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Cynthia Madison posted a blog entry in Environmental decline is at an all-time high – what can YOU do about it?Going eco-friendly seems to be the next big trend. Big companies, small businesses and individuals altogether have teamed up to reduce the impact that human life has on the planet. Sustainable homes have increased in popularity, not only because they leave a much smaller footprint on the environment, but because they are a far better investment in the long run. The list of benefits you get by living in a green house is long and constantly updated, but the most important ones still remain the same: Low maintenance costs The main purpose of eco-friendly homes is to be built from materials that are both less invasive for the environment, but also more durable, so that you don’t have to constantly fix or rebuild things and waste more resources. This way, even though some green materials cost more than traditional ones, you will end up saving more in the future. When you buy or build a new house, don’t think only about the initial investment, but also about the impact it will have on your wallet in the next 10 or 15 years. For example, building a house that has lots of big windows, which allow sunlight to pass through, will help you save tremendously on energy costs. At the same time, the materials used have a much smaller impact on your health. Conventional construction materials give off chemical emissions that, although small, can affect the air you breathe. This is why lots of people recur to humidifiers or other appliances to help get rid of the dry, unbreathable air. Eco-friendly materials are not only safer, but help with air circulation and ventilation. Energy efficiency Possibly one of the first reasons people decide to move into eco-friendly houses is that they are extremely energy efficient, which means you utility bills will be much lower. One of the prime sources for energy is coal. But coal is a non-renewable resource, not to mention that mining coal is extremely polluting for the environment. A sustainable home is designed is such way that it takes advantage of as many natural resources as possible. For example, when setting up the layout of the house, rooms that are the most used, such as kitchen or living room are placed on the side of the house that receives the most natural light throughout the day, to avoid having to use artificial light. Big windows are also a part of the design, for the same reason. On top of that, green building constructors also recommend installing solar panels, so you can make use of the energy from the sun as much as possible. It makes for a good long-term investment The popularity of green buildings is increasing tremendously, which means that, in 10 years, traditional homes are going to become less and less desirable. Investing in an eco-friendly home now means staying ahead of the market and laying the ground for profit in the future. Even owners of luxurious homes are looking to make adjustments so that their houses are more environmentally friendly. Those adjustments help increase house value and turn their properties into mines of gold. The reason that people are looking to spend more on a sustainable home precisely because they will get more out of it in the future. Eco-friendly houses are also easier to sell and retail for more than traditional ones. Better living conditions Less invasive materials and more use of natural resources are what make a sustainable house better to live in. When you take advantage of natural light all day long, you are more prone to be productive, feel relaxed and enjoy living in your house. The materials used have a lower emission of chemicals, lowering the risks for asthma or allergies that may occur due to mold. Thus, the air inside is more breathable and makes for a healthier indoor environment. Temperature regulation is also one of the key elements that constructors take into consideration when building eco-friendly homes. Eco-friendly materials are designed in such way that they help with insulation and temperature fluctuation much more than traditional ones. Smaller environmental footprint Last, but not least, you will help the planet. By using materials that are not damaging the environment, you will become an active part of the movement that is trying to make Earth a better place. Meeting your needs does not mean you have to endanger the world around you and it is entirely possible to live comfortably, while at the same time thinking about nature. All processes of traditional building are affecting the environment in one way or another. Be it because constructors are not disposing of materials in a conscious way, or because traditional energy systems are leaving a huge carbon footprint. Green buildings contribute to reducing the greenhouse effect and lay out a better world for future generations to live in.