Aug 26, 2007


Today on the Science Channel I watched the coolest show called Eco-Tech, which is all about reducing our strain on the environment. This episode was about building homes that reduce your carbon footprint and save the planet. Since I tuned into the show a little late I have only been able to tour three different homes/concepts. The first was a wooden home with a house within a house that allowed the sun to heat the main wall and release the heat through the day to keep it hot in the winter, and in the summer it causes the heat to circulate through the attic and pull up the cool basement air. The homebuilder brags an 80% reduction in utility costs.

Even cooler were these biotectures called Earthships. These unique homes are made of earth and tires and bottles to make fully self sufficient homes that use about $100 a year in utility costs. These homes are completely independent and use no city utilities. It makes it's own power, recycles rainwater, takes care of sewage and heats/cools itself.

The next thing they showed was paint that could last for 1,000 years, resists graffiti, mold, and breaks down carbon monoxide emitted from cars. They also showed windows that could control how much sunlight would be allowed through them and green rooftops on skyscrapers (rooftop gardens) which would reduce wastewater put into the sewage system, as well as lower the temperature on the roof and make the air conditioner work more efficient, as well as reducing pollutants in the air.

In my own home, I feel like I could be doing so much more to reduce my carbon footprints, yes I use CFL bulbs in almost all my light fixtures. We recycle and we have replaced all our old appliances with new energy star appliances. We use a HE washer and dryer to reduce the water I use, and we use cloth diapers on the baby. I am in the process of switching to all natural cleaning products and laundry soap to reduce the amounts of pollutants I put in the sewer. I know I could do SO MUCH MORE. I have all the supplies to build a clothesline, yet I still don't have one because my backyard is so smelly from the lack of grass and overabundance of dog pee. I also don't have a garden because again the dogs make the back yard unpleasant. I also could not justify the cost of a new tankless water heater, so we did go for a more efficient one than the old one, however I think the only way we will ever have higher efficient home is to start fresh and build our own home where we can recycle rainwater for landscaping, incorporate solar panels into the design, have a tankless water heater, use CFL, all energy star appliances, and possibly geothermal heating, cooling.

I think with a little more planning we all could take baby steps to reduce our carbon footprint and all live a little greener with tiny little changes that make less of an impact on our day to day living, but a great impact on the amount of strain on the planet.


Kylee Harris said...

Well done!

Claire Cemal said...

Thank you!