How to Build an Eco-Friendly Cabin

by Craig Middleton

Having a getaway cabin is a dream for anyone. Deciding to do it is admirable. If you’ve found a spot of land in the country to create your getaway home, you probably want to have it built as environmentally friendly as possible so you aren’t disturbing nature or destroying its resources. After all, the purpose of the cabin is to appreciate nature and all its beauty.

Building a sustainable cabin is possible. Nearly everything you need to survive in the woods can be provided in a way that leaves a minimal carbon footprint. Here are some tips to help you get there.

Use Sustainable Energy

Sustainable energy is the energy that is clean and doesn’t pollute the atmosphere or environment. The most popular and easy to implement a form of sustainable energy is solar power. Solar panels are mounted on the roof or somewhere else that gets plenty of sunlight. The energy from the sun is then harnessed and brought into the home. If you incorporate a home solar battery, you won’t even need to have electric lines run to your cabin. How beautiful is that?

Collect Rainwater

You can also avoid having water lines run to your cabin. Not only are you building a sustainable cabin, but you’re saving money! You can harvest rainwater, and a lot of it, but designing a rainwater collection system. This involves running gutters along the outside of your cabin that direct the water into a collection barrel, or cistern, for later use. Because rainwater is relatively clean, it can be used for the toilet, washing dishes and taking showers. To use it for drinking you would need to implement a filtration and treatment process.

Install a Septic Tank

A septic sewage system is your best option for waste disposal while having minimal impact on the surrounding environment. The technology of this type of system is simple yet allows you to still utilize modern plumbing fixtures. It will also treat the waste coming into the system so if it goes out it has no harmful impacts on the surrounding land.

Use Recycled Materials

Everything you install in your cabin can be from recycled sources. From the wood to the fixtures, when you purchase these items used, you save them from going into landfills. You also prevented them from having to be manufactured again during which pollutants are released into the atmosphere. While you may frown on purchasing used goods, consider it’s for a good cause and perhaps you can develop a new perspective.

Lock Your Trash

You’re going to have trash every time you stay in your cabin. You don’t want the animals who also reside on your land to access your garbage or your home will risk becoming their primary food source, and that’s not good for them or you. Find a way to house your garbage so you can also lock it. Whether this means building a garbage shed or having a padlocked dumpster, protecting your garbage will save you a lot of hassle.

Incorporate a Living Roof Into Your Design

A living roof replaces the typical shingled roof. Instead, you use vegetation to protect your home from the elements. This type of roof provides better insulation than traditional roofs, and for the most part, it remains the same temperature as the air around it, unlike an asphalt roof that can cause the air around it to be twice as hot as the outside temperature. There are two types of green roofs: extensive and intensive. Look at the pros and cons of both types before starting your project. One allows for more diversity in plant life while the other offers easier maintenance because it doesn’t utilize irrigation and drainage systems. Both are better for the environment than a traditional roof.

Designing a sustainable cabin is a project that will provide rewards to anyone who uses it. You may enjoy it so much it becomes your first home.

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