There has been a lot of emphasis recently on the ways we can all do our bit for the environment, whilst saving a few pennies here and there too. Eco building materials aren’t exactly anything new on the market but they have been growing in popularity over the last year or so. Are they the way forward or just another half hearted attempt at being environmentally friendly?

Solar panel systems

Solar panels have been around for quite some time but have only just begun to rise in the ranks of eco building materials. People would worry that these panels were far too expensive to justify, even if they could save them a fortune in the long run. With various energy schemes promoting the use of solar panels, including paying you for the energy you don’t use, more and more people have invested in this environmentally friendly option. The price of solar panels have also come down as technology is constantly being researched and made cheaper. It is thought that up to 80% of new builds over the next 10 years will have solar panels as standard!

Rainwater harvesting systems

This is one eco friendly system that has been around for centuries, being made even more modern as time goes on. A long time ago people would use buckets, pails or containers to catch the rainwater that the UK is so famed for. Nowadays you can have specially designed systems that will catch the water from your roof, filter it through and then store it until it is pumped into your home. The rainwater can be used for anything from washing machines to toilets and can save the average household a small fortune on water bills. You can get huge 7000 litre systems for all of your water works or something smaller for those odd jobs (washing your car, watering the garden) as and when you need it.

So is it worth being environmentally friendly?

The fact is; eco friendly building materials and systems don’t just save the environment, they save you money too. More people in the UK have started to take part in the various green schemes being run by the government, which reward you for being more conscious about the utilities you use. The rewards from these schemes, plus the reduction in your bills, far outweigh the initial costs of using these materials or systems in the first place. The reason there are so many schemes in place is due to our fossil fuels running out, meaning we need to preserve as much as possible. Those who do their bit for the environment will not only be saving money, but will be reducing their carbon footprint and securing the planet for future generations.

It won’t be long before every house has a solar panel, a rainwater harvesting system and is made from the finest recycled lumber. Those who jump on the bandwagon before it truly leaves the station will be the ones better off in the long run, especially when it comes to those rising energy bills!