The growing issue of global warming is something many individuals are looking to reverse through small steps that, collectively, could make a big difference to the atmosphere. If you’re looking to become more eco-friendly, why not extend your plans to your garden?
Growing your own fruit and veg and utilising rainwater harvesting systems are just two ways of becoming more environmentally-friendly, but you could also include the shed when coming up with methods to reduce your carbon footprint. Read on for a guide to transforming the shed into an eco zone.
If it’s time to replace your shed with something new, look for a replacement made from responsibly-sourced wood, with trees planted for each of those felled. Garden sheds are also available in materials like plastic and metal, but these are harder to recycle – especially plastic versions.
Wooden garden sheds can last for many years if constructed well and properly prepared for the elements with anti-rot treatments. Many companies pre-treat their products or stock special treatments you can buy to finish the shed yourself and make it weatherproof.
Meanwhile, you should also check the credentials of the firm you plan to buy from to see how environmentally-conscious they are – if you can establish their support of organisations like the Forest Stewardship Council, you’ll know that the firm uses timber from well-managed forests.
If you use your shed regularly for a hobby or for work, you may need a specific level of light and be keen to install a source of artificial light for when dusk falls. In the same vein, you may need some electricity to your shed, but there are eco-friendly ways of establishing power in the shed.
Consider fitting solar panels on the roof of the outhouse, or even investing in a small turbine that can convert wind energy into electricity for your shed. Solar-powered portable lamps might also be something you could look at, while battery-powered versions might be useful. Be sure to choose a device that will take rechargeable batteries if you go for the latter option.
You’ll want to keep your shed secure and deter opportunistic thieves, so fit the outhouse with a security light too. You can buy bright LED lights that are charged via a solar panel and fitted with a motion detector, so no wiring will be necessary.
The shed is increasingly becoming an extension of people’s property and, as such, many households want to make this outdoor space comfortable and appealing to the eye – especially if they will be spending time in the outhouse regularly.
With this in mind, you may decide to give the shed a lick of paint, and you’ll find a wide range of organic paints to choose from. This sort of decorative finish is made without solvents and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which contribute to low-level atmospheric pollution. Look for paints and varnishes that contain no VOCs where possible.
When it comes to kitting out your shed, a sustainable way to do so is to use reclaimed wood and furniture, which might also save you money. Head online to wood recycling projects to find reclaimed wood supplies, which you could use as shelving in your shed or turn into some storage units if you have some joinery skills.