#Green #Building: Recycled Homes Receive the Green Stamp of Approval

Recycled homes are good for the environment, neighborhoods and foster a real sense of belonging among those who choose to live in these communities.

I have never owned a home before. I did go through the lengthy process once, but the terms were not suitable to my liking.

Since I have become more interested in green building and architecture as well as reducing my carbon footprint, building a home from reclaimed materials or recycling cargo containers seems like the perfect fit for my budget.

Hearing about buildings and homes being torn down and thrown away makes me a little sick to know that many of those materials can be reused for someone else. And that is the mission and goal of one nonprofit organization in North Carolina. Builders of Hope was established in 2006 by Nancy Murray, who also works with a team of licensed staff contractors and volunteers to rebuild homes in Raleigh saving thousands of homes from filling up the state’s landfills.

Some have criticized saving dilapidated homes from being torn down; however, many more families want to know that the house they buy is helping the environment too by using recycled materials. Recycled homes are good for the environment, neighborhoods and foster a real sense of belonging among those who choose to live in these communities.

Get the full scoop on Builders of Hope from an article in Natural Home Magazine.

Greener Living Tips: Eco Friendly Living Rooms

Green and Eco-friendly Living Room Tips

Going green is a great idea for a variety of different reasons. The top two reasons to go green include helping the environment and saving money. What many people don’t realize is that you can start going green right in the center of your own home, ie: your living room. The living room is often the center of relaxing, entertainment, family bonding, and more. So why not make your living room more eco-friendly with these easy tips!

Check Your Thermostat
Since the thermostat for your house is often located in your living room, it’s a great place to start. Make your wallet and the environment happy by simply turning down your thermostat in the winter and turning it up in the summer. Of course, you don’t have to freeze or melt either. By changing your thermostat just a few degrees, you’ll be making a huge difference. You’ll also see your energy bill go down a bit too, especially if you’re keeping you’re thermostat at more eco-friendly temperatures throughout the year. And make sure you don’t have anything warm (like electronics that create a heat byproduct) near your thermostat otherwise it can alter the AC or heat.

Buy Secondhand and Vintage
It’s official. Vintage is in the season once again and is continuing to make a great comeback when it comes to furniture and d├ęcor. So instead of purchasing a brand new sofa, paintings, vases, and more, try checking out local antique stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army, freecycle.com, and craigslist. These locations and websites have a ton of different options for vintage and secondhand items for your living room. Plus you might just score a $200 item for about $20 bucks!

Invest in Drapes and Curtains
Drapes or curtains are great things to have. They can keep sun out during the harsh summer months and help lock in heat during bitter cold seasons. Needless to say they are a relatively inexpensive way to help regulate temperature within your living room. And don’t just limit it to your living room either, follow this simple tip for the rest of your house as well, including your bedroom.

Eco-Appliances
A great way to go green is with your appliances. Make sure your TV meets energy standards and is one of the most eco-friendly on the market today. Don’t be afraid to shop around either. Also, invest in other green electronics as well, including stereo systems and gaming systems. Another great tip is to make sure your electronic devices are unplugged when not in use. You may think that just because they’re off it means they’re not using energy, but it’s not true. Unplug and save money!

Keep Your Fireplace Clean
Many of us have fireplaces in our homes. These are great for a variety of different reasons, including keeping warm during the winter. Not only that, but they create a cozy atmosphere. However, go green with your fireplace by keeping it clean. Hire a chimney sweep often to reduce ash buildup and more. Make sure you burn clean burning logs too.

Original article by Rachel Krech, AssociatedContent.com

Recycled Shipping Containers Saves Money & Space

The Ultimate in Constructing Eco-Friendly Living Space

All across the globe, we use shipping containers to move large quantities of goods from one country to the next. Now, what happens to these containers once they have served their purpose? Do they get tossed to the bottom of the ocean? Are the bits and pieces shot into outer space? Actually, they’re being converted into luxury homes, beach homes, camping cottages and more. That’s right, today, designers and architects everywhere are making good use of these shipping behemoths. Have you ever heard of a shipping container home? If you haven’t, you will – these babies are on the rise when it comes to eco-friendly living.

In European countries, the use of the shipping container home has been around for a few decades. They’ve certainly increased and ‘container cities’ have been popping up all across the continent. They’re even used as dorm rooms for universities – saving the students, and the schools, some nice pocket change.

Read the rest of this article about shipping containers here.

Freight Container Homes: the new pre-fab house

Old Freight Containers Get a New Lease on Green Building

I was reading one of my favorite green blogs, The Greenest Dollar, where she discussed the ups and downs of selling her home in our present economy to live a more frugal, yet greener life by building their own freight container home. The author and I share similar values regarding saving money and saving the environment.

I first heard about freight container homes, an old idea, but with a new twist on pre-fab house, about a year ago. I was intrigued, and hooked that this could (and will probably) be an economical way to house the homeless and destitute. I didn’t think of freight container homes to be an eco alternative to overpriced homes in the suburbs or multi-family apartment complexes. However, now that I’ve seen some pretty ultra-modern style structures, I’ve changed my mind.

Check out these neo-fab freight container homes below, which are not your everyday shipyard variety. Who knew a builder could do so much with steel boxes? And the cost to buy and design your very own shipping freight container home? Around $40k, give or take $10k, and depending on where you build and how many containers you use.

Eco friendly freight container homes are sturdy and energy efficient. Courtesy of FreightContainerHomes.com
Modular freight container homes offer versatility. TheDailyGreen.com
These recycled freight containers can be custom designed with reclaimed materials. Photo from TheDailyGreen.com