Reducing your carbon footprint and saving energy is a smart way to contribute to a cleaner, greener world. Not to mention, it can help you save on your monthly bills.
For those interested in environmentally friendly, sustainable living, the greenhouse home movement is the ultimate project. Swedish architect Bengt Warne developed the first greenhouse home prototype in 1974. The goal was to use the greenhouse as a way to source heat during Sweden’s extremely cold winters. Instead of converting an existing structure and moving into it, he designed a smaller summer home encased glass. This prototype is called a Nature House, or “Naturhus.”
Today, living inside a greenhouse is becoming much more popular among the modern population. Read on to learn more about the history of greenhouse living, how it works, the benefits, and how you can get started designing and living in a greenhouse of your own.
Living inside a greenhouse: how it works
The green living and the greenhouse home movement is based on four core principles set forth by Bengt Warne to live more pleasurably, healthily, and economically. These four rules include:
1) Finding ways to meet your real, actual needs and not the artificial ones. Technology should be second to biology. To practice sustainable living, all aspects of construction, lifestyle, and housing should be modeled after nature and not the modern world.
2) Build in cooperation with nature rather than against it. Living things follow flows, such as the sun, wind, rain, soil, and plant life. All human homes can and should be designed based on these principles.
3) Allow people living inside a greenhouse to control its flows and cycles. All actions and lifestyle behaviors should be cultivated and changed according to each individual’s wants, likes, and needs.
4) Incorporate sophisticated but environmentally friendly technology whenever nature’s energies are insufficient.
What it means to live in a greenhouse
Living inside a greenhouse allows you to grow and harvest your own fruits and vegetables. You can open the greenhouse during the day to allow pollinators like bees and butterflies to enter, creating your very own enclosed ecological system. Growing your on food is incredibly environmentally friendly. It reduces our reliance on fossil fuels to transport food and avoids harmful chemicals used in commercial farming.
Greenhouse life also provides a more sustainable way to heat and cool your home. Harvest the warmth from the sun to keep your greenhouse home warm during the winter without having to use fossil fuels and other energy sources. Homeowners open the windows regularly to allow for proper airflow and prevent too much humidity and condensation.
The glass is UV protected to prevent residents from getting burnt and harmful exposure to ultraviolet rays. Many consider adding a flat roof to enjoy a rooftop garden using plants that thrive based on geographical location and climate.
Saving energy and water
Living inside a greenhouse offers an opportunity to help you save on both energy and water. Harvest rainwater using rain barrels or a system that moves the rainwater from your roof into large containers. Use this water to tend to your plants, but remember to sanitize it properly if you plan to use it for drinking or bathing.
The heat that comes into your greenhouse home should be sufficient to keep your home warm during the day. This is known as passive heating and can be quite effective all year round. However, you may still need to use electrical heaters at night to keep your plants (and yourself) warm. Consider going solar; harvest the sun streaming into your greenhouse home to provide you with constant, sustainable energy. Use ceiling fans and open the windows often to allow for proper airflow and keep the area cool during warmer days.
The benefits of living inside a greenhouse
There are many pros to living inside a greenhouse, such as:
- You’ll get more exposure to the sun, which may help to increase vitamin D levels and combat seasonal depression.
- Greenhouse living allows you to grow your own fruits and vegetables, saving you money while also providing you with a safe, sustainable food source.
- If you harvest rainwater and use solar energy, you can save money on your water and energy bills.
- Growing plants inside a greenhouse can reduce or even eliminate the need for things like harmful pesticides and weed-killing products.
- Your plants will be safe from animals and other pests since they’ll be grown entirely indoors.
- A greenhouse home is a unique structure that could increase the resale value of your home if you ever plan to sell it.
If you’re interested in living inside a greenhouse, then this movement is something to consider. Remember the many benefits that this lifestyle provides, including saving money on water and energy, keeping in flow with nature, and the ability to grow and harvest your own food at home. With the right design plan and some ingenuity, you can practice the art of sustainable living yourself.
Read original post by Maria Jose Meneses here.