As the weather warms up and people get ready to do some spring cleaning, home renovation projects are also at the front of their minds. It’s time to freshen things up and give the home a new look that will make it a great place for entertaining and spending time in and around through the warm months. While trees blossom and flowers bloom outside, it’s important to keep in mind the environmental impact of the renovation projects. Here are some tips to make your next renovation project an eco-friendly one.
1. Choose Green Appliances
The appliances you use are a major energy draw in your home. When you remodel and get new appliances, choose ones that have the Energy Star rating and that use as little energy as possible. Your refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, washing machine, dryer, water heater, furnace, and air conditioners are the major culprits to consider. Choose models that are sized correctly for your home and that use as little energy and water as possible for low environmental impact.
2. Consider Energy Leaks
When you are adding on a room to a home or replacing the windows, one of the most important things to consider is how the change will affect your home’s energy use for heating and cooling. For example, although converting an attic to a bedroom seems like a great idea, you will suddenly have to maintain this room at the same temperature as the rest of the house and lose the buffer zone between your home and the outdoors. High-quality insulation products and windows will help keep you from losing your heat or air conditioning through energy leaks.
3. Opt for Green Flooring
Don’t choose flooring that is literally green, unless you really want to, but consider the environmental impact of what you put down on your floors. For example, hardwood flooring requires cutting down mature trees and processing the wood significantly to get the product you lay down on your floors. Carpets emit volatile organic compounds, which continually harm the environment. Instead of these types of flooring, choose something more environmentally friendly. You can opt for other types of flooring, like linoleum, laminate, bamboo, cork, or even waterproof flooring which look great and are durable and friendly for the environment.
4. Consider Disposal
When you renovate your home, you often have a lot of old materials or waste to dispose of at the end of the project. If possible, donate these to people or organizations that can use them productively. For example, Habitat for Humanity accepts many types of donations and will reuse them to build homes for people who don’t have anything at all. Removing materials like wood frames carefully rather than demolishing them increases the likelihood that they can be reused instead of tossed in a landfill.
5. Hire Green Professionals
Unless you are doing all of the renovations yourself, you will probably end up hiring a contractor to complete some or all of the work for you. When making the choice, consider the contractor’s experience with eco-friendly renovations. Although most contractors will be able to accommodate your requests for green alternatives, the ones with real experience in the field will be able to add their own suggestions as well. This helps you get the most eco-friendly renovations possible.
In each stage of your home renovation project, keep in mind what you are doing to the environment, not only now, but in the coming years as you use your home. Making green renovations will help you reduce your negative impact on the environment well into the future!