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8 Eco-Friendly Features For Your River Home

Sustainable, eco-friendly features are becoming very popular, especially for luxury homes. Eco-friendly features are particularly beneficial for homes in Western North Carolina that are surrounded by beautiful rivers and lakes, forests, and large ecosystems. An energy-efficient, eco-friendly house not only protects the environment but your wallet and health. It can even increase the value of your home, should you ever decide to sell. Below are eight features that will turn your home into an eco-friendly, energy-efficient, sustainable luxury home.

1. Start Composting 

Composting is an eco-friendly practice that is used around the world. It is inexpensive and easy to start. The main ingredients are brown leaves and yard waste, as well as green grass clippings and leaves, both of which are abundant around mountain communities. A successful compost can take two months to two years to decompose into fertilizer but can have far-reaching benefits. The compost can substitute chemical fertilizers saving you money. It also prevents those same chemicals from soaking into groundwater or down to the river in your backyard. Composting can also serve to further soil health and provide a rich canvas for planting flowers or gardening fresh vegetables that are great for your health. 

2. Plant a Garden

Another way to improve your property’s environmental health is to plant a garden. Plants consume carbon dioxide that humans put out when they exhale. They also expel oxygen necessary for us to breathe when we inhale. So whether they are outside or placed in your home, plants are excellent. Planting vegetables can also help you create a more sustainable household with organic, garden to table vegetables for you and your family. It saves you money on produce and helps the environment by reducing carbon dioxide levels in the air. 

3. Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood is an ever-increasing design trend. The wood often lacks excessive staining or paint, giving it a rustic mountain feel in homes and furniture. It fits well in a wooded environment and looks natural next to a river or lake. This is an eco-friendly feature because you are playing your part in preserving a natural resource. The excessive paints, stains, and wood you would otherwise have to purchase can really help your budget too. 

4. Rainwater Harvesting Systems

A rainwater harvesting system works by collecting rainwater and preserving it for everyday use. These systems work to save you money and benefit the environment through sustainable, reduced water consumption. It can also be additionally beneficial for homes next to a river or lake. Because the system works gathering water as it falls on your home, the rain gutters are not pouring water away from your house and down into your yard, eventually causing erosion that makes it easier for flood damage. Rainwater is naturally soft water, meaning it’s absent of salts and minerals common in groundwater. Because of its purity, it is great for multiple purposes in your home. From shower and drinking water to washing clothes and doing dishes, using rainwater is a great way to save on water consumption

5. Install a Fireplace

Besides being an excellent design piece, fireplaces are functionally beneficial to homes as well. Wood burning fireplaces put off a large amount of heat allowing you to cut back on your HVAC use. You can also lessen your reliance on fossil-fuel-created energy needed without the fireplace. Because clearing large or dying trees near your home is such a normal maintenance requirement in mountain homes you can save the logs from the tree cutting service for your own fireplace. 

6. Energy Star Appliances

Energy-efficient appliances are one of the top ways homeowners are creating eco-friendly living spaces. The appliances that use the least amount of energy are certified and awarded the Energy Star label. These energy-efficiencies are a huge step to an eco-friendly luxury home. While they can be pricier than their counterparts, they eventually pay for themselves through reduced energy costs. Appliances like washers and dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, and water heaters all have energy star rated or energy-efficient models to help you cut your carbon footprint.  

7. Energy Efficient Windows

Windows are a key design feature for your home, but they also serve an important function–insulation. By sealing in heat or air conditioning, your HVAC system does not need to work overtime and reduces your energy costs. Double or triple-pane windows are a great eco-friendly feature that provides a stronger barricade for insulation. You can also choose an environmentally friendly frame such as reclaimed wood. 

8. Use Light Sensors

Conserve energy with light sensors. An eco-friendly feature for any home, light sensors work by turning off the lights in your home where movement is not detected for an established time. There is a prevailing myth that leaving a light on costs less than turning it on and off. The truth is turning a light off for any amount of time cuts electric cost through reduced energy consumption. Relatively cheap and easy to install, light sensors are the perfect option for your home. Some models even offer programmable light schedules.  

Whether you are building your home in a mountain community or are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, these eco-friendly features will help you play your part in the battle for the environment. After all, saving the environment is especially important when you live surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful mountains, best lakes, and rivers in Western North Carolina.