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Found 88 results

  1. Chandeliers, ever since their inception has amazed people with their mystic aura. Their charm and elegance has been acknowledged by various countries where these lighting fixtures have been displayed. Some of the best known places where you can discover the largest and most stunning chandeliers of the world include Knokke Casino, which features just one grand chandelier that drives the attention of gamblers with 22,000 pieces of crystals and 2700 lamps. The one in Palais Garnier Opera in France is also a world piece as the chandelier is a unique fixture adorned with marble freezes. The world is full of chandeliers displayed around various places. However, the largest chandeliers have made certain places and venues highly famous including Walker Art Center, The Vermont State House, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Kocatepe Mosque, Ankara, Turkey. With these places featuring the world’s largest and most beautiful chandeliers, you can plan a trip to Turkey, Oman, France, Vermont, or Belgium and it would be worth visiting the unique chandeliers during your stay. Discover elegance of beautiful chandeliers! Infographic by Beautiful Things Lighting
  2. Greenify Your Life and Your Home

    In recent years, going green has not only become a proper movement, but a whole way of life, and you only need to look around yourself to see why it is so important. We have become hungry for power, and we are recklessly treating nature, spending all the resources it has to offer, without even caring about whether that is sustainable or not. We read all the time that members of endangered species are dying out, we feel sad and maybe click a like, then we continue doing what we do best – ruining this planet. But what can you do, practically do, so that you decrease your influence on this planet and maybe even help out? Going green is used everywhere, yet only a few people know what that really means, and it is truly a whole way of life, which everyone will have to get accustomed to, or we will all face dire consequences. Buy Smart and Buy Green Many people do not even know what green means, but it is a whole concept which is created to define something that is renewable, sustainable and overall - eco-friendly. This is especially important when you visit the store where you are surrounded by products that you need, but not everything is that simple. It is your responsibility to buy those products that are produced by clean technologies and services, which do not harm the environment and which dedicate a percentage of their earnings to develop new ways of protecting nature or repairing the damage that has been done. All the chemicals that you buy for cleaning or for any other purpose need to be in accordance with some environmental standards, and to be safe for you to use at the same time. When it comes to food, it is important to avoid buying food on which a lot of pesticides were used since they can contaminate not only food and water, but also all the animal life around the area where they were used. They can also have negative effects on humans, too, so, always read the label, and try to buy local groceries, produced on nearby farms. Greenify Your Home Making your home greener is important because of two reasons. The first one is obvious, you will be doing a favor to your children, and their children, while the second one is from a financial point of view. If you try and use green technologies, you will be able to save a lot of money, especially when it comes to heating and cooling your home. If you use certified green appliances for doing that, your electricity bill will go down significantly, and after that, it is important to switch from incandescent light bulbs to their more energy-efficient cousins – compact fluorescent lamps. Even having LED lamps installed is a good idea, as they spend around 80% less energy, and offer the same amount of lights. When it comes to the rest of your home, it would be important to have all the doors and windows properly sealed so that your home stays at a desired temperature. Insulation should also be added to walls, ceilings and attics as a great addition. It would be wise to first remove all mold from your home - as it can not only present a health hazard to you and all the other occupants - before installing any kind of insulation. Other good ideas that you can use for your own home is to have a water barrel installed so that you can reuse rainwater as a free source, and during summer, you can even heat it up and have hot water anytime. Reuse, Reduce and Recycle These three Rs are extremely important for you to both save money and protect nature. There are many things that we buy only to use once and never again, so why not borrow it? This is a simple example of how reusing something can be a much better solution. Do not waste anything, and think carefully before printing out anything – just imagine how many trees we could have saved if we printed only what was truly necessary. These small changes can mean a lot for the environment, and you only need a little dedication to change your life for the better.
  3. Moving Home the Green Way

    When moving house it feels like there’s a million details to sort out and consider, but one you might not have thought of is making your move a green one. It’s more easily done than you might think, just changing a few details can make a big difference and often it’s more economical for you as well. Don’t throw away – Reuse or Recycle Moving house is often synonymous with de-cluttering but what you do with your unwanted belongings can have an impact on the environment. So, instead of taking several trips to the dump and creating yet more waste, try to find another home for your belongings. There are various options for this; Gumtree, eBay and even a car boot sale for those knick-knacks you’re not sure anyone really wants. Or, if you have a bit of time and artistic flare you could try upcycling them. One easy option is the British Heart Foundation, they have furniture stores across the UK and will collect your unwanted furniture for free and sell it to raise money for charity, given it’s in good enough condition for them to sell on. It helps the environment because you’re not throwing it away and creating rubbish, it raises money for charity and someone gets a reasonably priced piece of furniture. It’s a win, win and all it takes from you is a simple phone call. If your mission to sell or even give away your stuff doesn't work, you can probably recycle it rather than just throwing it away. Recycle now is the official UK recycling site which tells you what items you can recycle and where you can recycle them in your local area as well as providing useful info on how recycling works and why it’s important. Eco Cleaning Products Before you leave your home for good it’s likely it’s going to need a good clean, especially if you’re moving from a rental property and hoping for a full deposit back. So, you should consider getting some environmentally responsible cleaning products to help you, if you get the right ones they’re just as effective at cleaning and you won’t leave the property with a chemical stench. Wasted Packaging The materials you use to move can also have a big impact on the environment, moving companies often like to use new boxes because of the stability and then throw them away after one use. Often you don’t need all new boxes and rolls of bubble wrap to pack up your home. Newspaper, towels and clothes work just as well to protect fragile items and you can often get old boxes from supermarkets or friends. There are even companies where you can rent removal boxes or removal companies that do this for you. Pick the Right Moving Company It’s worth looking into who helps you move, for instance Abels removal company have environmentally responsible moving vans. The environment is a growing concern across all industries and it’s worth doing a little research to find a company which can help you to make your move as green as possible. Moving internationally We all know airplane travel is the ultimate environmental sin however sometimes it’s a necessity, especially if you’re moving a great distance internationally. If this is the case you might want to think about offsetting your carbon footprint. There are various companies and websites that set to help you do this and it’s usually as simple as transferring a small fee to get some trees re-planted or support reforestation. If you’re not moving home so far you could consider transporting you and your belongings by more environmental means.
  4. The Main Features of a Green Home

    Green, sustainable building is conquering the world of architecture. It’s no wonder - building homes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient is rewarding on many levels. By building homes that are “green” you’re minimizing impact on both people’s health and the natural environment. Image Credit: GJ Gardner What are the main characteristics of a green home? To begin with, it is a building that efficiently uses natural resources and alternative sources of energy. It is a home that preserves the health of its occupants and helps in reducing pollution, waste and environmental degradation. Let’s see what every green home must include in order to be a true, eco-friendly building. Materials used in green building Whenever we build, there has to be some sort of environmental cost. We often use natural materials and expendable energy resources uncontrollably. People think that using only wood, for example, will immediately make their house or lodge sustainable, but this is far from the truth. The first and the most important rule when it comes to materials is: always use sustainable, local materials that are recycled or recyclable. This often means reusing existing materials and reducing waste. Timber can be used in green building too, if it’s locally and sustainably sourced and FSC-certified. Also, the more processed the material is, the more energy was spent (embodied) to produce it. Therefore, green homes should be constructed from materials that have low embodied energy. Alternative forms of concrete are always a better option than conventional concrete, the production of which is responsible for high carbon emissions. Sometimes, even materials we consider “junk” can be used in the construction of a green home: tires, bottles, cans, materials left over from the pre-existing building, etc. Wood from fast growing trees (instead of hardwood), recycled stone, rammed earth, straw bale and mud brick are the traditional materials that most builders turn to nowadays. Clever design for an energy efficient home The design is another important factor in making a building “green”. Sustainable homes are smartly built – which means they are designed to last long, to fit the climate and use all the benefits their environment provides. Passive design almost always involves positioning homes in relation to the sun and shade to reduce the use of electricity. This can be done is several ways: by spatial zoning, orientation, ventilation, insulation, shading, glazing and using thermal mass. The house should be placed on a ground that receives a lot of sunlight in the winter, with large windows facing the sun and collecting “passive” solar power. Prevention of heat accumulation in the summer can be obtained by strategically placing trees, roof overhangs and horizontal slats. A well-designed floor plan can only help in achieving energy efficiency. Also, adding solar panels can save energy even more and make a building truly eco-friendly. Insulation Adding good insulation is a crucial thing in the building process - it is the most effective addition you can make to your home. Insulation, shading and waterproofing can save up to an amazing 45 percent on monthly energy bills.There are lots of insulation options. However, the top sustainable insulation materials are sheep wool, cotton, aerogel, polystyrene and icynene. We know that polystyrene doesn’t sound very “green”, but it’s an outstanding insulator that can be recycled. It brings structural integrity to walls and provides excellent thermal resistance. Wool fibers are perhaps the healthiest and most fire resistant insulation option. Water management A sustainable building must include water saving in addition to energy saving. An excellent way of saving water is rainwater harvesting – collection, filtration and use of rainwater. This reduces the need for main water supplies and can lead to significant economic and environmental benefits. Rainwater is collected in leak-proof tanks and can be used for many purposes. Image Credit: Wikimedia Swimming pools are big energy spenders and a real luxury in water scarce areas. Therefore, modern green homes feature increasingly popular natural pools and ponds. Water in such pools and ponds is cleaned with the help of plants and bacteria and no chemicals are used in the process. One of the steps in being a responsible water consumer includes using products and appliances that save water significantly. Your home must be equipped with adequate plumbing products, sanitary ware and white goods that use less water than others.
  5. Everybody loves a clean house, but not everybody likes to clean. You don't have to be a cleaning freak to keep your home clean and tidy, though. All you need is to learn how to keep everything under control. Tackle small messes before they grow bigger and get your family in the routine of helping you out by performing certain chores right away. Check out some of the habits that you should acquire for a cleaner house. Take off your shoes. Shoes are a very convenient way for dust and dirty to enter your home. So, in order to prevent this, make sure you and your family get into the habit of taking their shoes as soon as they enter the house. Forget what you see on movies where everybody is walking around the house with their shoes on - they don't have to clean anything afterwards, but you will have to if you enter with your muddy sneakers. Regular vacuum sessions. You don't have to clean thoroughly everyday, but it is a good idea to vacuum high-traffic areas in the house every two days or so. Pay special attention to the carpets and doormats because they are the ones get dirty the fastest. Also mop the kitchen floor too in order to remove any crumbs, stains and other residues. Don't forget the windows. You would be surprised how many people neglect their windows. However, a regular cleaning can save you plenty of time and effort in the long run. So instead of washing your windows only once every year, trusted window cleaners from Sydney suggest doing so every 3-4 months. The fridge is another place which should be maintained systematically. Before you put the groceries you've just bought, do a quick check up of the current food in the fridge. Throw away everything that has expired, smells funny or it's getting mouldy. In this way you will not only free up some space, but you will also avoid having your refrigerator smelling horrendously. Just make sure you also give it a quick swipe with some glass cleaner for disinfecting the area. Dealing with the bathroom. Keep a small squeegee in the bathroom and get your family in the habit of using it after they finish bathing. Wiping down the walls regularly will prevent the build up of soap scum and will keep the mould away. And while you are in the bathroom, it is also a good idea to start cleaning the sink daily. Use baby wipes to remove hair and toothpaste stains or mascara drips. Finally, sprinkle some baking soda in the rubbish bin, add a cup of distilled vinegar and half a lemon (or orange). Let it sit for about 20 minutes and then rinse. The vinegar is a natural disinfectant and the lemons will provide you with exotic scent.
  6. When you are planning to build a home from scratch it’s always better to build an eco friendly home. There are many benefits of building a house that is environment friendly, not only is that helpful in reducing the pollution and protecting the environment, but it gives you a safer and healthier atmosphere to live. When designing an eco friendly house from scratch you have to consider three things: building material, generation of alternating energy, and using energy efficiently. Building Material · Using Anticon Roof Insulation Anticon is a great material to use for insulation purpose in roof. There is a unique property of this substance that combines two forms of insulation effectively. In anticon there is a reflective foil facing, which is adhered to a glass wool blanket. Due to foil facing 95% of the heat radiations are reflected from the roof and this prevents any condensation. The wool blanket absorbs all the noise and reduces the heat transfer in the room. Anticon helps in the reduction in air conditioner running costs, it offers more resistance against fire on roof, and has any more benefits. Generating Alternate Energy · Solar Panels Solar panels are the best way to generate cheap, low-maintenance and eco friendly power for your home. By the use of these panel you harness the energy of sunlight for creating electricity for your home use. This energy is renewable and if produced more than you need, then you can sell it to the grid. You can install these solar panels on the roof tops, in the backyard, or any part of your home that is exposed to continuous sunlight during daytime. · Solar Hot Water System This system combines the booster, tank, and collectors, which heat the water for home use with the help of sunlight. Energy from the sun is absorbed to heat the water in collector and is then sent to the tank for storage. This cycle of heating the water is continued unless complete water is heated in the tank or till the time there is no sunlight. During the times when there is no sunlight or insufficient sunlight, then booster are utilized to heat the water. You can have your contractor install this system in your home. Many companies like Celebration Homes South West, Centex Homes and Eco Housing have eco friendly options you can choose from. Energy Efficient Home · Constructing the home that supports rain water harvesting can help you a lot in future. The water stored this way is useful at many places like in washing machines, toilet, etc. This is a nice way to reduce the water bills and usage of water. · More windows should be located on the north side of the home to capture the heat from sun in winter and keep the home warm in winter. Southern side should have less windows as it would help in reducing the heat generated due to sunlight in summer. · Use energy efficient globes that consume less electricity than any normal incandescent light bulb and has longer life. · Use of laminated glass that has low E range in windows is a great idea. This glass has maximum transparency, low reflection, and high performance solar control. Therefore, it could manage heat in summer and cold in winter. Conclusion When you are planning eco friendly house from scratch follow the above mentioned suggestions to get best results.
  7. How to Make Eco Friendly Kitchen?

    For many years, kitchens have been just as a places to prepare meals. However, things have changed drastically and many people now recognize the importance of kitchens, especially when it comes to energy conservation. It is no wonder that many homeowners are now considering different helpful ways in making the kitchen more eco friendly. The aim is to make it energy efficient while at the same time taking away the unnecessary strain from the environment. There are many ideas that could be helpful in making your kitchen eco-friendly and the amazing thing is that you do not have to spend a lot of money to achieve this. However, the most important thing to note is that such kind of a kitchen has many benefits and will not only help reduce the impact of global warming but also help you save money in return. Here are some ideas on how to make eco friendly kitchen. Eco-friendly cleaning Traditionally, cleaning in the kitchen has been dominated by toxic products that are not only harmful to our health but also to the environment. However, today you can opt for friendlier non toxic green cleaning products that do not contain things such as phosphate. These products unlike their predecessors are biodegradable and are capable of giving you a clean shine when used for all different kinds of kitchen cleaning. You will find simple products such as baking soda, lemon and vinegar to be a very good example of eco-friendly kitchen cleaning products. Kitchen tools and accessories Another great way to make eco friendly kitchen is to install tools and accessories that are made of recyclable materials. For example, it will help to opt for stainless steel sink and faucet since this material is 100 percent recyclable and therefore makes for a very good idea if you intend to make a green kitchen. The same should extend to other fittings such as countertops, cabinets and flooring where renewable and sustainable materials are available and which can help in making your kitchen eco-friendly. Materials such as bamboo and cork are increasingly growing in popularity among many homeowners when it comes to flooring options and it will be good to consider them as well. Energy-efficient appliances You can replace your already existing appliances such as refrigerator, oven or dishwasher with new models that meet government guidelines on energy efficiency. This needs not be a tough change to make as many appliances available in the market come with Federal Energy Star Rating. Having such in your kitchen means you will have increased efficiency while at the same time cutting on the cost of operation which translates well as a wise eco-friendly move. Make sure to keep your refrigerator fully stocked as opposed to keeping it half full as this will help you use less energy. Energy-efficient lighting system Kitchen lighting can be so eco-unfriendly if you do not pay some attention to your usage. As you consider how to make eco friendly kitchen, it will be good to embrace the use of sunlight during the day and combine this with light colored materials and installations including cabinets and countertops. These will help maximize the light streaming into the kitchen from outside thus making it unnecessary to use the bulbs during the day. You should also replace energy consuming incandescent bulbs and instead opt for LED lighting which is energy efficient. There are many other ideas you should consider while making your kitchen eco friendly and these will range from eating green, garbage disposal and even painting. Some of these ideas could be costly to implement but the good news is that within a short time you will be able to see the positive effects associated with this move.
  8. Going green in your home does not mean you have to sacrifice luxury. There are plenty of green home products on the market that provide the same extravagance as their less green relatives. In the bathroom: There are hundreds of different kinds of environmental friendly bathroom products on the market, include a wide variety of candles. Some of them are made of beeswax or soy, and some are made of odd materials like vegetable wax. A lot of these candles provide relaxation and stress relief through the use of essential oils and extracts. Also for the bathroom are organic towels and cotton exfoliating gloves. All of these items offer just as much, if not more of the comfort that similar, traditional, non-green items would. Health and beauty: Among the green bathroom items commonly offered, there are also many different health and beauty products on the market. There are natural body washes, body butters, lip balms, salves, and foot cream. Ingredients in these products range from peppermint to aloe vera to lavender, and almost all of these products come in biodegradable containers. A majority of these items are just as luxurious as comparable environmentally harmful health and beauty products. For the bedroom: There are a variety of different green materials used for pieces in the bedroom. Some of the most popular examples are pillowcases and shams made out of bamboo, blankets made out of wool, and throws made out of fair-trade organic cotton. Among these items, there are also dressers and bed frames made out of sustainable resources such as maple. Energy: Many sources of renewable energy are available for purchase for the green home. Some of these products include LED lights, solar powered lights, and eco friendly solar powered holiday lights. There are also sun tunnel skylights that add natural light to your home and also provide heat. Crank lanterns and flashlights that charge by being shaken are examples of products that require no battery but work just as well as ones powered by battery. image credit: WB Homes Outside: A lot of the most useful products that are offered for green homes are for the outdoors. There are things like rain conserving barrels in a variety of materials and shapes, water filters for hoses that utilize the filtering powering of sand, and hoses made out of 50% recycled plastic. These sorts of items allow you to get the most out of natural resources and live a healthier and greener lifestyle. For the Kitchen: There are lots of green products available for the purpose of storing and transporting foods. Some examples of these items are compostable bamboo trays, soup containers, sandwich bags, and cling wrap. Many of these will work just as well as like, less-green products, but will not create all of the harmful waste. There are also plenty of kitchen cleaners that are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Having a green home doesn’t mean you have to live any differently. There are alternatives for nearly every product you already use everyday that are much more environmentally friendly and sometimes, even better than the original. In most cases, going green will not even force you to change your lifestyle. There are actually many benefits, including better health and lower energy bills.
  9. Buying Green Home in Australia

    The current environmental pollution is a growing disaster all over the world. Green homes are a perfect choice to curb the pollution of our surroundings. Green certified homes have the ability to remodel energy assessment, improve home energy performance and upgrades, water and resource conservation as well as improving indoor air quality. Buying a green home in Australia will highly improve your environment as a country and the whole world at large. This greatly helps home owners in waste management, which in turn enable them to conserve Mother Nature. Factors to consider when buying a green home in Australia Its size: it is obvious that the bigger the house, the higher amounts of energy it consumes. The Australian council for green homes prefers neutral homes, which most people need. The need for excessive and unnecessary space leads to wastage of energy. Location area: An excellent green home is one located in areas that provide access to road networks, shopping malls, supper markets, schools, parks, restaurant and even stores. This enables one to save on transport cost as well as reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced in the air by motor vehicles. Is it well constructed? - It is important to check if the home is well constructed. Consider if it is well oriented, well-insulated, doors and windows should be sealed to avoid air leaks. The efficiency of water usage should also be checked to ensure energy efficiency. Since most people do not have the ability to test all this qualifications, it is advisable to consult a third-party, trained professional inspector to confirm the above standards. How to finance your first home Buying your first home is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. Unfortunately, many have made serious blunders when it comes to buying homes. This is as result of misunderstanding the settling process, which most of the time can be very confusing. Decide on how much to spend and the exact mortgage rates that works best for you. For a person to complete this process effectively, intensive research is required. There are various sources such as the internet, mortgage professional consultants and also real estate agents who are known to provide reliable technical advice, before you visit a sales office to get your first home owner grant. It is very important to chose green home as your first home. This is because they are environmental friendly. It is this environmental factor that has enabled it to undergo a series of serious structural test making it more strong and durable than normal houses. It also utilizes energy and water conservation methods, which enable you to save cash by saving bills from unnecessary use of resources. There is only a very slight difference between the green home cost and the normal ones with the green home being slightly higher. But this difference cannot be compared to the endless benefits you will enjoy after buying a green home. Buying green home is beneficial because it contains all the information highlighted above.
  10. In order to be eco-friendly in your home, there might be a lot of things you do, like using filtered water instead of water bottles and recycling everything that you can. While those things are great, are you being eco-friendly when it comes to your decor and style? A lot of people don't think about their footprint on the earth when they are buying furniture and decor, but it is something that can be done in a sustainable way. So, if you want to find some sustainable styles that you can be proud to have in your home, then keep reading! In no time you'll have some awesome pieces that you can be proud of. 1. DIY Decor Instead of going out and purchasing brand new decor, why not make your own with sustainable materials? Materials like drift wood and timber are great for making everything from tables to candle holders, and will look great with any decor. You can also use things you have that would otherwise go in the garbage in creative ways. For example, you could create a mosaic piece out of that broken window you have had in your garage for a while. Another option is to use old jars to plant your own spices and herbs. Homemade Eco-Friendly Decor Ideas: - Bike Chain Bowl - Planters made with Concrete Blocks - Plastic Bottle Lights - Wine Bottle Candle Holders 2. Furniture Are you tired of the look of your couch? Or do you have an antique chair that just doesn't make sense in your bedroom? If so, you might want to consider changing them! You can re-upholster (with hemp material), paint, refinish and stain any pieces of furniture that you want to change for a very low cost. The biggest benefit of doing this, besides the money saved, is that you won't have to dump bulky pieces into landfills. Another option is to purchase eco-friendly furniture from manufacturers that use sustainable materials. You can find these at specialty stores and online, so make sure you take the time to look around for them. These are going to cost more, but that's likely because they are made by hand with quality materials that aren't mass produced. They will be unique pieces that nobody else has, so they are definitely great options. There are even replica furniture pieces you can find (like these) that are more eco-friendly than their similar counterparts. 3. Lighting If possible, get any many skylights and windows in your home that you can. These will allow more natural sunlight into your home, and will even save you money on your monthly energy bills. You should also invest in LED lights, which are much more energy-efficient than typical light bulbs. 4. Paint Do you have a lot of dark paint colors in your home? Change these to lighter colors, and the natural light that comes in during the day will be reflected on them! This can reduce your energy bills and make your place look more cheery as well. 5. Know Your Products Any time you shop for products for your home, read the materials they are made out of and do your research. For example, organic soy candles are great, as are blankets and sheets that are made from organic cotton. Hemp fabric is another material you should become familiar with, as it is sustainable and can be made into everything from a rug to a chair cushion!
  11. Ideal homes are a matter of choice and personal taste. But for the average new Australian mom, an ideal home is one that is more spacious than the current home and still not unaffordably so. It has to be modern in all its fixtures and conveniences so that chores are easier with a baby to care for. It should have a sunny north facing daytime living area – as all homes should really - for the best use of natural light and lower utility bills. And it should be close enough to facilities like hospitals, daycare and other emergency services that living with a baby can often require. Image credits: APG Homes The Size of Your Ideal Home Most families in Australia today are of the average size of 2.6 (2006 figures). The size you want your family to be in the future is important in helping you choose your home. If you intend on having a family of two children, a 2-4 bedroom home with a living space will be suitable. But in the nursing years it is always a blessing to have room for the helpful relative or the sleep-deprived parent while the other parent is on the night-watch shift. Also note that while it's tempting to buy a larger home for your money, sometimes larger is not better. It will leave you with less garden space and more space to clean, light, heat, cool and furnish. This will add to your chores and costs for as long as you own the home. So, think about size carefully before buying a home before buying a home. What Your Ideal Home Should Look Like As a new mom, what you want your home to look like will depend on a number of things. Whether you want a condo apartment with its own modern conveniences or a detached or semi-detached townhouse is a matter of choice, cost and location. Whether you want a modern flat-roof home or a traditional pitched roof is again a matter of tastes and lifestyles. Gabled homes have a certain charm while flat roof homes are cheaper. On the flip side, flat roofs can be harder to maintain because water drainage is not as effective as in pitched roofs. On the inside, the walls should be baby-proof with washable paint so that growing toddlers and pre-teens can bring out their inner artists without causing a panic. The furniture should be as free of pointed corners and fragile glass as possible. Babies are bundles of energy, and you can't expect them to hold back for the sake of your furniture. Utilities and Conveniences of An Ideal Home If your home is built smartly with passive heating and cooling solutions, then you probably won't need a heating or cooling system in some areas. But in others, you can consider alternative power sources for your energy solution. Wind powered units or the areas that have access to geothermal energy such as Victoria are great places to locate your family home. Alternative energy sources will cut costs and make sure your home remains sustainable for you and your children for a long time into the future. Most mothers would want some basic appliances for convenience in their kitchens and bathrooms; a dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, washer and dryer are essentials. Safe induction or electric cooktops that are easier to clean are also a great modern option as opposed to gas-fueled cooktops that can create safety hazards for the family with toxic gases such as carbon monoxide. Also, don't forget that coffee machine for the desperate cup of morning coffee after a sleepless night of tending to colic pains! Other conveniences can include a toaster; a juicer for the healthy family, and surely most mothers would not pass up on a neat Jacuzzi in the bathroom to relax in at the end of an exhausting day.
  12. Tiles have a big variety of uses in the home environment. From the aesthetic look they can bring to the sheer functionality they have. And because they can withstand almost everything you throw at them (both literally and figuratively) they can last for a long time. This may not seem as a big deal but eventually it will save you a certain amount of money. And that's always good! But how about eco tiles? Recycled tiles are produced from waste from mines and factories. Don't let this fool you, though. They are as sturdy as a normal tile and can be used in the kitchen, bathroom or hallway... Or just where any tile would be used. When looking for flooring types and you want them to be as much environmentally friendly as possible you shouldn't limit yourself to only recycled materials. In this article we've summed all of your options when it comes to eco tiles, including the other solutions which are eco-friendly, look good and can be easily maintained. Recycled Eco Tiles As said, recycled tiles are as good as any conventional tile. Choosing the right type is also important though. The market has to offer many colours, textures, shapes and sizes but when it comes to material it all goes down to two choices - glass and ceramic. These ceramic tiles are made from recycled leftover material from the production of regular tiles. Manufacturing companies use between 50 and 100 percent of recycled material. Other companies use as much as 30 percent granite, marble or limestone debris in their production method. These debris and dust are left from the granite cutting operation. You can read more about this topic if interested in this article about granite and its uses at home. Recycled glass tiles are produced using a similar method. Again, the amount of material varies between 30 and 100 percent, which come from the glass industry. As an addition to the good impact this process has on the environment, glass tiles have another aesthetic value. A tile made from reused glass brings clear light, an effect which is not achievable with conventional tiles. Organic Eco Tiling - An Alternative to the Recycled Ones Much like a recycled tile, an organic one can be both good for the environment while saving you money. With this part of the article we will look at some of the options you can choose from. Of course, this list is not full. Instead, it offers you the most widely spread and conventional choices you have at hand. Cork Cork is harvested from the cork tree by removing its outer layer. This method doesn't damage the tree permanently and the process is repeated every eight to twelve years. It is used for insulation and most commonly for wine stoppers. Because of that characteristic, cork is ideal as a flooring material. It has a little level of heat loss and is preferred in living rooms and bedrooms because it's a comfortable walking surface. The cork is flexible and it gets back in its original shape after stepping or heavy objects have been on top of it. Alternatives to the cork flooring are bamboo and coconut timber. These have other qualities. Don't forget! Cork is not suitable for bathrooms or outdoor areas where the humidity levels are high. That's because it absorbs moisture. There are finishes which are used to reduce this effect which don't always work as they're supposed to. Natural Stone Natural stone is mostly preferred because of the looks it brings. However, it does have a few features which makes it perfect in certain aspects. First and foremost - its durability. If properly installed and maintained (that is annual resealing of the grout) a floor of this type can last for decades. Paul's Tile Cleaning Melbourne - a company which offers expert tile and grout cleaning in Melbourne, recommend natural stone for one of its other characteristics - resistance to mildew and mould. Don't forget! Natural stone has bad thermal conductivity. In the summer it remains cold which will leave your home cool - a really handy feature. As you can guess, in the winter it will be cold too, which means additional heating will be required. In Conclusion Unfortunately, in many countries eco tiling and eco flooring is overpriced. However, an investment now will save a lot of funds throughout the years. It's all up to you, to save our environment!
  13. There’s no denying that buildings created in the past ten or so years are far more energy efficient than older structures. The older the building, more likely it is to be an energy sinkhole, consuming far more resources than it needs to. Older buildings more commonly have inefficient HVAC, cooling, lighting and water heating systems in place, as well as wear and tear issues: such as drafty doors and windows, leaky pipes, and worn insulation (if there is any at all). Many articles and much attention has been given to the easy fixes regarding these buildings. Updating lights to CFL or LED lighting, installing a smart thermometer, and purchasing inexpensive insulation from hardware stores for attics, windows and walls are all excellent ways to cut down on energy costs. However, with the ever-rising costs of energy prices, and the knowledge that resident and commercial buildings still account 40% of energy consumption globally, it might be time to consider doing more than picking up a few draft stoppers. Today there are close to 20 million home remodels a per year, with up to $150 billion spend on renovations. Unfortunately, this money is generally driven toward expansion and aesthetic purposes, such as replacing worn out interiors. Little is done toward updating the energy efficiency of a building -perhaps due to a lack of motivation, or lack of knowledge regarding the inefficiencies of a particular structure. Some home and commercial building owners might have even resigned themselves to the belief that unless they were to entirely rebuild, there’s not much that can be done, and obviously, rebuilding a structure from top to bottom costs more than most people can afford. However, this thought process is entirely untrue. There is more that can be done beyond easy quick-fixes, and it doesn’t require knocking a structure down and starting over. In fact, it has been proven that completely rebuilding would waste more material, energy, and money than committing to a Deep Energy Retrofit -what renovation companies and contractors are calling the intense weatherization program that saves far more than the 10% to 15% of standard energy efficiency driven upgrades. Deep Energy Retrofits do more than locate energy weak spots in a home and replace outdated systems. Some contractors, in an effort to create a perfectly insulated building, even use laser technology to create a 3D model of the structure - in addition to traditional scanning technology. Every DER involves adding some form of interlocking, leak proof, thermally efficient material (such as TES, a timber-based facade) onto every outer wall, as well as double and triple glazed windows. Both additions will do far more for a building’s insulation than anything store-bought and self-applicable could ever do. Deep Energy Retrofits might also include replacing poorly installed batt insulation, adding ceiling insulation, sealing ducts, and upgrading hot water heaters, HVAC and temperature systems, and all appliances to Energy Star approved machinery. Additional changes might include installing a sealed combustion furnace and improving kitchen and bath exhaust, as well as whole-house ventilation. On average, depending on the size and state of the building, a full retrofit could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000, with many variations. The cost is high, but still less than a complete rebuild, and well worth it: buildings that have been retrofitted can see onsite energy reductions of up to 74%, and carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced as much as 54%. With energy costs only continuing to rise —more than doubling in the past ten years— and the sluggish pace of renewable energy projects, an Deep Energy Retrofit is likely the best option for many outdated residences and commercial buildings. Building updates, paired with a re-evaluation of energy prices and renewable energy programs (through sites like albertaenergyproviders.ca or http://www.papowerswitch.com/shop-for-electricity/ depending on your area) are more immediate, and have more drastic results than investing in unreliable renewable energy sources onsite, such as solar panels or wind turbines, and then rewiring the building.