Five eco-friendly home ideas for 2021

Homeowners and prospective buyers looking for eco-friendly living ideas can look to a list of the latest sustainable home trends from property experts.

Since the start of the first lockdown in 2020, many of us have found new meaning in our homes as a result of spending more time indoors and adapting to new routines.

This has influenced many of the property trends that are gaining popularity in 2021, including homeowners’ desire to introduce eco-friendly elements into their homes.

The recent Home Improvement Trends Report from Rated People shows that 57% of people surveyed want to be more eco-friendly in 2021, whether that’s through recycling, eating less meat or making improvements to boost the energy efficiency of their homes1.

James Hartley, director of property developer North Sands Developments, says: “The trend towards sustainable and eco-friendly living continues to accelerate, and this is reflected in our eco-friendly living habits, what we are looking for during our property searches, and in the way we are building new homes in the UK.

“At North Sands, we are proud to design and build homes that use sustainable materials that have an extended life and are low maintenance, offering high quality features that look to the future, such as smart technology and electrical charging points.

“Staying at home a lot more in the last year has made many of us reconsider our homes and the way we live, and even as we plan to move away from lockdown restrictions over the coming months, many of us are still considering improving homes for the long-term.

“For those looking to live more eco-friendly lifestyles this year, there are lots of sustainable home and living elements you can consider to achieve this. From utilising smart technology to energy-efficient features, we have compiled a list of ideas to inspire sustainable living.”

Here is the list of eco-friendly home trends:

1 – Smart technology

Smart technology encompasses a broad category of home and lifestyle products that are designed to save time and improve the efficiency and smooth-running of your home.

From smart speakers to lightbulbs, there are many products available on the market – but if you’re looking for something to increase the eco-friendly credentials of your home, some of the best features you can invest in are smart heating and lighting.

These gadgets operate using an app on your smart phone, and allow you to control the heating and lighting in your home while you’re out of the house or sat comfortably on the sofa. Having the power to control these elements of your home from your fingertips means that you can switch the heating and lighting on and off as needed so they aren’t running unnecessarily, saving energy and money on your bills over time.

Smart LED lightbulbs are also low energy – meaning they require less electricity than traditional bulbs, but offer the same brightness and light quality.

For an all-encompassing approach, all-in-one security systems are available to purchase which allow control of interior and exterior cameras, and include smart doorbells, plugs, thermostats, alarms and much more – which can be easily monitored and controlled to maintain performance and energy usage. Some of these systems may be available to purchase through your home insurance provider for a discount, depending on whether they meet certain requirements, as set out in your policy.

2 – Windows and doors

For an easy upgrade to your home that is going to last for years to come, improving the insulation in your property is one of the best investments out there.

A staggering amount of heat is lost through single glazed windows – up to 84% in a room – so double glazing dramatically improves heat retention, meaning you will rely on the central heating less.

A well-functioning front door, and new doors throughout the house will also go a long way in retaining heat in each room, preventing draughts.

 3 – Go electric

According to Rated People, investing in an electric car is among the top three eco improvements homeowners want to make by 20252.

Electric cars offer less maintenance and lower running costs compared to petrol and diesel counterparts, and with no emissions they are much better for the environment.

With electrical charging points popping up all over the country – as part of many new home developments, at retail parks, motorway services and petrol stations, it’s clear that the future of car travel is electric.

4 – Recycling

An instant way to become more eco-friendly, pledging to recycle as much as possible is one way to make a real impact on the environment.

More of the consumable products that we buy today come in recyclable packaging, making them easier to separate into designated recycling bins at home. Your local recycling centre will be able to take larger items, such as electrical appliances, to be reused again in the manufacturing processes.

5 – Eco-friendly new builds

As the government has pledged to transform the UK to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, many cities are already implementing plans to build more eco-friendly homes to reach their targets.

If moving to a new home is your plan for 2021, then choosing a new build property that boasts excellent eco-friendly credentials is becoming easier, as the construction industry shifts towards using sustainable materials and practices as standard.

Choosing a home that has been designed and built with sustainability in mind will ensure that the materials used have a long life and require less maintenance than traditional houses, offering excellent insulation and good quality for decades to come.