03 November 2011
As technology advances, the focus of society begins to shift. During the 20th century the western world focused on attaining better ground mobility, flight, and electricity. All of these have almost been perfected over the last 100 years, and now it seems the next big push in society is achieving sustainable eco-friendly lifestyles.
This push to "go green" has produced innovation in many aspects of daily life. Take automotive hybrid vehicles for example--they've become a viable option for drivers. Another new trend in going green is building eco-friendly houses.
There are millions of containers just sitting taking up space all around the world. By turning these containers into beautiful homes we could cut our dependence on lumber and foster a sustainable existence on this planet. Shipping containers are already constructed and would not need a significant amount of modifications to be turned into a home. Utilizing shipping containers as homes would significantly reduce the impact humanity makes on the world throughout their lifetime.
If a homeowner lives in a place that receives a substantial amount of sunshine and wishes to truly make an environmentally sustainable home, they could of course then install solar panels on their rooftops. Solar panels are a great way to harness the power of the sun, and with innovations in manufacturing, government tax breaks, and incentive programs today is a great time to purchase solar panels for that environmentally friendly house.
Another alternative to a product we all use everyday is household insulation. Most consumers use whatever generic insulation is available at local hardware stores. An innovative alternative to these products would be the use of recycled denim. Instead of manufacturing insulation for homes, companies have started transforming used denim into strips of insulation for homes. (Quick Tip: Denim is an eco-friendly alternative to typical foam insulation)
Perhaps the best investment a homeowner can make in their new home is purchasing of double pane windows. After all, what is the point of insulating a home if all that heat will escape through a single pane window? Double pane windows are two pieces of glass with a small space in-between them trapping air. The air in-between the windows keeps the cold air out during winter and heat out during summer.
We have a lifetime on this planet, and we can build with products that will be around a lot longer than us. The very least we can do is leave our future generations a planet in better condition than ever before.