It is easy to dream green. It is harder to live green in today’s world. Many home renovators that have the desire to go green are limited by what the original owners created. When you are building your own home, you have the unique opportunity to plan that green life you never allowed yourself to consider. Floor plans either created yourself or with the guidance of professional home builders can be an exciting glimpse at the future greener you.
While including a patch of ground on your land to grow your own fruits, vegetable, and flower garden is certainly a move of someone that wants to be green, the typical garden still wastes more water than a green enthusiast might realize. Fear not plans can be made to reduce that waste.
The green gardener first choice of flora and fauna should be plants that are native to the area. This will assure that the plants are genetically hard wired to take water equivalent with the ecosystem around them and not from an area that might have more water available. Plants from watery regions planted in dessert landscapes can starve plants around them before finally dying themselves.
Another way to reduce water usage in this area is to plan on using soaker hoses instead of the traditional sprinkler. Attach the soaker hose to a regular garden hose, lay it in the flower, vegetable, or fruit garden, cover the soaker hose in 2 to 3 inches of mulch, and then congratulate yourself on a job well done. You effectively cut back your use of water by providing it directly to the source instead of flinging it everywhere.
Toilets and Water Tanks
The garden is not the only place in the house that wastes water. Every time a traditional American toilet flushes, three to five gallons of water are flushed away. To stop this problem the home planner can install a specialized toilet that reduces the amount of water lost. The low flush toilet uses one or two gallons per flush. A recent design change called pressure assistance uses air from the tank to make sure that one flush does the job making the low flush toilet an efficient resource.
Water tanks can be used to store rain water or water from sinks and the laundry machine in the house. The water in the tanks can be used in place of purified water to power the toilets in the house. If wasting water is not avoidable, the least we can do is to collect rainwater that would normally contribute to runoff pollution or not send water from the sink or laundry machine off after one use.
Solar panels can be attached to the roof or other areas around the yard to power lights and other electronics inside the house. For days that are overcast or during the night when the sun is unable to power the solar panels, batteries can be charged for the necessary energy or an AC/DC converter can be used. This will save not only money, but also conserve water in the long run.
Planning how to conserve water and energy is an important aspect of building a green home. There are many different methods to create a green home that allows for the smallest footprint possible. The above suggestions are only the beginning. To the home planner. Good luck building green. Your environment will thank you.