Building an eco friendly home
If you're a 'clean and green' Australian, you'll know that being kind to our environment can go further than buying eco friendly products for in the home – your house itself can be sustainable, too!
There are plenty of natural building materials available that have no adverse effect on the environment. While knocking your existing home down may be a little drastic, if you're already considering building a new home from scratch, why not take a look at some of these eco friendly materials?
Though it may sound a little prehistoric, mudbrick is an effective natural building material that ends up with a good-looking, rustic finish. The Green Cross Australia states that the bricks are made from soil with clay content, and then mixed with water and other materials such as straw or cement to strengthen the brick. The mixture is then placed into moulds and left to set for several weeks before building.
Those who have heard the tale of the 'Three Little Pigs' may be a little nervous that a house made of straw could be blown away, but rest assured that strawbale homes are as strong as can be. This building material has the advantage of being sustainable, recyclable and non-toxic. According to the Green Cross Australia, to build a strawbale home, bales are stacked up and then shaped, before being covered in mud or cement based material.
Starting from scratch with all new materials isn't always necessary when there are quality materials that could be recycled. The Green Building Council Australia recommends recycling existing material such as concrete or steel to limit the amount of waste headed to landfill. In addition, you could recycle or uplift other materials – why not refurbish your doors or chest of drawers to add to your new home?
Once you've decided which natural material to use, don't forget to fit out your home with eco friendly products to complete your green approach. Think a reusable coffee cup by the coffee machine and sandwich wrap in the drawers.