Once upon a time, the impact it would make on the earth was the last thing on our minds when laying the foundations for our next build. But thankfully, things have changed. With CO2 emissions at an all-time high, the effects of deforestation being keenly felt around the globe, and plastic waste heavily polluting our oceans, it is time to starting considering carefully how our homes have an impact on the planet we inhabit. Thankfully, building and design trends are now accommodating this newly realised necessity to be green. With this in mind, here are 4 IDEAL eco-friendly design ideas for your new build.

BAMBOO FLOORING

Bamboo is becoming an increasingly popular design and building tool, being used in clothing, paper and even to build entire houses. And this isn’t just for its chic look; it’s good for the environment too. Many builders and designers are now favouring the material over traditional timber wood for hardwood flooring, as it grows much faster, replenishes itself well and is very versatile.

BRICKS MADE FROM CIGARETTE BUTTS

The end of cigarettes….now that would be something. But no, the ends are what’s up for discussion here. Yep, we’re talking about butts; long an eyesore on pavements, around parks and even in the ocean. They may, however, have finally found a home, quite literally. A study in Australia recently found that mixing cigarette ends with clay fired bricks not only tackled the litter problem but also used less energy when creating them – by as much as 58%.

Scientists also found that only 2.5% of the world’s annual brick production is necessary to completely offset the world’s annual cigarette production. Staggering findings that should convince any potential home-builder to give it a try! No jokes about your house going up in smoke, please.

ALTERNATIVE WATER SOURCES

With water shortages being a common and growing problem around many areas of the planet, considering alternative sources for a new home’s water has never been more important.

There are ways to address it. Greywater – the water we use to wash our hands, dishes and clothes – can be reused by purchasing a greywater system, reducing the burden on septic and sewer systems. Another option is to invest in low-flow showerheads and dual-flush toilets. But these are but a drop in the ocean – excuse the pun. Yep, in order really make a difference, consider a borehole – a device with effectively makes use of an aquifer for use within the home. The guys at Pumping Solutions offer a concise guide for anyone looking to reduce their carbon footprint via this method, and can do a far better job of explaining it than us.

UPCYCLE

Upcycling – repurposing old bits from around the house and casting them in new, exciting roles – provides an opportunity for homeowners to show off their creativity, and help save the environment in the process. And isn’t that what everyone wants? By using old items in new designs, you’ll not be placing any further burden on the planet via production, electricity and use of resources and you won’t be adding unnecessarily to landfill. A double win, then.