As climate change becomes a more pressing issue in society, people are going farther than ever to reduce their carbon footprint. You might already be recycling and taking other big steps to go green, but families building, buying, and living in these types of homes are taking it to the next level. Check out these unique eco-friendly homes that go to extreme lengths to reduce their environmental impact.
Recycled Homes: From Trash To Treasure
One person's trash is another person's treasure when it comes to these unique homes. Many people will go out of their way to use recycled or repurposed materials when designing their homes. Just because these homes include recycled materials, however, doesn't mean they always look unusual; many common home components can be made of recycled material without you even knowing it. New metal roofs may contain anywhere from 30 to 60% of recycled metal content and are 100% recyclable at the end of their service lives.
Some homes take recycling to an extreme, though, by using entirely found and repurposed materials. Standard construction projects produce as much as 40% of all American waste, but these homes avoid creating any waste by using already existing materials that would have otherwise gone into a landfill.
Tiny Homes: Bigger Isn't Always Better
Some eco-friendly homes still use new materials, but use far less of them. Tiny homes, homes that are designed for under 400 square feet of living space, take fewer materials to build and far less energy to power. The smaller the home, the smaller the environmental impact; however, these homes are not without their unique challenges. Tiny home owners have often run into issues with zoning laws and building permits due to the incredibly small size of their home. This has led many to take their homes on the road RV-style, towing their houses from location to location. Just because these homes are small doesn't mean they're always for one person; some tiny homes house entire families in just a few hundred square feet.
Home Kits: The Ultimate DIY Project
For the handyman or DIY-fan looking to go green, one potential option for a unique green home is purchasing a home kit and building it yourself. Several prefab home kits exist nowadays to let those who are looking for a building challenge create their own homes. Not only are these homes a good way to save some money on a new construction home, they're also great at reducing construction waste. Modular constructions reduce energy consumption during the building process by around 67%, while also reducing energy costs later on.
Earthships: Going Underground
For some families, a conventional home style just isn't eco-friendly enough. Earthships are designed for families looking to go above and beyond with reducing their carbon footprint. These unique home styles use all natural materials and long-practiced techniques to build homes partially buried in the ground that make use of natural heat and light. These homes are often constructed out of surprising materials, including rubber tires, recycled glass bottles, and even mud and straw. The mud and straw technique is nothing new; it's been used since 1500 BCE by ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians. However, these homes take this building technique and bring it into the modern era by incorporating newer architectural techniques to generate heat and light without the use of electricity.
While many families are looking to go green these days, not everyone is cut out for life in one of these unique eco-friendly homes. Some, however, go out of their way to find homes that contribute significantly to their green lifestyle. Would you ever consider living in one of these unusual houses?