The first things that come to mind when you think about environmentally friendly living are recycling and gardening. Would you believe it if you were told that plumbing can also be sustainable?
Sure, it’s not the first thing that pops into your mind when you think ‘world greening,’ but think of water and the cost of that as a utility. Your home plumbing, utilised for sustainable living, can have some enormous benefits. If you look at the broader picture, energy conservation and waste reduction are all part of sustainable plumbing practices. The end game is that the equipment already in your home, and adapted differently, can be used to reduce waste. The choice of pipes, low-toxic fixtures and equipment that are made locally (if possible) and ethically, all add to the growth of sustainability. You can also consider how your plumbing has an overall impact on the environment.
Using Sustainable Plumbing on DIY
It’s not always the job of plumbing professionals to be environmentally conscious. There are some neat ‘green’ plumbing tricks you can use on your own DIY projects. Cleaning around the house doesn’t have to be a chemical party. Use vinegar, bi-carb and lemon for different cleaning jobs. Environmentally much safer and a heck of a lot cheaper too.
Environmental plumbing means being water-wise too. Rain water that usually runs down the drain can be diverted to your garden. Watering the garden in the cooler part of the day is another basic water-clever idea. Your dishwasher and washing machines should have the highest energy rating and lowest water usage. Every little bit helps.
You can go crazy with enviro-plumbing if you really wanted to as there are lots of small but effective changes you can do around the house. Start with leaky taps, then insulating your water pipes and follow up with mulching your garden to keep the soil damp for longer.
Some people don’t consider timber fencing to be sustainable, but much depends on where the timber comes from. Many fencing contractors use pine that is grown especially for such needs, so it could be said to be a sustainable source. However, pine is a softwood; it will need to be painted regularly to keep the water out so it doesn’t rot.
If you are intent of having a timber fence, there are other places to source the timber from apart from what the contractor offers. Here are a few examples.
Old railway sleepers – this is hardwood with still plenty of use in it and is ideal for fences. While hardwood is more difficult to hammer a nail into without drilling it first, it will certainly last for ages and using it saves the waste of it being burned as rubbish, just because it has been replaced by concrete sleepers.
Bridge decking – can be cut up into lengths suitable for a fence and will last for many more years when it doesn’t have to be strong enough to hold the weight of vehicles crossing it.
Piers – any kind of timber that has been used for piers or other used in water is the kind that will not break down easily.
If you are deciding to replace your lawn there are two questions that need to be asked:
If you opt for a roll on lawn, it can be installed almost any time of the year in Australia, unless you live in a really cold or wet area. Example – Tasmania. If you decide to spread a few seeds, then you would be well advised to do this when spring has sprung. Warmer soil temperatures certainly aid germination.
The ground preparation for both options are rather similar and a critical requirement. Obviously, planting grass seed is a long-term solution, and if you haven’t done your groundwork (pun intended), then the ominous march of weeds will soon begin and be competing for moisture and nutrients.
It can take months for a seeded lawn to become established and turn into a hard wearing, firm, and attractive grassed area. Roll on turf though, takes just a few weeks to become established. It is capable of withstanding kids playing on it within 2-3 weeks, and certainly after a month, you can set up the stumps for a game of cricket. The big advantage and a preference for many people selecting to use roll on turf is that it has the finished look after Day 1. Both options have the same aftercare from installation – keep off it and keep it moist.
Here are a few tips on ground preparation:
If you are looking for home improvements that will save you money in the long run, you can’t go past the ‘green’ or eco-friendly type. Often these kinds of improvements are not even that expensive when compared to others such as upgrading the kitchen or bathroom. So if you are not looking to hire a removal company such as Brilliance Removalists Melbourne just yet but are content to stay put, make your home cost-effective by considering to these suggestions.
Every person who cooks in the kitchen will recognise the need for good kitchen design according to Kitchen Professionals. It is very likely the dream of every housewife to have a modern kitchen with lots of bench space and storage. But the design for your kitchen can also be environmentally friendly and when it is, it will save considerably on the costs of running the home.
Most kitchens in older homes were not designed to be ‘green’ or eco friendly, but with a few upgrades you can have a kitchen that looks attractive and saves on costs as well. How? Here are a few design tips to ensure your kitchen is environmentally friendly, whether you are planning a new one or upgrading your older kitchen.
When you are planning a home renovation it is very exciting, especially if it is for your own home. It is wonderful to see the change as the home renovation progresses and know that it will really enhance your lifestyle. You can be eco- friendly with home renovations during the equipment hire phase as well as in choosing building materials and finishes.
Choosing the right equipment for the job is essential and will save time as well as help to reduce the impact the renovation has on the environment around you. Plant hire need not be difficult; the hiring company will help you choose the best machine for the job.
You will also need to choose building materials that are eco-friendly. Bamboo is a good choice for kitchen cupboards and other built-ins. Bamboo grows quickly so it a renewable resource. You could also think about using recycled materials. There are many recycling places especially for builders and carpenters. You can find windows, doors, bath tubs, kitchen sinks and cupboards, flooring and left over cut timber from other home building projects. Why waste all that, especially when it will save money as well as the environment.
Sustainability is not just about saving the environment. Most people would agree that it includes enhancing your lifestyle in a way that is in line with sustainable practices. For instance, adding patios in Perth, pergolas or carports can enhance the lifestyles of many people; choosing the materials that are eco-friendly and sustainable then enhances and saves the environment.
There are other ways in which a patio or a pergola can be considered eco-friendly.
When it comes to environmentally friendly kitchen design, most cabinet makers understand that newer appliances, natural lighting and no or low VOC finishes all add up. However, it is still up to the users to develop habits that are also environmentally friendly to get the most out of their kitchens.
Here are some tips to help you use your kitchen in ways that are environmentally friendly.
Perth property maintenance is something that should always be done on a regular basis if you want your home and property to look cared for and its value sustained.
Property owners can hire a professional property maintenance company like completeprojectswa.com.au, to ensure their property is kept in tip-top condition. Often, the cheapest way to get it done is to hire a professional handyman, who can care for the garden, do the mowing and also do any other maintenance tasks that crop up.
This is the kind of maintenance that is sustainable or eco-friendly. When you have someone to care for your gardens, they will soon be covered with compost and mulch and that will save on a great deal of water, not to mention fertiliser. Unnecessary fertilisers get washed into the waterways and is thought to be responsible for the death of some of our beautiful coral reefs. You can’t get much more environmentally friendly than taking steps to reduce use of purchased fertiliser.
However, there are several other ways in which professional property maintenance can benefit the environment.
If you need to hire equipment to do a job of home renovation the last thing on your mind is likely to be caring for the environment, but equipment hire can also be eco friendly. Many people these days actively look for an eco-friendly business to deal with because they believe that everyone can do their bit for the environment and even if it’s only a little bit it all mounts up.
The first step in eco friendly plant hire is to hire the best machine for the job. This will both conserve fuel and save on costs. It will also make sure the least damage possible is done to the environment. If you get in a huge bulldozer when only a tiny one is needed a lot more land will be ruined as it manoeuvres around the work to be done. Those tracks can churn up the dirt and make a big mess that is almost impossible to fix.
A machine that is too small for the job is likely to break down. This could leave oil and other fuel leaking into the soil. It will take extra parts to fix and it means the job will take longer to finish. Not only is this bad news for the company, it’s also bad for the environment, especially the oil spill.
If you are designing a new home or renovating the bathroom, you may want to consider installing frameless glass shower screens. This modern bathroom trend is one that is sure to last as people find out all the benefits. One is that you can see right to the end of the bathroom so the perceived distance is greater, meaning your bathroom looks a lot larger.
The beauty of using frame-less glass for the walls and door in your bathroom renovation, is that glass is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials there is. Of course, it doesn’t break down in landfill ever, but it can be totally reused and there is an increasing number of recycling plants springing up to do that very thing. The heat needed to remelt glass is not nearly as high as it is to make it in the first place. And the strength of glass is not compromised by the recycling process. Whatever is made from it will be just as strong and last just as long as the first item.
At least some councils are now providing sorting bins for glass waste to make the recycling process easier and more sustainable. Glass comes from sand and while there seems to be no shortage of that, recycling glass is the best way to keep it out of landfill, where it can last for hundreds of years.
Another good thing about installing glass shower screens is that you minimise the use of other materials. All that is needed are a few short chrome or stainless steel holders to ensure the sheets of glass stay upright. It is strong enough to support itself, does not need painting or any other kind of maintenance, and it easy to clean, especially if you use a rubber scraper to remove water drops.
If you are re-roofing your home, you will want to choose a sustainable option. A roof is one of the most important parts of the home; without it you cannot even live there. But if choosing Colorbond roofing you will want to know that it ticks all the important boxes.
Colorbond ticks all those boxes and more besides. It is one roof that is approved for use in bushfire prone areas. This is not only because it is flame retardant, but because it offers very few niches for burning embers to get stuck in. Each sheet is quite long and the overlap has no niche under it, like you find on most tile roofs. So, hot embers from an approaching bush fire simply blow off, rather than lodging on the roof and catching it alight.
If your company is looking for ways to be environmentally friendly, that is all to the good, because many people prefer to deal with a business that takes care of the environment. If you have to make or use scaffolding, there are ways in which you can be eco-friendly right on your doorstep.
For a start, using strong steel to make it will not only ensure safety for all those who must use it, but means it will last longer. You can then deconstruct the structure after use and re-use it elsewhere. It can be used many times over and if you store it out of the weather it will last for an even longer time. This will reduce your costs as well as reducing the cost of purchasing more steel to make more.
Steel is highly recyclable even though it doesn’t break down in landfill quickly. In fact, it can take years for it to rust away. But it can be melted down and reused to make many other things. Better still, this can be done over and over with the last item made from it being just as strong as the first one.
It is strong, durable and needs little maintenance over its lifetime. However, it can corrode if used in a marine environment, so some kind of finish is needed to help it last longer. Powder coating or painting on a regular basis will help to keep it in top shape. Steel is rather heavy, but it can span quite a long distance without support, so it is well liked in the industry for this alone.
Many homeowners these days add a swimming pool to their property to enhance their lifestyle. Having a swimming pool gives the children a reason to leave their electronic devices and get some exercise, all in the name of fun. Most pool builders will tell you that concrete swimming pools have certain advantages over fibreglass.
If you look around at public swimming pools you will see they are made of concrete. This is because concrete is stronger and more durable than fibreglass. While the latter does have its good points, if you want something that is going to last you would choose the former.
Not all properties can be flat and even and not all blocks of ground are square or rectangular. Some have odd shapes that make it difficult to fit a pool in that comes in standard, stock sizes like fibreglass. This is where homeowners find a concrete pool more viable. Pool builders can make your concrete pool any size and shape to fit in a corner or anywhere you want it.
In addition, since the pool is being designed and built from the ground up, you can have a lot more accessories such as fountains, slides and underwater lighting in it. Concrete is a sustainable product made from limestone, of which there is plenty worldwide. It can also be made out of waste products from steel mills and power plants, making it even more environmentally friendly.
Security fencing is an essential part of everyday life in most western countries these days. It does a great job of keeping intruders out of certain secure areas while protecting those within, but is it environmentally friendly? Fencing of all kinds is there for a good reason and sometimes this is to protect our unique flora and fauna from harm.
Consider these reasons why such fencing is environmentally friendly:
When I was younger, I wanted one day to have a Bat Cave just like Bruce Wayne. Then, Batman Begins came out a few years ago and I wanted a cave to call my own all over again. There are some obvious problems with finding such a perfect geological feature to compliment any home — so I’ve lately downgraded my dreams to building the perfect eco hideout instead; the type of place I can wander through backyard woods or across a field in the middle of nowhere to get to. The type of place where you can hunker down for a few weeks at a time and not worry about looking like Tom Hanks halfway through Castaway. Modern, earth-friendly, and cozy — with all the high-tech renewable energy systems and gizmos I can cram into it. Think Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond but with an Xbox360, skylights, and solar panels.
Below are four “Eco Spaces” that are unique and perfectly designed to give you the privacy you need without losing any of the comforts. Some are easier — and less expensive — than others, but the end results for all are striking.