Got that green streak running through your veins? Trying to make a positive environmental impact in everything you do? Or simply interesting in finding out more information about green DIY and home improvement techniques.
Green building has been a concern for home owners and government organisations for a quite a while now, with incentives being offered to home owners who make impactful changes, and tougher regulations being set for those building new homes.
The problem most of us have with ‘green’ DIY is the lack of clear information on the technologies employed and the home improvement projects that use them. We all know the underlying benefits of ‘green’ building but just how do you get started? Hopefully this article will shed some light on the subject, as below we have outlined a number of green building and DIY projects and the technologies employed – achievable by DIY novices and experienced handymen alike.
Solar panels have been the flagship ‘green’ technology for a long time it would seem. Years ago a futuristic and potentially costly investment, today a mass produced and DIY-able project. Home solar panel kits are readily available and there are even tutorials available which can teach you how to make the systems from scratch. The basic premise of PV (Photovoltaic) systems is that you subtract the energy you make (and add to the grid) from the energy you use from your provider. Most states have incentivised the installation of solar panels. For information use one of the numbers at the back of this government guide.
Often taken for granted, installing faucet aerators in any tap will greatly reduce the amount of water consumed. Faucet aerators are basically a nozzle with holes in that reduce the flow of water through lot of smaller holes. Without an aerator as much as 18 litres a minute can flow out of a tap, whereas a typical aerator will reduce it to just 3.5 litres.
Household paint it is said is made up of up to 10,000 chemicals, of which 300 are known toxins and 150 are linked to cancer. Of these 10,000 some of the most harmful are VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that vaporize in air. Paint-related products are the second largest source of VOC emissions behind cars. When painting the inside or outside of your home, look for low-VOC paint. Low-VOC paints predominantly use water-based solvents instead of their more toxic oil-based alternatives.
When most people think of wind turbines, they imagine lines of monstrous white windmills often spoiling what was a very nice view. Advancements in wind turbine technology mean you can buy home kits for around $2,000 which will enable you to supply power to an outbuilding without getting a mains connection installed — perfect for sheds, garages or camping/hunting lodges. Through the use of a turbine, regulator, battery, inverter and some strong gust of wind, you can have power wherever you are.
5. The internet
It is difficult to discuss the growing trends and use of green technology in DIY and home improvement without mentioning the internet. Although a lot of the technologies mentioned are mainstream and known to many, finding suppliers or learning installation techniques is not. Not only are there a plethora of ‘green’ websites, there are also a number of ‘green DIY’ sites which will run you through in greater detail installation steps and stages. You are also able to search for suppliers or places where such equipment is sold. From lumber reclamation yards to roof insulation wholesalers, your quest to be greener is made a lot easier because of the internet.