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Green Living Made Easy: Top Sustainable Home Improvements for a Better Planet

There are plenty of ways to live a more green life and incorporating sustainable home improvements into your property goes a long way towards doing just that.

Renewable Energy

There are plenty of options for choosing a renewable energy source for your home, you just need to find the one that is most compatible with your property. If you want to install solar panels you need to decide if you want photo voltaic for converting sunlight into electricity or solar thermal panels for providing hot water and fueling your central heating. A solar panel specialist can help you decide. You could also install a ground or air source heat pump or a domestic wind turbine.

Wooden Flooring

For sustainability, it’s hard to beat wooden flooring. Trees are one of the most renewable resources on the planet and for every cubic foot of trees harvested more than one and a half cubic feet are replanted. This means that the rate of cutting down trees is always less than the rate of growth.

While wooden flooring costs may seem expensive, they last for many decades, sometimes for hundreds of years. Not only are wooden floors a beautiful addition to your home but they can also be recycled.

Living Roof

There is nothing more eco-friendly than a living roof. This carpet of plants keeps your home insulated and utilises the rain that falls on it, absorbing the runoff and extending the life of your roof. A green roof does require a specialist support system which holds up a shallow layer of soil. Sedums, mosses and grass are typically planted on a living roof.

The benefits to the environment from living roofs are numerous. They include increasing biodiversity in urban areas, retaining and purifying rainwater, improving air quality and providing thermal protection and reduced energy use for your home.

Biomass Boiler

If you are considering a new heating system to reduce your environmental impact and save money, a biomass boiler could be just what you need. This renewable energy source burns organic matter mostly in the form of wood pellets, woodchips or logs. Although they release carbon dioxide biomass boilers produce much less than fossil fuel-burning boilers.

You will need somewhere to fit the boiler as they are quite large and you’ll also need storage space for the pellets or logs. When space is not available for a biomass boiler you could consider a woodburning stove with a back boiler to supply your hot water and feed into your central heating system.

Roof Insulation

An average of 25% of heat generated to warm our homes is lost through badly insulated roofs. So, when you are contemplating a sustainable home improvement, consider upgrading the insulation in your loft. The recommended depth of insulation in the roof space is 270mm or 10 ½ inches and if you use a natural product such as sheep’s wool your home will be cosy and sustainable.

Of its many benefits, sheep’s wool insulation has no irritants unlike fibreglass insulation and can be handled quite safely and installed as a DIY project. It is also recyclable and treated to be fire retardant.

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