Create a Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Home on a Budget

In the US, the typical home and family spend an average minimum of $2,200 on energy costs per year, according to the US Department of Energy. Understandably, homeowners are aiming to cut costs and seeking to save oodles of money down the road. With that being the case, it isn’t surprising to find that more and more people are turning to smart home technology. What about those that can’t exactly afford all the tech-led bells and whistles, however? Read on to know how to create an energy-efficient home on a budget:

1. Think Long-Term Package

Instead of looking at the things to put in a home, it’s smart to consider the entirety of the home itself—from conceptual plans to layouts and building materials. Planning and choosing a home that is affordable and fashioned to be conducive to a sustainable and energy-efficient build will save you thousands of dollars in the future.


For example, you can try living in a mobile home. Lenders and lending institutions like mobile and manufactured homes so you won’t have trouble securing a loan. These types of homes come in a wide gamut of sustainable materials to choose from like recycled steel. So it provides a good marriage between budgets and sustainability.

2. Enforcing Helpful Practices

Beyond having a home that’s built to be conducive for sustainability and energy-efficiency, you need to take a long hard look at the habits of the people in the home. When you’re on a budget, fancy things like smart thermostats can be a tad out of reach. So what can you do? You can try enforcing helpful practices.


For example, lowering the water heating temperature can lower your energy consumption by 22% annually. Other good practices are sealing any air leaks so you can avoid any excessive use of heating. Not only will these help you save money but they’ll help keep everyone on the same page when it comes to being energy-efficient. But if it surpasses your budget, taking SMS loans in Sweden can be an ideal option to cover for the extra cost. By taking out this micro loan, you will be able to pay your bills while enforcing helpful habits to minimize your spending.

3. Seek Sustainable Technology

All the savings you get from a well-built home and sustainable practices will eventually give you more options. Sustainable technology can help boost your home’s energy efficiency. While tech like solar panels can be expensive, it is always worth noting that there are Federal Tax Credit plans that allow homeowners to claim at least 30% of installation costs, according to NerdWallet. Other good options are biogas digesters and active recycling posts on the property.


When it comes to creating a sustainable and energy-efficient home, there are always a lot of options to choose from. It is all a matter of doing the right research to find which solutions help you best with the budget that you presently have. Always remember that whatever you spend now toward sustainability will eventually mean triple in savings and more down the line.

Recommended Reading:

How to improve home energy efficiency

Energy efficiency guide for homeowners

How To Find Sustainable Building Material Suppliers: Our Top Tips

Transitioning to sustainable building materials offers plenty of advantages for the construction sector and the communities it serves. Sustainable structures reduce the amount of waste associated with building a new property. They’re usually less expensive to maintain and healthier for their occupants. As a result, sustainable construction has become an evolutionary advancement, which involves innovative techniques and materials.

Nevertheless, it can be challenging to find a reliable sustainable building material supplier to deliver high-quality and durable products. To make the process of searching easier, we will share our top tips to identify the right supplier for your business.

choosing sustainable building material suppliers

Learn More About Specific Characteristics

The definition of sustainable building materials can be a little vague. In general, it’s defined as any product that has a low impact on the environment and human health. For example, this often refers to reducing carbon emissions and improving indoor air quality. As a result, there are a few key supply features to keep in mind when it comes to green materials.

Be sure to check that products are durable and low-maintenance. Ensure that they use recycled content and are made from natural or renewable sources. It’s also important to confirm that they don’t contain highly toxic compounds and are obtained through a local manufacturer.

Research Delivery Logistics

To ensure that your project doesn’t get delayed, you will need to consider delivery logistics. For example, you might need to check that an aggregates supplier has a vast network of locations that can quickly ship products when required.

For example, Hanson is a supplier for aggregates, which uses road, rail, and water to distribute products from a network of depots, quarries, and wharves. In addition, this aggregates supplier has its own fleet of locomotives and wagons, created to manage aggregates distribution by rail. As a result, they offer products with nationwide delivery, ensuring they arrive on time.

Optimise Your Search

At times, searching for information on the internet can be frustrating, as you may often end up sifting through a stack of irrelevant information. This is why it’s important to refine your search, which will help you find the right green building material supplier. You’ll need to make your keywords as specific as possible to track down the information that you want.

Also, wherever possible, try to simplify your search terms by eliminating prepositions, conjugations, and articles from your search. You can further improve your search by adding your location to find local suppliers.

Read Up On Their Offerings

Next, you’ll need to spend some time reading up on potential suppliers’ offerings and ensure they have all the materials you require for your project. It’s important to determine if their decision-making and processes align with their values and priorities.

You may also ask to see a list of clients whom the supplier has worked with so that you can cross-check them. This will provide you with a better idea of the quality of their services and the types of materials they supply. Remember that quality is a crucial factor, so you’ll need to check that products meet the required standards.

bamboo as a construction material

Schedule Meetings

It may be helpful to schedule meetings with different suppliers so that you can find out more about their processes. This will help you find a supplier that prioritises your specific needs. Remember that a knowledgeable supplier will always ask about what their clients are building before proposing to sell any of their products.

For example, if you request a particular material, a good supplier may ask about its use first. They may want to know if you’re planning to address a structural deficit, use it on a new project, or simply fix a crack.

Check Their Sourcing Certification

You will want to find a building material supplier who adheres to responsible sourcing. It’s crucial that they are aware of exactly how building materials are made and by whom. For example, you should avoid working with suppliers who obtain their building materials through manufacturers who utilise risky working conditions. Such a supplier can damage your reputation and this can result in lost business and lawsuits.

Thus, it is essential to check their credentials and ensure they have responsible sourcing certification. As a result, you will be able to trust your supplier and form a better relationship.

Consider Pricing

Getting an idea about the current price in the market will help you ensure that you’re getting value for money. Therefore, if you find out that a supplier that you’re using is charging you more than normal, you may need to move to a different supplier.

To make an informed decision, be sure to find the lowest prices among suppliers in your area and look at trends that indicate whether the price is rising or declining. When it comes to choosing sustainable building material suppliers, you shouldn’t take any chances.

Combating Concrete Through Sustainable Building Materials

Around 5% of the world’s CO2 emissions are caused by concrete production, so finding sustainable alternatives is essential to slowing down climate change. Fortunately, there are plenty of materials out there which are perfect for mass home construction, without the same ecological damage. If you want to continue to do meaningful things, such as travel the world or live in safe and comfortable accommodation, then finding alternative building materials is the route to doing this sustainably.

1. Hemp Concrete Substitute

By compacting hemp and lime, it is possible to create a building block comparable to concrete. Unlike concrete, however, hemp absorbs carbon dioxide rather than emits it. This means that during the production process, 1m3 of hemp concrete wall will suck up 165kg of CO2. It is just as durable and robust as regular concrete, but will require cannabis legalisation before manufacture can begin.

In countries where the plant is already legal to produce, then the switch to hemp alternative building material should begin immediately. Hemp plastic is an attractive sustainable building material which holds great potential worldwide.

hemp as a construction material

2. Bamboo and Straw

Wood has long been a popular home building material, but not all plants are equally green. Bamboo has the quickest regrowth time of any plant, meaning that it can be replaced as quickly as it is cut down. It is strong and durable. Meanwhile, straw, when packed tightly, is a perfect eco-friendly insulation material. Together, this makes the most environmentally conscious wooden cabin.

In the debate of manufactured vs modular cabins, the latter tends to be preferred due to its rigidity and durability, while the former is more affordable. By constructing modular bamboo cabins, however, you are able to produce a long-lasting, energy efficient home at a much cheaper cost.

bamboo as a construction material

3. Reused Plastic Waste

The world purchases a million plastic bottles a minute or 480 billion a year. We need to seriously start thinking about how we can reduce our consumption of single use plastics, but also what to do with the waste in the meantime.

One thing that the bottles can be used for is the construction of houses. When filled with sand and stacked together, they form a durable and insulating wall. In some countries, this is being used as a way to bring affordable housing to those living in poverty. It is certainly a creative way to build homes without using more of the Earth’s precious resources.

Final Thoughts

There are so many alternatives to concrete out there. Governments and construction companies need to come together to move towards sustainable building practices. This will help to ensure that everyone has a safe place to call home, while recycling resources and cleaning the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.