Eco Home : Abigail’s Green Living Project – The Basics of green living
Curious Family Chapter – 2: Abigail’s Eco Home
Everyone in the class is excited. The class teacher is giving topics for the science fair. The science fair competition is not just about scoring marks. It is one of the prestigious competition in the school.
(Meanwhile in Abigail’s mind: Look at her face, good for nothing Chloe. I will beat her this time..)
Abi: Yes mam …
Teacher: Your topic is Eco Home. You have to finish the project and bring it next week….ok?
Abigail came back home wondering what in the world is an eco home?
Abi: Mom……Dad…..I’m back…
Sarah: Hi, honey how was school today?
Abi: I’ve got the topics for the science fair (sad).
Sarah: And you are sad because?
Abi: (In a single stretch) Because I don’t know what an eco home is? That’s my topic. I have no idea what’s it about, I have to submit the project next week and most importantly I have to beat that stupid Chloe.
Sarah: Its ok dear, calm down. I’ll help you with the project. Ok..
Abi: You will? You are the greatest mom in the world. mmuahh…
[ Later in the evening ]
Sarah: Abi…….Let’s work on your project.
Sarah: Honey, do you have any idea what’s an Eco home is?
Sarah: Ok..in simple words an Eco home means an environment-friendly home. Which means every element of that home including us, the inhabitants of that home has a low impact on the environment.
First of all, let’s make a chart of all the basic elements of a home.
Sarah: So Abi a home in a general sense consists of the people who live there, the materials used to build the home, energy, food and water sources, and overall management of the home. So a green home or an eco home basically means all those basic elements are environment-friendly.
So Your project should focus on how to make all these elements eco-friendly. We can make a miniature working model. But first of all, we should put everything in writing.
Abi: Ok mom…let’s do it!
Sarah: So Abi what are the eco-friendly materials that can be used for building a house? Let’s make a list.
1. Wood: Wood is one of the best sustainable building material. Even though in modern world wood is used as a luxury element. If we look around the world wood is still used as primary building material.
They are used for building:
Walls, load-bearing frames, pillars etc.
Another major eco-friendly building material is bamboo. Which is mainly used in Asia for building homes. Bamboo is strong, easy to cut, it’s renewable and capable of rapid growth. So no fear of deforestation. Bamboo can be used for building structural elements, walls, floors, drainage pipes, even used in many parts of the world for cooking food.
3. Earth Stones
Another eco-friendly building materials used in many parts of the world is earth stones. In countries like India earth stone is still used to build homes.
Sarah: Now let’s find out how to make Eco-friendly Energy. There are so many ways to tap into natures renewable resources. But to be practical, there are two ways we can be eco-friendly to meet our household energy requirements.
One of that method is by tapping into nature’s solar power
There are so many ways to harvest solar energy.
1. Solar Panels:
One of the best and sustainable way to meet our electricity needs is to use rooftop solar panels. Due to increasing demand, they have not only become practical but affordable also.
2. Solar water heaters:
The best, sustainable and energy efficient way to get hot water is by using rooftop solar water heaters.
3. Solar Ovens :
People now are aware of the dangers of global warming and they are coming up with several sustainable ways to meet our needs. One such innovation is the Solar Ovens. You can easily make one at home as a DIY project.
4. Solar Powered Airconditioner, Heater and cooler
Yeah, that’s right there are solar powered air conditioners, heaters, and coolers. Air conditioners, coolers, and heaters are some of the devices that use a substantial amount of energy. So by replacing them with solar-powered devices can cut down electricity requirement.
The second method to meet our energy need is to install a Backyard Biogas Plant at your home for meeting our cooking needs
Backyard biogas plants have two benefits
- It gives cooking gas. Having a biogas plant at you home will save you at least 70% of your LPG requirement.
- It keeps the environment clean. All you have to do is throw in all your biodegradable waste into the plant and in return, it will produce cooking gas.
- It is portable and affordable
- Even you can make one as a DIY project.
Sarah: Now let’s see how to manage our food requirements in an eco-friendly manner?
Best way to reduce external dependence on our food requirement is to grow possible vegetables and raise animals and birds for, eggs, meat, and milk.
The simplest thing most household can do is to have a small vegetable garden.
Vege garden can be anywhere:
It can be on rooftops
It can be on your balcony
It can be in your backyard
Having a small chicken coop is also a practical option for meeting your egg needs
Sarah: Next thing is water management. If you have a well at your house that would be great. But most city dwellers have no space to have a well. So the best other thing to do for the environment is to carefully mange precious water.
An eco home should have measures to harvest rain water. Rainwater harvesting is a good option to reduce wastage of water. Collected water can be used for household purposes. Like for washing clothes, and dishes, gardening purposes etc.
Eco home must implement drip irrigation techeniques and if possible water treatment plants to use water from baths and sinks for irrigating the garden. Dripp irrigation can save up to 90 % of water wastage while watering plants.
A green home should avoid paving concrete tiles on the groud. Tiles on ground prevent rain water from going into groud there by impacting the groundwater level and thereby harming the environment.
Sarah: Next is waste management. An eco home should not label anything as waste. Everything is in one way or other usefull. Thats the fundamental element of green living.
There are several waste mangemnt techeniques we can implement.
Biogas plant for managing household bio degradable waste.
You can also install a DIY PVC pipe compost plant to mange biodegradable waste. All you need to do is dig two or three holes (depending on your waste output) on the ground and put PVC pipes as shown below in the picture.
Put waste in one pipe until it is full and move to the next. And when you finish the second one the first pipe would have converted all the waste into good compost. You can use the compost for your garden. And repeat the process. Make sure to put some east inside the pipe for accelerating the fermentation process. If avilable a small amount of cow doung and water mixture can also be used as accelerant.
Note: Depending on your waste output you might need one more pipe in the system.
For managing toilet waste Composting and incenerating toilets can be used.
Sarah: Abi I think this is enough for your eco home project. Tomorrow lets make a model home with all these features..ok
Abi: Mom do i have a chance of winning??
Sarah: Baby its just a competetion. Dosen’t matter who wins or who loose. What matters is your work. Does it holds any educational value ? I belive your’s does. Your project is about a burning issue and your projects is very informative. Thats what matters. Ok ?
Abi: You are right mom. Its not about winning..i understand that.
Sarah : Very good. Ok then Its time to sleep. Remember tomorrow we have lot of work to do. So good night.
Abi: Good night mom…
The books listed below teach children the importance of Sustainable living and Environment. If you are interested you can buy these books from Amazon by clicking the images below.
So friends , Abigail with the help of her mother learned about eco home and importance of sustainable living. The school project not only had a positive impact on Abigail. It also made Sarah realize the significance of green living and she decided to implement some of the sustainable practices she and her daughter learned together into their life. Click the subscribe button to learn more about how the curious family transform their home into an Eco home. If you like the story please share it on social media by clicking the share buttons down below.