When we desire to improve our relationship with the environment, we start with our own home. We do the little things first, such as planting more flowers and other greenery. Regularly, we water our potted plants around the house. We make sure that there’s enough natural air and sunlight streaming through the home. But building and maintaining an eco-friendly home is so much more than those things.
It’s also about conserving energy or relying on alternative sources of energy such as solar. It’s about using locally and responsibly sourced materials from the house’s structure to all of the pieces of furniture inside. And it’s also about living closer to nature by literally opening our house to it. Dining areas could be placed in the middle of the garden. Living rooms could be located on the patio, where a much-needed retractable patio shade can help us enjoy the sunlight whenever we’d like.
These are three celebrities who shared their ideas on how they designed and built their own eco-friendly homes.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Natural Ventilation by the Beach
Nothing says living close to nature than living by the beach. Every day, we could have the luxury of watching the sunrise on the horizon. We could go long walks and runs along the coast, feeling the endless sand beneath our feet. But Julia Louis-Dreyfus showed that living by the beach is so much more than that.
Back in 2003, Louis-Dreyfus shared her home with the New York Times. When she was building her home, she considered the weather in sunny Santa Barbara, California. The bouts of heat can be unbearable. But for an eco-conscious individual, relying on central air-conditioning was not an option. Instead, she invested in a retractable roof. It’s more commonly known as a motorized sunroof or “thermal chimney.” This feature is designed to let the heat inside of homes naturally by simply exposing the house to more natural air.
As someone who described herself as a “devout environmentalist and bleeding-heart liberal,” Louis-Dreyfus sure does understand the value of investing in your home to make it environmentally-conscious.
Brian Cranston: Using Alternative Sources of Energy
Who knew that Brian Cranston won awards that were beyond his talents in acting? This multi-Emmy Award-winning actor also won a platinum certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED. The United States Green Building Council gives it to those who built homes and establishments that work toward a sustainable future for their respective communities.
Cranston’s home is on the beach of Ventura County, California. It’s among the first houses to solely rely on alternative sources of energy. It’s powered by solar energy through the photovoltaic and water-heating solar panels around the house. With this, it’s clear that he understood one of the basic tenets of maintaining an eco-friendly home. The biggest contribution people can make for Mother Nature is ending our reliance on fossil fuels.
Apart from that, Cranston also maintains a tank that collects rainwater for later use. He, too, has radiant floor heating, a more sustainable way of keeping the home warm and cozy.
Alicia Silverstone: Day-to-Day Life
Of course, an important aspect of an eco-friendly home is actually integrating eco-friendly practices in our day-to-day lives. Alicia Silverstone showed us how to do this by giving a tour of her kitchen and pantry. The star of the cult-favorite, Clueless, became so much more than an actress through the years. She also became a staunch advocate for the environment. She’s been a vegan for over 20 years now. And also co-founded mykind Organics, a company that offers vegan options for supplements.
Silverstone shared some of the best practices for maintaining a sustainable kitchen. First, she doesn’t buy bottled waters. Instead, she fills up glass bottles with water that she filtered right at home. Next, she invested in glass jars that are filled with different types of grains and legumes.
She admits, though, that her kitchen isn’t fully zero-waste. Having some plastic packaging is unavoidable. Instead of simply throwing them out after one use, she rinses of plastic bags and dries them off on a makeshift rack. This way, she makes sure to keep using this plastic until it completely disintegrates.
The best way to design and build an eco-friendly home is to find inspiration. Fortunately, many celebrities shared their tips and lessons on creating such a home for their families. With their ideas in mind, creating an eco-friendly home isn’t as daunting anymore. Now, we know where to start.