Research suggests that one of the biggest causes of carbon emissions into the environment is the home. Through the use of non-environmentally friendly building materials in the construction of central heating and electrical systems, most homes contribute in a small way to the problem of carbon emissions, which with the total number of homes across the world equates to one big problem. This is why the “go green” movement is catching on with regard to our homes. What this actually means is that sustainable building materials are becoming a popular choice in which to build the homes and “green” energy such as solar or wind power are being used more often.
Using sustainable or green building materials is the major way in which our homes can be made more efficient and with lower emissions. First and foremost using locally sourced materials is the best solution as there are far less fuel and transportation costs involved. Recycled materials in particular are much kinder to the environment. Scrap yards and salvage yards are great places to seek out second hand or recycled items and building materials.
A large amount of wood gets used in house construction. Instead of using hard wood produced from trees such as oak which take a long time to grow and do not grow again once cut, bamboo can be used. Bamboo is the perfect alternative to hard wood floors for example. Bamboo re-grows quickly once cut and will continue to. It only takes a year to re-grow a harvestable amount. This is one of the best examples of sustainability there is. It is a very dense and durable material that if maintained well will stay strong and looking good in the home for many years.
Cork is another eco-friendly and sustainable material. It is stripped away from the tree trunks of cork oak trees without having to fell the tree. Like bamboo it keeps growing back year after year. Cork flooring is a great alternative to hard wood floors and looks fantastic too. Cork is also fire-resistant by nature which makes it a truly perfect material to use in a house. When it comes to insulation, make sure you choose a material that is 100% recyclable. There are a few types to choose from so ask at your local building merchants in order to get a recycled variety.
For heating water, there are a few options to choose from. Using a rayburn cooker or similar is a perfect way to heat your water. A cooker like this works as a cooker, a source of heat and a water boiler all in one, and is fueled by firewood, another sustainable material. This is far better on the environment than oil or gas fueled boilers and keeps the fuel bills at a minimum. Another option is a tankless water heater that switches on only when a hot tap is turned. By not keeping a tank of water heated all day and night, you will save a fortune on fuel bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Solar panels are another good way of creating heat in the home. Although the intial outlay is quite large, running off solar power is good for the environment and means you don’t have any more electricity bills.
Sustainable building materials are important if measures against global warming are to be taken. The home is a big cause of carbon emissions so taking measures to reduce the effect on the environment is sensible. By using appropriate, recycled or locally sourced materials you will greatly help towards lowering emissions and keeping your energy bills down. cavity fire barriers can be fitted too if there is a large amount of wood or other flammable material being used. It’s even possible to reduce the number of screws used by selecting certain window fixings.
Chris Coxon writes articles for Cavalok, a cavity closer specialist in the UK. Cavity fire barriers from Cavalok are a simple, convenient and effective way to deliver tested fire protection for cavity walls, using steel window fixings to secure into cavity walls. An environmental champion as well, Cavalok is the only manufacturer to use 100 percent post consumer PVC-U in order to promote the use of sustainable building materials in the industry.