The world is going “green” in many ways and one of the most popular is by giving your home a green renovation. To many a green home renovation sounds like a big project that costs a lot of many but it can mean anything from making small adjustments to improve the energy efficiency of your home all the way to a whole house remodeling and there are “green” pr ojects for all types of budgets.
What is “Green” in the first place?
We have heard the term over and over, but what does it actually mean? Going green asserts that we do our part in protecting the planet. It is millions of years old and if we want it to exist for several million more in a viable capacity, then we’ll need to make some changes.
For instance, have you heard about greenhouse gases? In order to lower car emissions that lead to the greenhouse effect and holes in the ozone, the products that cause it need to be decreased. Searching for less harmful fuels and eliminating aerosol components that are damaging the ozone, are just start. But, consumers need to help by using alternative products and resisting the urge to engage in earth-unfriendly activities.
Green Renovation and your Home
A green renovation refers to how you remodel or make changes to your home. Most house remodeling techniques are anything but friendly to the environment. But, what can you do to reduce your carbon footprint while you also improve the look and feel of your home? Do you let your house fall down around your ears or move?
There are ways that we can make necessary and cosmetic changes to our homes without destroying the environment in the process. Here are a few ideas.
1. Look for eco-friendly materials – Today you can find a wide variety of eco-friendly materials for every area of your home. From bamboo and cork flooring, to kitchen cabinets made from sustainable materials, to recycled glass countertops, and many more. And don’t think that eco-friendly means lesser quality! You can find high quality, earth friendly materials that are both beautiful and durable.
2. Choose healthier products for your upgrade – Standard building materials are full of chemicals and toxins that hurt both our health and the environment. Look for materials that are formaldehyde free as well as have a low incidence of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). This keeps the environment inside your home and outside clean. You can now find many products without these toxins like paints, carpets, and cabinetry.
3. Fix your home – If redoing your entire kitchen or bathroom is out of your budget, why not give it a green redesign instead? You can reface the cabinets, give the room a fresh coat of paint, replace the plumbing with low-flow faucets and a water saving toilet, refinish the bathtub instead of ripping out the old one, and changing the old light bulbs to CFLs. These are just a few of the things you can do to green your space to reduce your energy and water consumption without spending a lot of money!
4. Recycle building materials – Whenever you have a home remodeling projects, check to see which of the old products and materials can be recycled and made into something usable again. Some building materials that can be recycled are: shingles, wood flooring, drywall and some carpeting that is still useful and not worn.
5. Consult a green remodeling specialist – Are you “green” illiterate? Find someone who knows about it and get their recommendations for making changes around your home.
If your home needs work, consider making green renovations this time around. Even if some projects might cost a bit more than if you did it using standard materials or practices, in the long run you will save money in your energy and/or water bills, green remodeling increases the price of your homes, plus it’s better for your health and the environment. Seems like a win-win for all!