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Is your Water Environmentally Friendly?

You’re ticking all the boxes: you recycle, you have a dozen bags for life, you’ve got all sorts of insulation, you switch off your power at the wall and you do everything you can to conserve energy and reduce your carbon footprint, right? Well, what about water? And we’re not talking single-use plastic bottled water, or glass water filters here. We’re talking about the very veins that run around your home.

Is your Water Environmentally Friendly?

Water Consumption & Saving

There’s the debate about whether or not you could save money and be more water-conscious on a water meter rather than your run-of-the-mill direct debit solution. The arguments are pretty clear: For a larger household with 3-4 (plus) residents with a higher rate of water consumption, a direct debit payment system is usually suitable. But for a single home-owner with a full time job out of the house, a water meter could be a lower cost solution, and it also encourages us to be more conscious of the amount of water we are using. It’s on a meter after all.

There are also a few simple rules when it comes to being water-smart. For example, opt for a quick shower over a long soak in the tub. But do make sure the shower isn’t a lengthy one, or you could end up using more water than it would take to fill the bath. It’s surprising how much water we can use just to enjoy a warm shower on a morning before work. Wash your veg in a bowl of water rather than under the tap, and similarly turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Every little bit helps.

In the colder months

OK, let’s face it, most months are the colder months in the UK. We consume more energy with heating and hot water in winter because we want to be warm. And insulation is a key factor too. People insulate their walls and their lofts to ensure that heating bills are kept to a minimum, and that our homes are running more efficiently in the colder weather. But when it comes to water, it’s the pipe insulation that is key. An often overlooked way to add a bit of depth to your eco-friendly way of life is to ensure the correct insulation on your water pipes.

Being Water-Smart

Overall, it pays to be water-conscious, and there are many simple steps we can all take in our day to day lives in order to reduce the amount of water we need, and to get the most from our heating and cooling systems so as to not over-use household energy. But looking at options to go that little bit further towards economical water usage can be a smarter way to make your household that little bit more energy efficient. …

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What Are Sustainable Building Materials?

Sustainable building materials are more than just reused or recycled materials. The energy consumed during harvesting, transporting and processing of the material should decide if it is truly sustainable. Local materials are commonly considered sustainable due to its huge reduction of energy needed to transport them.

Price also plays a major role in considering a material sustainable. However, the most important consideration is the health and environmental impact of these materials.

Using sustainable materials promote a cleaner, healthier and better home and there are many benefits to designing spaces using sustainable products. Sustainable building materials are adobe, straw, cork, bamboo and clay. They have low emission rates and possess energy conservation qualities. These materials are all-natural and can be used to build greener homes. Recycled materials include granite, steel or polyurethane.

The adobe for instance, can be used to construct all types of buildings. There is very little or almost no energy used in transporting it and the material is found everywhere. Most people simply use the adobe found there on the site of their building. You would need a frame as support, but the adobe is very durable and the home will be naturally insulated due to the thickness of the walls and density of the adobe. A home built in adobe will have lower electricity bills and less consumption of energy.

Building a home to standard measurement cuts back on waste and requires less trimming. Whatever material you have decided to use, it will be sustainable if it can be reused, recycled or can be easily decomposed without causing harmful toxins to the environment.

Sealants, paints and glues can release harmful emissions eventually. That is why it is preferable to use low VOC options, which are more environmentally friendly and healthier to the people.

Water saving plumbing and faucets are definitely part of the sustainable materials and part of the green movement are techniques in landscaping such as drip systems that use very little water.

Using sustainable or green materials for your home gives many advantages to both you and the family and to nature as well. These materials help reduce the amount of energy required to power your home.

Remember that the use of sustainable materials can greatly help in nature preservation. It helps protect the natural law resources such as water, forests and clean air. Study shows that over three billion tons of raw materials are consumed every year for remodelling and constructing homes and buildings. Using sustainable materials help lessen the tool of this consumption.

Sustainable architecture and sustainable building methods are smart ways to build for the future. Not only is it more environmentally responsible to do so but it is also a great way to a most economical option in the years to come. Keep in mind that these days, with the ozone layer destroyed, global warming effect is already felt; the need to protect our Mother Earth should be our priority. Never forget that we only have one planet to …

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Some Tips In Building A Green Home

If you are thinking of joining the advocacy of going green, what better way to do it than to start building a green home. You will need to follow certain environmental practices in building a green home – such as those that help lessen (negative) effects on the environment.

First thing you need to consider is building materials. Building a environment friendly home would require materials that are eco-friendly and compliant with the current standards in constructing green homes. You may browse the internet for details regarding the compliances and product info to help you where to get and how to use them. If you have a contractor in mind, make sure that the company offers services specifically for building a green home.

It is imperative to prioritize sustainable materials such as those that can be recycled or natural materials that can be replenished due to their growth rate. Hardwood from large old trees should not be cut down and used, since they take years to grow and the earth beneath will also be affected when they are taken out. Using alternative wood such as bamboo is better since this specie can grow rapidly.

Lightweight concrete is a type of concrete that has been used in building a healthy home for years. However, this type of concrete is not as strong, but it can perform as well as traditional concrete and can hold up to any weather condition. It is often used as home insulation and it’s also capable of retarding fire.

Prefabricated panels for homes are also available and they can be ordered and purchased at reasonable amounts. Generally, they are similarly priced to regular building materials that are used for a typical home. And they must also get approval from organizations that monitor environmental compliances.

In order to have less impact on the environment, building green homes employ appropriate architectural design. Typical green homes are smaller than regular homes like those that are found in rural areas and large counties. Styles may vary from contemporary, bungalow, Victorian, ranch style and many others.

The important thing about building a green home is that it will help lessen the negative effects on the environment in general. There are many factors that you need to consider such as energy and water consumptions, recycling and using eco-friendly materials. Generally, once you have these factors implemented on your green home, you’ll be able to help reduce harmful impacts on the environment and on the earth.…

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Home Style Teaching – A Handbook For Both Parents And Teachers – A Book Review

In the field of education as it is seen today, there can be a tendency to view it as an ‘us versus them’ mentality when it comes to who is more responsible for the children’s education. On one side of the line are the parents; on the other side are the teachers.

Home Style Teaching - A Handbook For Both Parents and Teachers - A Book Review

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From a purely academic standpoint, the teaching profession believes it to be eminently qualified as the best avenue to a child getting a proper education as society deems acceptable. From a practical position, parents feel the need to have great sway regarding their children as to what curriculum is presented that best suits their children’s educational needs.

Into the middle of this situation come Raymond and Dorothy Moore. Known around the world as fully qualified within the academic field, they have also taken up the cause of the parent’s right to determine what is best for their children. From this position we find an excellent book that addresses both viewpoints titled “Home Style Teaching”.

“Home Style Teaching” is more than just another book written that positions itself as to what is best for the child from the parental point of view. It also takes the side of the teachers, understanding why they are so passionate about their perspective when it comes to the education of the child. “Home Style Teaching” is a great resource for teachers and parents alike as it determines to quench the differences between the two camps and accentuate the positives that each has to offer.

Here is an excerpt from “Home Style Teaching” authors Raymond and Dorothy Moore, describing their own reason for writing this book in the first place:

“Home Style Teaching is a simplified, research-based handbook designed for both parents and professional teachers and for student teachers who are worried about becoming professionals. The parents may be either home-schoolers or those who wish to help their children who are troubled by school or are failing. This book sets out to make clear what education should really be and to make the art and science of teaching as understandable, successful and thrilling as it can  this book, we hope to take parents and teachers by the hand and lead them to courage and wisdom in one of the greatest of all professions.”

From the beginning “Home Style Teaching” sets the stage for cooperation between teacher, parent and student alike. In the sections contained in this powerful book you will find answers to such issues like ‘Becoming a Good Teacher’ to ‘Some Teaching Secrets Not Commonly Practiced’. You will gain insight from “Home Style Teaching” as you explore issues such as ‘What We Mean by Curriculum’ and ‘How Children Develop’. As a bonus, in the appendix, you are given names of well-known individuals that were educated at home, as a source of encouragement that it can be done right and successfully.

In “Home Style Teaching” the authors encourage the option of homeschooling without giving the impression it should be mandated for all. …

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Design Styles – Shabby Chic

For those whose homes were in need of a little tender loving care, shabby chic was the design style from heaven. Starting in the UK in the 1980s and spreading around the world, the style was pounced on by those who were looking for an alternative to minimalist white boxes. All of a sudden old furniture and scrubbed walls were in and we couldn’t get enough of it.

Design Styles - Shabby Chic

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Unfortunately for those of us with decaying run down homes, the designers quickly pointed out that this new interior decorating craze had to be a fusion of shabby and chic and that mere shabby just wouldn’t do. There was a certain irony in this as the inspiration for the design came from the grand old houses of the aristocracy where items such as chintz chairs were expected not just to last for a lifetime but for several generations. In these homes faded materials and patches were signs of thrift and tradition.

The earliest shabby chic style was rather grand in manner, using large pieces of furniture to make a statement. Nowadays it has transformed, becoming softer and more feminine but still aiming to tell a history of the property or piece.

When decorating your home in this style the easiest place to start, particularly in an older home, is with the walls. Often you will find that they have had a succession of paints or papers. Carefully peeling layers of these back allows you to expose the history of the house and the changing styles that it has experienced. However, this layer peeling should be done by an interior designer or someone with an artistic touch. Mere ripping of paper can just leave your home looking like a building site.

Often the wall layer will provide the inspiration for the colour balance of the furniture and fabrics. This is truly where the chic or style comes in. Again in a contrast to modern minimalism with its pure white or strong colours, shabby chic loves soft pastels, linens and floral patterns. It is important that each room should be designed as an entity with furniture being carefully chosen to match. Choosing any old furniture and dropping it in your home at random can lead to your home having the appearance of a tasteless junk shop rather than a monument to old style.

On a word of warning, the popularity of this interior design form has lead to a growing market in faked furniture. Items such as chairs or dressers are made to look old by sanding, staining and selective painting. Often several layers of paint are applied and then irregularly sanded off to give the appearance of a much older piece of furniture. Whilst there is nothing wrong in buying a new piece of furniture that fits in with your design style, don’t be fooled into paying over the odds for a seemingly older piece that is in fact new.

In a way shabby chic has transformed how we look at …

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