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How to make a shipping container home eco-friendly

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Casas de estilo industrial de Acton Gardens Industrial
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Economic uncertainties and an increased ecological awareness among the younger generation (especially) have resulted in many more people searching for DIY housing options instead of relying on the usual brick-and-mortar designs. Using recycled materials and limiting the square layout of your home to reduce energy demands is the latest trend, even here in South Africa, and this doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

And since shipping container homes also come with lower price tags, it’s no wonder they are regarded as the next step in architectural evolution! Shipping container homes are also usually labelled as “green”, sustainable or eco-friendly due to them focusing on recycling / upcycling, but don’t think that once you live in one (or a few joined together for increased space) your job is done.

There exists quite a few other ways in which your shipping container can become even more eco-friendly…  

1. A more eco-friendly container home: Lower your temperature

No need to crank up the heat as high as possible during winter – yes, you want your shipping container home to be comfy, not boiling. 

Thus, turn the thermostat down and reduce your hot water temperature slightly to save money and reduce your carbon emissions. 

2. A more eco-friendly container home: Use your garden

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Do you know how many of those items we throw out daily could be tossed onto a compost pile instead? Think of how many vegetable peels, fruit, tea bags, and cotton clothing you throw out in a month.

It is estimated that about 30% of the garbage we toss every week can be composted, which is a huge thumbs up for the environment. By creating a compost pile (either in your kitchen, or by using a compost pail or bin in the garden), you help to sop the build-up of methane gas. 

3. A more eco-friendly container home: Switch off those appliances

Don’t just leave your television (and game console, and kettle, and and… ) on standby – switch them off at the plug to save money and cut down on wasted electricity. 

In addition to switching over to energy star-rated appliances (which use anywhere from 10 – 50% less power), also think about changing all incandescent light bulbs to LED ones. Thanks to the lower electricity usage, this reduces greenhouse gas emissions considerably. 

4. A more eco-friendly container home: Install photovoltaic solar panels

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Depending on your location, opting for a solar panel system can save you quite the generous amount on your annual electricity bill. But to get the most bang for your buck, install these on a south-facing roof – even more perfect if it gets no shade, although a little bit during the day is nothing to worry about. 

We recommend that you ask your supplier of choice to test your home before installing anything. This will provide you with an estimation of how much energy those solar panels on your roof can generate. 

5. A more eco-friendly container home: Get creative with your interiors

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Don’t think that your shipping container home’s interiors can’t also be part and parcel of your new “going green” venture. We recommend replacing the wood floor that usually comes with the shipping container, as those floors are often filled with chemicals and pesticides to make it more practical for the open seas. 

Your container home’s interior space can also be enhanced by adding on an outdoor deck, which can double up as an outdoor dining / living area. 

6. The right professionals for your shipping container home

Apart from thinking about how to make your shipping container home more eco-friendly, ensure that your container is, in fact, of the utmost quality.

For that, we can rely on Container Rental and Sales (PTY) Ltd, the experts when it comes to the conversion and building of shipping container houses. Container Rental and Sales (PTY) Ltd have been in the shipping container market for over half a century and are quite seasoned in the converting, hiring and selling of ISO containers. Even though they operate from their premises in Epping, Cape Town, their containers are delivered throughout South Africa, plus overseas, as is evidenced by the list of international clients that have come to rely on the company’s highly experienced team.  

Next up on our enlightening reading list, let’s take a look at the New interior trend: The broken plan layout

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