Building an eco friendly home with DJK Custom Homes can be a fun and exciting process. Living in one is equally as fun and exciting, if not more! Let your eco friendly home guide you to live a sustainable and earth conscious lifestyle. Living in an eco friendly home you can take one of two paths. First, you can live just like you currently do and stick with the same habits you have always had, or you can choose to be proactive and live an energy and earth conscious lifestyle within your new eco friendly djk home. There are many ways you can live an environmentally conscious lifestyle. Here is a list of just some of the things you can do to limit your impact on the environment in your djk home while also saving some green “money”.
- Conserve energy – Often times we don’t realize the extra energy we are burning that can easily be limited. Avoid unnecessary power draws such as leaving to many lights on, leaving the tv on while you sleep, or leaving to many exterior lights on throughout the night. One way to reduce the amount of lighting needed within your home is to install a skylight or sun tunnel. Velux Sun tunnels are a great way of bringing natural light into areas such as bathrooms and closets.
Install a rain barrel – Rain barrels can be purchased today from many local stores. A typical rain barrel can collect anywhere from 30 to 80 gallons of water during a rain that can be used to water the flowers or plants outside your home. Great rain barrels can be purchased for less that $200 and tied into your existing downspouts.
- Install a compost bin – Yes, you can throw your food scraps down the garbage disposal but why not make use of them by converting them to a great soil amendment for your garden or flower pots. Composting is simple and there are many attractive compost bins available today that require little maintenence.
- Change out your light bulbs – Incandescent lighting is pretty obsolete now but even florescent lighting can be costing you a bit of money. Make the change over to LED light bulbs for a better light quality and longer lasting bulb while trimming some costs off your energy bill.
- Plant drought tolerant plants – Planning on adding some more plants or flowers to your landscape beds? Choose plants that are drought tolerant in order to reduce the amount of watering that is required. Here is a list of some popular drought tolerant plants.
- Install a small solar array – Installing a small solar array on your home can help
lower your energy bill while reducing your reliance on traditional electricity that is generated using fossil fuels. Today’s solar arrays are highly advanced and affordable. Using micro inverters in a solar array gives you a fully expandable system that can be added on to over the years. For less than $7,000 you can get a great starter system from Independence Renewable Energy , a local company servicing the Chicagoland area. There are also several tax credits, and incentives available to reduce the cost and lower the payback period.
- Conserve water – We are all guilty of it, leaving the shower running to long or forgetting to shut the water off while we brush our teeth. Leaving the shower running for just 3 minutes before you get in can waste anywhere from 4.5 to 9 gallons of water depending on the flow rating of you shower head. Consider installing a recirculating line with occupancy switches to have instant hot water at the most frequently used bathrooms so you don’t have to start the shower before getting in or wait for the water to get warm to wash your hands.
- Give up bottled water – While billions of bottles of water are sold each year about 80% of the bottles go to the landfill instead of being recycled. Instead of buying a case of water each week purchase a few nice reusable water bottles and fill them up from your refrigerator or filtration system. Its really the same thing as getting bottled water as many bottling company use municipal water sources.
- Green your transportation – You don’t have to invest in the latest Toyota Prius to green your transportation. Focus on increasing the efficiency of your current vehicle by making sure your tires are properly inflated and avoid driving to fast or accelerating to quickly. The fuel efficiency of a vehicle decreases rapidly when speed exceeds around 55 miles per hour. If you work close to home or have some errands to run consider riding your bike. You will not only be reducing your carbon foot print but you’ll be getting a great workout in as well.
- Grow a garden.. Or buy local veggies. – Growing a garden is a great way to spend time outdoors or teach your kids about sustainability. If you don’t have the time to garden or gardening just isn’t your thing consider buying fresh organic vegetables locally. The Green Earth Institute in Naperville has a great program that allows you to buy a share of their harvest.
See these eco friendly improvements in action at DJK’s latest eco smart home open to the public Earth Day 2016 (April 22, 2016)