If you are thinking about renovating your home, there is no better time than now to go green. Having an eco-friendly home is easier than ever before. Why not do your part for the environment when you renovate? Here are 6 tips for renovating your home in an environmentally conscious way.
1. Buy Green
The first step to becoming eco-friendly is to buy green materials for the remodel. Use sustainably harvested wood for new floors and cabinets or locally source your materials. Using locally sourced materials will cut down on transportation waste.
If you are replacing your floor, consider using materials such as bamboo or cork. Bamboo is a fast-growing grass that looks beautiful and is one of the most sustainable materials in the world. Cork is great to use because you can harvest it without killing the tree it is used from.
Instead of using new materials for your remodel, reclaim and recycle materials. Use reclaimed barn wood on your home or recycled building materials. Instead of throwing out your old furniture, see if you can use it in a different way. You can also refinish or repaint your cabinets instead of getting rid of them. Make sure that when you are repainting, the materials you use don’t have toxic chemicals and are VOC-free.
3. Donate before you destroy
If you can’t reuse your old furniture, consider donating it. Take it to a secondhand store or see if your contractors can use it for their personal projects. You can also repurpose some of your old materials. For example, stone countertops make great garden paths.
4. Go energy efficient
When planning a remodel, think about ways that you can take advantage of the environment. For example, place energy-efficient windows to maximize the natural light you get in a day, plant trees to provide shade in the summer, or install sun lights to reduce electricity usage. You can also replace your roof with high-efficiency cool roofs to save on heating and cooling bills.
Look for Energy Star rated appliances if you are switching out a fridge or dishwasher. It’s also a good idea to install solar panels and rain collectors. If you are worried about financing your projects, there are programs out there like PACE that can help. But what is PACE? PACE is an acronym for Property Assessed Clean Energy. It is a plan used to make eco-friendly upgrades in your home to save energy and conserve water.
When finishing up on your remodel, use efficient and approved insulation. It will help cut down on your home’s heating bills. If your insulation is able to be safely disposed of in the future, then that is even better. Sustainable and popular insulation is called straw-clay, which is flame resistant and insulates well.
6. Plan on a green remodel
When remodeling, remember that the best way to be eco-friendly is to limit the size and scope of the remodel. A larger space not only adds to the number of materials needed for the project but when finished, it increases your energy costs. It usually means more insulation, more materials, more waste, and higher utility bills.
Consider that a smaller project will always be more ecologically friendly than a larger one. Try to combine your renovations together so that you get more use out of the rooms you do renovate. For example, combine your laundry room with a pantry or put a gym in your garage.
If you take these ideas into consideration for your remodel, you can make a difference for mother nature. You will also find that many of these tips help to save you money at the same time. What’s even better is that as green remodeling gets more and more mainstream, the value of your home will only increase. If you ever decide to sell your home in the future, you will be glad you went green.