It is a great thing when you look at the world today that people are becoming increasingly concerned about our planet. Through this concern, people are making a concerted effort to try and look after our planet as they become more environmentally conscious.
One of the major ways in which a lot of people try and reduce their carbon footprint and look after this little planet called Earth is through recycling. There are many different types of materials that we can recycle, from paper and plastics to glass and metals. We can even recycle the humble shipping container. Many people are doing just that and recycling them into great looking homes.
Recycling Intermodal Shipping Containers
The average shipping container can travel thousands of miles all over the world, during their lifespan. As long as the owner of the shipping container maintains them well, then there is no reason that it cannot last for well over a decade.
We tend to live in a disposable society though, so quite often people will discard things and buy new ones to replace them. We see the same thing with the average shipping container, and there are plenty of second-hand shipping containers for sale. What this means is that there are plenty of shipping containers for sale, which can be recycled and used for different purposes, such as building houses out of them. By recycling them in this way, we can build environmentally friendly homes that look excellent, and are functional, while also being unique. If you do need to get one for home use, you are saving on transporting shipping containers to other places. Your shipping container now becomes a permanent fixture.
Less Concrete and Cement
A lot of people do not know that the processes used to manufacture cement and concrete can be quite toxic to our environment. When you build a structure from recycled shipping containers, there is no need to use as much concrete or cement. The only concrete that you will need will be for the foundations, and the amount required will all depend on the size of the structure that you are looking to build.
The same as with any structure, the larger the footprint and the taller it will be, the bigger your foundations will need to be. Due to the weight of the overall structure, you will most likely need smaller foundations than a structure that is built entirely from concrete or bricks and mortar.
Shipping Container Building Blocks
When it comes to designing your environmentally friendly home using shipping containers, you can consider them as building blocks, putting them together just as you would with children’s building blocks. The shipping containers can be stacked side by side, end to end, or you can even create multiple levels by placing them on top of each other.
You might think that if you use these containers to build a home that all of your rooms will be rectangular, but this would be a mistake. It is possible to create large open rooms by placing shipping containers side by side and removing the internal walls.
The shipping containers can be welded together along the seams at the roof and floor, which will make for a sturdy structure with no need for internal walls for support. With this ability, it allows you to use your imagination and create a bespoke living space, which will stand out from the crowd.
While you are creating an eco-friendly home, you may as well go the full distance and also introduce other aspects to your home to increase its friendliness to the environment!
As Environmentally Friendly as Possible
As long as you are building yourself an environmentally friendly home from recycled shipping containers, there are other things that you can incorporate to reduce your carbon footprint even further.
If you live in a very sunny climate, then you may wish to use wooden shingles that are either recycled or come from sustainable sources, to cover the external walls of the building. Alternatively you can even plant large bushes or trees that will help to shade the building and prevent it from getting too hot.
Another good idea is to create an external roof to shade the structure, and you can even add solar panels that will help to reduce your energy consumption. Although you may not be able to generate enough power for all of your needs, you can use the solar panels to power some of your appliances in your home. You could heat up your hot water, and maybe even air conditioning systems, which will keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
There are also other things that you can do in order to turn your new home into an enviable eco-friendly home that are easy and do not cost a fortune.
- Rainwater Collection
- Compost heap
- Recycling Bins
- Vegetable Garden
Keeping your Garden Green
What better way to make an eco-friendly home than to include a garden where you can grow your food! As long as you have sufficient space you can plant your garden and even create a potting shed out of a recycled shipping container.
Any organic waste that you throw away and you cannot recycle you can place on the compost heap and used to fertilise your garden. You can collect rainwater and use this to water your garden, and even wash your car if you have plenty extra. Anything that you cannot reuse on your garden or house, you can separate and put into different bins for recycling, such as papers, glass, metals and so on.
If you are going to make the effort to create a green home for you and your family, you may as well go all in and be as kind to our planet as you possibly can be!