of how recycled plastic is used, Isotherm is an insulating material that’s made entirely from recycled plastic bottles.
Traditional homes usually have ceiling insulation that’s made from fibre glass or asbestos, which isn’t environmentally friendly at all. Isotherm is an eco-friendly and effective alternative.
Isotherm is dust and water resistant, non-toxic, without associated health risks, non-flammable and lasts longer than most other insulating materials.
The humble plastic bottle is humble …
The most significant way in which one saves money in a green home is through a reduction in the use of electricity and water. Rainwater is a free resource once harvested and solar energy is a free source of electricity, once harnessed.
Minimal water and electricity are needed, in any case, by using insulation, under floor hydronics and a water-wise garden.
Green homes are also low maintenance. Examples of areas in which there are cost-savings, are with the use of naturally-coloured roof tiles, aluminum railings and bamboo counter-tops. Bamboo and aluminum are durable materials and aluminum doesn’t rust easily. Naturally-coloured roof tiles won’t fade and don’t need to be painted.
The biggest return on investment is gained when the home …
Let’s look at ways in which we save money.
The kitchen and bathroom are the best places to start saving water:
- Purchase water-efficient appliances when looking to replace existing ones.
- Don’t be tempted to use dishwashers and washing machines before a full load is created.
- Plug the sink when washing dishes or vegetables and reuse this water.
- When waiting for hot water to come out of the tap, collect the cold water that comes out at first, for use in other areas.
- Install an aerator – when attached to end of the tap, less water will be used, with the same effect.
- Avoid using central heating and under-floor heating. Consider putting in carpets or wooden flooring instead of
Available resources are made use of in an eco-friendly home. Recycle food scraps – making compost means we save money and reduce the amount of waste that is normally thrown away. Composting is an excellent way to live green.
Find a shady area within the garden. A compost heap is between one and five cubic metres wide – so it’s large enough to generate enough heat to break down the materials.
A layer of material such as twigs is required to begun with. Grass cuttings and leaves are then added, and soil is thrown on top. Manure is added when preferred, and more layers are added in this order until the compost heap is approximately 1 metre high.
Vegetable peels, …
Instant hot water access from every tap is possible with a clever plumbing system. A heat pump also uses little electricity, and helps to reduce our carbon footprint.
Geysers use a great deal of energy because they continually have to heat up water and much of this hot water ends up not being used. Maintaining the heat in the water is a method which is used in green homes. Pipe insulation is made use of, as well as insulating the tank where the hot water is stored.
A linked-loop plumbing system is also used, and is insulated. Therefore, hot water is always available throughout the home. When opening the tap, there is no wastage as it comes out hot.
The ability to heat up or cool down any area within the home is a special feature. This is achieved through Hydronics radiant heating and cooling, which is a water-based method of temperature control that uses almost no electricity. This is also an eco-friendly method.
The water in this system won’t cost much as it is circulated through the system over and over.
The home is divided into areas called ‘zones’. These zones have temperature control options which are adjusted, meaning that each zone has a different temperature if required. And as the hydronics system is installed below the surface of the floor, any temperature adjustments are felt within a short period of time.
Rooms are insulated, in order to …