It usually starts with a quick paint job, just to cover the chipped areas. Then, you buy plaster to fill up those floor lining cracks. Before you know it, you’re at Lowe’s discussing the dimensions of your living room for a full-scale remodel.
Record scratch. Freeze frame. You’re probably wondering how I got here…
Design projects can easily snowball into a vicious cycle of buying new materials and trashing waste. But with a little pre-project planning and some consultation, you can make all home renovations eco-friendly instead of guilt-inducing.
Whether you’re redesigning on a budget or building your dream house with zero limitations, here are a few ways to make your home as eco-friendly as possible.
#1 Recycle and Reuse
Recycling isn’t just for egg cartons and your older sister’s jeans. When remodeling your home, consider all the materials you’ll be disposing of or buying. From the basement to the attic, there are always options for reuse.
- Tearing down a wall? Save the wood to rebuild or even donate!
- Installing new countertops? Forget the granite and opt for recycled glass or paper composite! You don’t need to uproot a tree to create your perfect kitchen.
- Undertaking a big project like new flooring or roofs? These are also excellent targets for recycled materials — think cork, rubber, and slate.
#2 Bathroom & Water Usage
Cutting shower time does help, but there are other ways to keep your bathroom from becoming Niagara Falls, without forgoing the simple pleasures in life. Here are a few water-saving adjustments to bring into your home:
- Aerators – These nifty devices can reduce your water usage by half. Slap them onto your sink faucets or showerheads to save gallons.
- Toilets – Still have the same toilet as the previous homeowner? It’s time to upgrade to a dual-flush model, which saves water with every flush.
- Rain collectors – This isn’t exactly a remodeling project, but a great way to naturally fill up your birdbaths or water your flowers, nonetheless. Pick out a stylish model to blend in seamlessly with your backyard.
Did you know that up to 30% of your home’s heating and cooling energy is wasted via poor insulation? It’s a huge tax on your wallet, not to mention your comfort.
Make sure to run a proper check on your home, including classic culprits like attics and basements. We also recommend targeting these areas to save both heat and cash:
- Air ducts – Old pipework or poor duct structure may be draining your energy bill. With its intricate installation, this is definitely an area where you should call in an expert. Ask about trying Quiet Duct-Wrap, an eco-friendly protective made from recycled denim and pure cotton fibers.
- Windows – Sunshine is the best eco-friendly lighting, but leaky windows will kill your good vibes. Inject eco-friendly argon gas or hang thermal curtains to ensure your sunray access doesn’t come at the price of a higher heating bill.
- Roofing – You wouldn’t go years on end without a fresh haircut. In the same way, don’t neglect what lies on top. New technologies like vegetation insulation or wool are excellent green updates for your rooftop.
Live in a tropical area and want a full insulation overhaul? Check out Florida PACE financing to optimize your budget for home protection. When it comes to 80mph winds, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
#4 Plant Accordingly
A big green lawn, a white picket fence, and a golden retriever to boot… who decided this was the vision of the ideal American home? Not someone who had the planet’s best interests in mind, that’s for sure.
Those wide expanses of kelly-green grass have somehow become standard across the suburbs, but that turf is deceptively un-green. Try and avoid water-heavy foliage like extensive grass patches or rose bushes. Instead, fill your yard with stone sections and low-maintenance plants like wildflowers or even herbs.
And don’t forget to care for your neighborhood critters. Pesticides and other growth-promoting chemicals are proven to infiltrate the surrounding ecosystem. Opt for organic fertilizers that will make your garden one with nature.
Green Doesn’t Mean Gross
Sustainable design doesn’t have to mean ugly. You can still create an appealing home with these green choices. Do both yourself and Mother Nature a favor and try out one (or more!) of these eco-friendly renovations for your next home project.