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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Royal Engagement and the Eco-Home

Well, you would have to be living under a rock if you have not heard about the story of the decade for Royal watchers with the announcement that Prince William will be getting married to Kate Middleton in 2011. A royal wedding for a future king doesn’t come along very often. Much of the world will probably be watching the event next spring or summer. Besides being the Royal event of the decade this story holds some eco-friendly interest.

Prince William’s father is in the process of spending between eight and nine million pounds turning a once run-down estate into an eco-farm, including the creation of a ‘green mansion’ earmarked for William’s and Kate’s use. The property, which is under construction, will be a model of eco- friendliness and will include a reed-bed sewage system, wood chip boiler, solar panels and walls lined with insulating sheep’s wool.

Construction on the six-bedroom home is likely to begin later this year. The plans include the incorporation of the most up-to-date green standards. The property will also include a chapel plus a rainwater reservoir and stables. The 8,500 square-foot, two-story home would feature solar-powered heating and insulation made of sheep’s wool. It would also include a grand dining room, a tree garden, and a hall lined with Greek columns.

As for the home’s environmental standards, there was great input from the Prince of Wales who is passionate about the environment and has a long-standing interest in architecture. This being England, there will be plenty of rain and a 200 L rainwater reservoir will recycle and then provide rainwater to the house and grounds. There will be energy-efficient lighting and a boiler using wood chips from trees on the estate. Water saving and low-energy appliances will also be included throughout the property.

For those of you, like myself, that do not live in a mansion or will likely want to spend several million dollars to build one – I am including some tips that you can use to make your own homes eco-friendly.

To Save Energy:
• If you are not using it, turn it off;
• Try to find and enable energy saving settings on all appliances;
• Unplug anything that takes energy even when it is turned off
• Plug equipment into power bars and turn them off until needed.

Sometimes it may seem difficult to go green especially for those who have a lot of other things to do within a 24 hour day. However, you can play your effective role in being eco-friendly by doing the same old activities in a different more conscientious style, keeping in mind that being environmentally friendly is not as difficult as people think it is.

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