Eco-Friendly Bathroom Makeover

Are you planning to install a neweco-bathroom bathroom or conduct a bathroom remodeling? If you are, it is time you plan to and actually take precautions. Installing a new bathroom can be exciting not only because it adds value to the property but also enhances the beauty and adds new features.

This excitement can easily make you overlook various precautions that you need to take. You simply cannot wait for the installation to be completed so you can enjoy your luxurious new shower room or bathroom. It is important to learn to save the excitement until you are sure everything is correctly installed and all supporting appliances are in good condition.

And we also want to consider the environmental impact of the work we are undertaking. In our case, our bathroom is the next in a seemingly unending list of home improvements that we need to undertake. But we are also determined to be as easy on the environment as we possibly can with our plans.

There are many horrific stories where new bathroom installations caused structural damages to the property, resulted in plumbing issues and turned the fun into a nightmare too soon. To avoid such an experience, it is advisable to be very careful when planning a new bathroom installation. Do not just choose the first bathroom installer that you run into or the first ideas that are recommended. There are a lot of contractors out there that will take your money but give a less than perfect experience. Even if you get what you were looking for, it may cost much more than it should. Here are a few insights to help you through the process of installing a new bathroom:

Start by assessing your needs
You are going to have a new bathroom installed. What are the features you look forward to having in the new setup? What appliances and extra installations are required to get the perfect outcome? How much are you willing to spend for the new installation? How old is your house and what risks does the installation present to the building and existing systems (drainage, plumbing)? It is important to have a crystal understanding of your requirements as this is what you use to determine if each need is satisfied to precision.

Choose reputable experienced professionals
Good reputation is always credited to professionals who have consistently met client requirements and you can gauge this by looking through previous client comments and reviews. Choose credible licensed bathroom installers who have a good reputation in the area. It is also advisable to choose experienced businesses that have been around for some time as theeco-friendly-green-toilets-orange-countyy probably boast profound knowledge and insights from the years of service and have streamlined service delivery networks.

Consider quality guarantees and insurance
Follow the legal frameworks for structural remodeling and consider the provisions for your state to avoid crossing the law. The business should offer quality guarantees including insurance and liability for any damages directly resulting from their activities. It may be necessary to hire expert to determine if the space is fit for a new installation.

Eco Considerations
Some of the environmental friendly changes can be:
Install aerators on all water taps.(save up to 50% on water consumption)
Use compact fluorescent or led light fittings where possible.
Install a low-flow toilet
Install a tankless hot water heater or a combi boiler
Use VOC paints and natural fabrics

All of the above will help you to achieve your eco-friendly target and still get a knockout bathroom that you will enjoy.

There are many other minor reasons why you should take care when planning to install a new bathroom. Consider aspects of space requirement, floor plan, affordability, use of durable genuine quality installations. Some new installations feature parts that contain traces of harmful materials so be careful to install safe bathrooms that do not expose you to any risks. It is usually advisable to choose models that have been approved and tested. What’s more, never forget issues of energy efficiency.

What Fun – A Home Made Wind Turbine

I love stuff like this! If you have a shed or greenhouse, where you could use a small amount of power to run maybe a radio, small light or fan, then this project can bring you free power for the price of a few inexpensive set up costs. You can even use it to charge a battery, which can then power an inverter, so you get ac power, which you can use to charge mobile phones etc.

There are hundreds of videos like this on youtube, showing you how to get power, heat, cool, water etc etc in all kinds of easy make yourself ways. Once I get browsing on youtube I am there for hours. Take a look for yourself and see what I mean. If you have any projects of your own that you would like to share please contact me from this website and we can maybe put it out there in a post.

In the meantime, take a look at this home made wind turbine. I’m going to make one for my tool shed to keep the radio going. I will let you know how it goes.

Eco-Friendly Kitchen Renovation

kitchen makeover picture


As part of my seemingly never ending home renovation project, I needed to replace my tired old kitchen. I wanted to try and do so in a way that was as “green” as I could possible make it, while still keeping the wife happy with her shiny new kitchen.

The kitchen is maybe the most vital part of the home, and sometimes it has to be remodeled for better efficiency to repair or replace worn items. A poorly organized kitchen can cause many problems and you will need to work harder to finish your household tasks. On the other side, remodeling your kitchen can be a great way to make your home look better. However, maybe the most important thing is to remodel your kitchen in an eco-friendly and nature-caring way.

Small remodeling projects can change the kitchen in a huge way, as long as you know what to focus on. It’s sometimes a good idea to stretch your budget and investing in energy-efficient kitchen appliances, which will save you money in the long run.

If you are looking to change or upgrade the looks of your kitchen as well as the appliances, then here are a few ideas how you can re-use where possible and take a green approach to your new upgrade.

Reuse old furniture
Instead of throwing the old kitchen furniture away, you should reuse them. You can paint the old dining table or buy inexpensive hardware to breathe new life into your old kitchen decor. You can also sand all doors, drawers and cabinets. And this step is super eco-friendly as you will help to reduce the number of trees being used every year.

Just replace the parts you see
Many times when people replace the kitchen, they replace everything, when in fact the majority of the kitchen is in perfectly good order. To get a kitchen facelift, you may only need to replace the kitchen doors, drawers and handles. You could also possibly change the worktops and possibly tiling and flooring, but you can certainly save money and the environment by keeping the cabinets. If your cabinets are in good order, do yourself a favour and just change the doors and drawers. Look online for a reputable kitchen installer who will be able to help you order the parts that you need for a quick and inexpensive kitchen upgrade, such as this local business here – Quality Kitchen Doors Derby

Eco-friendly flooring
There’s a plethora of sustainable and eco-flooring materials available for our kitchens. Some popular choices are cork and linoleum. These materials are inexpensive, yet great looking and may last you for a long time if you take care of them. Cork is the bark of the trees, but this part grows back and harvesting this material does not damage the tree. Bamboo is amazingly fast growing, so is fairly easy to replace, and looks great too.

Energy Star appliances
If you are looking for a new appliance in your kitchen, you should only buy the appliances that have Energy Star certification. These products are always the most energy efficient appliances. In some places, homeowners can get a rebate by purchasing the Energy Star products. Even more, they help in curbing the electricity bills, and reduce your energy costs.

VOC free paints
If you are planning to repaint your furniture, or maybe buy a new piece, always make sure you use VOC free paints – or check to see if the furniture itself has been painted with a VOC free paint. VOC free paint is eco-friendly and it’s not based on toxic materials. In most cases you will need three coats of this paint to get the desired colour for your kitchen walls and furniture. It may seem like tedious work, but it’s worth it.

Purchase new furniture carefully
Purchasing new tables and chairs will give your kitchen an instant facelift, but always consider your options twice. Not all furniture is made of eco-friendly materials. Even more, some furniture may release toxic and volatile organic compounds. If you have room in your budget, shop for eco-friendly furniture from trusted companies. And this is an excellent way to give your kitchen an eco friendly facelift, and to show the planet that you care!

Low-flow faucets and purifiers
Maybe the best way to save on water is to use low-flow kitchen taps. These taps use no more than 1.5 gallons of water per minute, which can save you up to 700 gallons of water over the course of one year. If you have concerns about contaminants in your tap water, you can buy a purifier for your kitchen faucet, and enjoy clean water direct from the tap.

The video below shows a family getting an eco friendly kitchen makeover. It has some great ideas that you can check out and maybe try yourself.

So hopefully you can get some inspiration from these ideas. Once you start brainstorming on a project like this, there are endless ways that you can do an enviromentally friendly renovation job.

Create Your Own Recycling Centre At Home

recycling station at home with 5 plastic bins


I thought that this video that I stumbled upon today while researching on youtube was worth posting. It discusses how easy it is for most of us to create our own mini recycling station.

The video is from the US, where they tend to have more available space than we do here in the UK, but if you have a garage or shed, and can put a couple of sturdy shelves on the wall, you can have designated plastic bins labelled for the 4 main recycling groups:


Sometimes our local authorities also collect food waste too. In my opinion, with some organisation such as this, recycling is an easier task, and almost makes it a pleasure to seperate and recycle as many items as we can.

For more information on recycling in the uk this website has loads of information for you –

Please watch the video, and give some thought as to how you might make your own recycling centre at home. Even on a small scale, every little helps!

Save energy- install double gazed windows in your home

double_glazed_windowsIf you are looking at upgrading your home, to be more aesthetically pleasing, or to replace worn and dated windows and frames, then double glazing is the only way to go. With modern UPVC frames that are rot free, maintenance free, need no painting or staining, or even modern wood or metal frames with double glazed panes, your choice is clear.

Double gazed windows are especially designed for minimizing heat loss and reducing noise as it has two pieces of glass that are parallel to one another with gap in between filled with gas or air. These kinds of windows are very popular among homeowners who wish to invest in environmentally friendly window options. If you want to save energy-install double gazed windows as it helps in improving the aesthetics of your home along with being energy efficient.

It enables you to experience future savings in the energy costs as it helps in energy conversation and reducing carbon footprint. The cost of installing such a system is recouped over several years, but once done, your home is warm, cheaper to heat and draught free. When installed by a registered and trained installer, your draught problem will be eliminated, and heat loss through the windows will be virtually non existant. Just look for a FENSA accredited double glazing installer in your area, and be sure to check any references before going ahead.

Save energy- install double gazed windows in your home

Double gazed windows are considered to be the wisest option for your home if you want to save money on energy costs. A properly fitted window has the ability of creating an airtight construction that reduces the flow of incoming cool and outgoing heat. Hence due to this airtight construction, a lot less energy will be required for heating up your home resulting in much lower electricity and gas bills.

These windows are also available in three or four layers for helping you to increase the insulation of these windows. With each additional pane of glass, the properties of double gazed windows are enhanced which helps in preventing heat loss.

Benefits of highly energy efficient double gazed windowsdouble glazing

Windows and doors are the main cause of heat loss in your home but when you install double gazed windows, the thermal efficiency of your home is increased. The thermal effects offered by these environmentally friendly windows, helps in keeping your home warmer in winter, but also cooler in summer. The double paned glass of these windows help in locking in the heat and keeping out the draught as it is very beneficial for energy consumption. It helps you to turn down the heating in winter, saving considerable amount of money on your electricity bills.

These windows also help in significantly reducing the harmful carbon emission and it helps in targeting energy loss successfully. You will also eliminate most of the draughts that you might be experiencing, because they are made to measure, using modern materials, and fitted to a standard that eliminates draughts and heat loss throught the frames.

The reasons of installing double gazed windows

Winter and summer seasons can accelerate the electrical usage of your home from heating and cooling, but when you install double gazed windows, you can be rest assured that you will get complete insulation. These windows also help in bringing down the energy expenses as it helps in keeping your home insulated in chilly and harsh weather along with preventing any external noise from entering your home. You can save approximately 50% of the heat from escaping your home through the windows in winter, so that your home is much warmer.

Therefore you can keep your energy bills within your budget. These energy efficient windows can be customized according to the needs of your home as you can select the size and materials of these windows, and also the style and colour, according to your preference. These windows can last for about 20 to 25 years by making a one time investment of installing these windows in your home.

All homes should have modern double glazed windows fitted as standard these days, it is vitally important for the environment. So if your house has old and draughty windows, do yourself and the planet a big favour and get new windows installed asap. Watch the video below for interesting info on the manufacture and installation of upvc windows.

Energy saving tips for your home

thermostatI just came across this video while looking around on youtube and thought it would be a good idea to post it here.

It covers several good tips that can help you to save money in your home, and although each idea offers only a small saving, the results add up, and can save you a lot of money long term, but more importantly, you are taking another step to saving the planet. Some of the tips covered are:

Use a programmable thermostat
Why heat your home when no-one is there? The old style of thermostat needed you to remember to turn the heat down before you left the house, but with a programmable type, you spend 15 minutes setting it up and it is done. When you leave home for work, it will adjust the temperature so that you are not heating the house to your normal temperature, but will keep it at a lower manageable temperature, and ramp it up before you get home. It’s a no brainer.

Use energy efficient appliances
Now I am not saying that you should run out and buy all new appliances, that would be wrong, but the next time that you need to change an appliance, take careful note of the energy ratings shown on the outside, and don’t just buy the cheapest, because you will recoup that additional cost with energy savings.

Wash your clothes in cold water
Modern washing machines and detergents are designed to get clothes clean at lower temperatures. Always try to wash on cool whenever possible.

Turn down your boiler thermostat
Reduce the temperature setting on your water heater to 120 degrees. It will still be plenty hot enough and save you money every day.

Fit a hot water heater blanket
Common sense right?

Turn off unused appliances
You can buy a smart power strip that turns off the power when appliances are not being used, so you are not sucking power while on standby with things such as computer printers, tv’s etc.

If you can implement these ideas, and there are many more if you do some research, and watch the video below for inspiration, you will save yourself some money and do good things for the environment at the same time.

Why you should install a grey water system for your home

grey water systemInstall a grey water system for your home and enjoy the benefits of good hygiene, efficient energy use, good cleaning outcomes and an increase in the value of your home. The system you opt for can be a divergent one that does not do anything other than to appropriately redirect the water from your house to your garden or a tank for subsequent use in the backyard.

The other option is a divergent plus a treatment system that first cleans the water of common impurities and increases the number of things you can do with the water.

Benefits of a grey water system

Grey water systems make your home a green home compatible with other energy saving mechanisms used on the planet and sustainable resource use initiatives in the country. Grey water is precious for your garden and other non-drinking uses. For instance, it serves well as a source of irrigation water, helpful for young plants that need plenty of watering to keep the ground around them soft for easy penetration of their tender roots.

The reuse of water that would go to a public sewer system leads to water bill savings of up to 40%. Grey water is water that has already been paid for and letting it go ensures that there will be more clean water being taken from the water grid at a high cost. On the other hand, taking grey water and using it for general cleaning of garden furniture, irrigation on the lawn, cleaning of mud from tires on bikes and vehicles would be a good way to make savings that go a long way in improving the financial sustainability of a home and the family living in it. All the grey water used can be reused, which makes a simple home turn into a smart one regarding its water use.

A grey water system takes water from the bathroom sinks, baths and showers, and/or laundry then pumps after treatment to your garden at intervals that you set on the system. It can also take water from the kitchen when configured, although kitchen waste water is laden with grease and chemicals hence it being called dark grey water. The water coming out for garden use meets environmental requirements of local authorities and will keep you safe from violations of any environmental regulations that might be in place. This type of setup works well and will provide you with your own grey water, but there are some cautionary points to understand as follows

Things to avoid after installing greywater system in your home

Fruits and vegetables do not like much grey water because it is alkaline. The best way to increase the quality of grey water is by reducing the toxicity of detergents and soaps you use in the house. Another important point after fitting the system is to configure your pipe work for irrigation and drainage on your lawn and other areas such as a home garden to ensure the grey water is always used, and not allowed to leave without being put to good use. Lastly, a good maintenance schedule of equipment that comes with the system and the system itself improves its lifespan and enhances the value of the returns got from the initial investment.

Setting up your own grey water system can be as expensive and complicated or simple and cheap as you want to make it. Even if you only install a couple of rainwater barrels to collect water from the roof and maybe water from your bathroom and then use that water via a submersible pump and hosepipe to water plants in the garden, would mean that you are saving the water coming through your water meter, saving you money and helping the environement.

This is a good way to start if you are on a budget, and later you could upgrade to submersible tanks and a more comprehensive system and filters. But whatever your budget, get started as soon as possible, and feel good about your own grey water system.

Watch the video below where you can see how to set up your own basic system for around £65, or approximately $100.

Insulation Tips to Save Money & Energy

spray insulationThere are a range of opportunities to make money saving improvements at home. Whether you have already implemented some solutions or are yet to consider the best options available, this guide will provide you with enough information to make your decisions. Unfortunately, most people are not aware how easy it is to make their property run on fairly less energy. Drastic eco-friendly changes and savings can be achieved through very simple steps.

That said, insulating your house is probably the best way to reduce your energy bills and therefore, protect the environment. Insulating your home means reducing its impact on the environment in the process and making your home more comfortable.

Adding new or additional insulation to your attic, ceilings and walls along with using weather stripping to make sure doors and windows are completely sealed. This will prevent cold drafts and air leaks. Less air leaks means warm air will not be able to leave your home during the freezing winter. But this works both ways as well.

During hot summer months, these same improvements will help keep the cool air inside your home. If you are wondering where do you install insulation, well you should know that this answer will vary. The biggest mistake is to install insulation without installing proper ventilation path between the insulation and the building exterior.

Where air leakage occurs?

The following locations and places are some of the most common places where air leakage may occur: mail slots, around taps, pipes and wires, attic hatches, window and door frames, fireplace dampers, baseboards, window frames, switch plates, wall or window-attached heaters and air conditioners. It’s a good idea to plug these large holes.

Furthermore, locations in the roof or attic where air leakage is usually happening are where the walls meet the roof or attic floor, behind or even under attic base walls and sometimes in dropped-ceiling areas. As for the little holes, cracks and gaps, you can easily insulate them using one of many insulators on the market. They can account for 20 percent of heat loss in your home.

How can I insulate my home?

There are several ways you can insulate your home. Spray foam is a very popular solution nowadays. Spray foam is an excellent solution for many homeowners. There are several types of spray foam available, including foams with different densities. While each of these types of foam is made for a plethora of different insulating applications, they all carry a similar benefit for the homeowner. You should also seal up cracks and gaps using weather stripping around doors and windows. You can buy all of these things at your local hardware store.

Generally speaking, an insulation’s R-value – the material’s resistance to heat flow and thermal resistance – is the most important number to look for. The higher the R-value, the better the material insulates. R-Values range from zero to 35 or more. That’s why it’s important to learn how to insulate your home to save money and the environment.

Is there anything else I can do?

Furthermore, you can wrap external hot water pipes with simple insulating tape, in order to reduce the heat loss from your hot water tank to the taps, and reduce the energy needed to get your water hot. The insulating tape can be bought cheaply from your local hardware store.

Watch out for dark looking insulation. Darkened insulation is usually a result of dirty interior air being filtered before air leaking through little holes in the home envelope. In warmer months you will find staining water in these same areas. In winter months, you may notice ice-filled areas in the place of insulation.

On a personal note, I am the type of person that keeps records of everything, and after insulating my edwardian home, which had virtually no insulation at all when we moved in, and which is now insulated to conform to the latest code, my energy bills have dropped by over 60%. That’s massive, and I wholeheartedly recommend that you do the same, not only to save yourself money, but to help save the planet. Every little helps!