Is the sustainable design in your home legit? | WindowArt

So you’ve decided to go green. You’ve made a huge attempt to include sustainable design in your home and you feeling rather chuffed with your efforts. But are you sure that your sustainable design efforts are in fact legit? I have to ask the question, simply because there are many supposedly ‘sustainable’ design technologies and installations that are not as green as they seem.

Consider the following points and determine whether the sustainable design in your home is doing its best to protect the environment and to create a green living space for you and your family.

Did you insulate your home with poison?

Spray polyurethane foam  is a popular insulating product used in many green homes and enjoyed by green builders worldwide. It has excellent insulating capabilities as it creates a very tight seal. However, it is petroleum based and the off-gassing it creates during and for a little while after installation can have detrimental effects on people and animals in its vicinity. Serious respiratory issues have been reported and spray polyurethane foam is considered to be a material that contributes to global warming.

Are you using your new efficiency gadgets in the right way?

Sustainable design and new technologies go hand-in-hand, but going green is not about gimmicky gadgets. Rather, it’s about tools that boost energy efficiency. The gadgets you are using should be promoting healthy indoor air and shrinking your carbon footprint. Unplugging all the devices that suck electricity, when not is use or on standby mode, is the first step to creating a truly sustainable home. Even if you have energy-efficient gadgets, you still need to be prudent about unplugging them and preventing any energy wastage.

You fitted your home with bamboo because it’s a sustainable resource and that makes it a perfect choice, right?

Wrong. Bamboo is a sustainable and strong material that has become extremely popular in sustainable design nowadays. However, getting the bamboo to your doorstep for installation is not a process that has been kind to the environment. So while bamboo is a sustainable resource, many other non-sustainable resources are used to transport and import this material. Locally repurposed materials may actually be a better decision for your flooring.

Have you installed fireplaces around your home thinking you may never use an electric heater again?

Wood-burning fireplaces or wood-burning stoves give off more heat than their gas counterparts. However, they also suck most of the heated air right out through the chimney. Basically, your fireplace is making your home colder unless you have sealed the chimney correctly and made use of nifty tools like fireplace inserts. These inserts include insulated doors and vented surrounds that allow you to control the ingoing air and outgoing heat.

The Guide to Green Building your Home (which you can download below) has a look at various different installations you can use in your home to create a more sustainable living space. Double-checking whether your sustainable design plans are truly green or not is a worthwhile exercise, otherwise your money could be ill spent, your time wasted and your home no greener than it was before.

Image credit: http://www.the-green-house.net/

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