Conserving water wisely in the kitchen and bathroom will be one of the lifestyle changes to consider. Much of the water that I usually take for granted and waste will be targeted in my new environment conservation strategies. Because (90%) energy goes to heating our water, this can be reduced if the mount of water used in the kitchen is reduced significantly. I will consider storing and maintaining heated water using water heater jacket storage tanks or containers. Turning off taps while washing dishes will reduce a lot of water wastage. The habit of boiling excess water in the kettle will change, only enough water will be boiled. Once in awhile baths will be used as a treat without filling them to the top. Bruce, adds that Use of low-flow shower heads, a voiding singing while showering reduces water use by 60%. Therefore, taking showers will be prioritized, (Bruce, 10)
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Another lifestyle change is to do with energy conservation. Electricity is known to be the biggest source of carbon emissions. Therefore one of the ways of conserving electric energy will be switching off lights in the rooms where no one is in. Putting down area rugs to insulate the floors instead of turning up the furnace will also be considered in dealing with cold floor. This can also be solved putting on sweater and warm socks. Finally, quality of indoor air should be checked and fixed. Activities taking place in our homes and outside our homes affects the quality of the air we inhale. Spending a lot of money on air-fresheners will have to be stopped. Instead, I will consider some of the factors that may be contributing to this air pollution e.g. cigarette smoking, heavy carpets and irregular cleaning habits. I will get rid of heavy carpets and drapes because they hold dirt, dust and odors and cannot be cleaned easily. Lighter carpets and area mats/rugs will replace the heavy one. Cleaning and dusting of floors, walls, ventilations will be a daily routine.
Green haven in the mountain
This will be a smaller home with a dimension of 900 square feet. It will be a single storey with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. It will also have a fireplace and the home location will be country Side Mountain. Bruce, argued that selection process of building materials should consider the capacity to transmit heat hrough convection, conduction and radiation, (Bruce, 2).
The benefits of smaller house are; it requires less maintenance therefore, saving time and are energy efficient. According to Greg and Capital, “financial benefits of green buildings include lower energy, waste disposal, and water costs, lower environmental and emissions costs, lower operations and maintenance costs, and savings from increased productivity and health”. (Greg and Capital, 19) A bamboo garden will give a perfect landscape that will act as ornamental windbreaks and privacy screens.
The main objective is to site, design, construct, operate, and maintain a green home that will be energy, water and material efficient while providing comfortable indoor environment. A swimming pool will be installed just outside the home. In order to conserve energy, the frequency of swimming at night will be reduced as this will require heating the water. One can swim during the day on cold water. Pool water will be heated using solar energy during the day. The solar panels will be part of the roofing system of the house. This is then used to heat water to be used in the shower, kitchen and in the swimming pool. This method of heating water covers up to 60-70% of the energy demand for domestic hot water. Cooling of the pool to more refreshing temperatures will be done by leaving the solar blanket off at night to allow more heat to escape.
During construction lighting, cooling, fresh air and humidity control, will be analyzed by designers so as to reduce peak power demand. To achieve high performance lighting while conserving energy, more efficient lights like compact fluorescents bulbs that use 75% less energy than regular bulbs will be installed. Sensors that cut unnecessary lighting, use of daylight harvesting and other advanced lighting techniques and technologies will be used. All this measures also reduces air conditioning electric power demand.
Greg and Capital found that increasing ventilation effectiveness helps cut air conditioning load during peak through improved system optimization. Under-floor air distribution systems will be achieved by use of a plenum below a raised floor to deliver space conditioning. All this typically cuts fan and cooling loads, and substanntially lowering air conditioning load, (Greg and Capital, 19)
Green home will reduces water intake significantly by avoiding dual flushing of toilets, using low flow showerheads, using water heaters on demand only. Water reuse will be encouraged i.e. harvesting rain-water to be used for irrigating the lawn. Gray water systems will collect water from sinks and showers which is then re-circulated for use in toilets. Flush kits will be installed to replace large volume kits. This reduces water usage in the toilet significantly. Taken together, these strategies can reduce water use by over 30% in indoors and over 50% for landscaping (US Green Building Council LEED, 65). My green home will adopt diversion strategies that result in saving of disposal costs. Reuse and recycling of waste will promote green buildings. It will also help to divert some waste from being disposed of in landfills that are costly to maintain.
Non toxic cleaning detergents will be used in cleaning for the home to qualify as green certified. Baking soda will be used; this is because it is non toxic, scours well and acts as a deodorizer that inhibits the growth of molds. Using lemon will fight natural bacteria and act as acidic cleanser. Hydrogen peroxide will work well in bathroom as a natural antiseptic. Using white vinegar will help in wiping soap scum, grease and way build ups.
Finally the kitchen will be provided with enough day lighting through wide glass windows. Natural lighting from day light provides vital nourishment for health and can reduce energy bills. Setting a two-liter pop bottle filled with water in the toilet tank prevents two liters of water from being used every time you flush.
The success of building a green home involves a lot of design, preparation and development. The builders must take into consideration environmental impacts of the building. They should avoid sensitive sites where erosion may be caused. They should understand the site well and conserve the crucial natural resources while minimizing slope disturbance which can cause erosion. Finally, establishing green certified home is not enough, maintaining its status will be the crucial part of the homeowner’s responsibilities. Let all aspire to live green life.