As we experience more and more effects of the climate change, more people choose to go eco-friendly in all spheres of their lives. The demand for organic, green and natural products and services is bigger than ever before so many branches of the industry, including construction, are becoming more environmentally conscious. So, if you’re thinking of refreshing your home, think about our planet and go green with your remodel.
Become an Energy Star
Probably the easiest way to decrease energy consumption in your household is to buy new and energy-efficient appliances. Many older stoves, dishwashers, tumble dryers and refrigerators use more energy than necessary. So, think about investing in appliances that carry an Energy Star label, that are much more efficient when it comes to energy and water consumption.
Build with green materials
Today, there are many exterior finishes that are made of recycled materials. Usually, this means less used resources, less energy consumed and fewer pollutants released into the environment. Some of the green materials you can use in your home remodel are veneers made of recycled stone chips, shingles made from quarry waste, pavers made of recycled tires, and floors made of recycled wine corks.
No matter how much attention you pay to the product, you should also consider how it gets to your site. If an eco-friendly material has to be shipped by a truck for thousands of kilometers, it will actually lose its status as a green material. However, you can choose local materials such as wood from your area and from locally-owned businesses. If you shop locally, you’ll cause less pollution, support small entrepreneurs and get advice and recommendations from experts that actually live in your area and know the climate. This way, you’ll get the most appropriate materials that will leave the smallest possible carbon footprint and make your home more energy-efficient. It’s a win-win situation.
Make your steps green
Some types of flooring are not only bad for the environment, but also for people who live and work in the environments that contain such flooring. For instance, many adhesives and factory finishes used in the production of floors emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs for short) that can cause headaches, coughing, pneumonia, fatigue, asthma attacks and other health problems. However, there are materials such as linoleum and cork that are made of natural materials and do not necessarily contain VOCs. They also come from renewable sources and are quite durable. You can also opt for bamboo, stone and ceramic tiles. Also, a cute jute rug is a great eco-friendly option for covering floors because jute grows without the use of fertilizers and pesticides, it’s recyclable and it reaches maturity quite fast.
Use the sun
When mentioning sun’s energy most of the people think of solar panels, but there are other ways to sunlight to your advantage. You can use it in the winter to boost your heating and block it in the summer to make your AC more efficient. Plant trees that blossom in the summer to provide shade, or install blinds that will reduce direct sunlight. In winter, let as much sunlight in to warm up your home. Once you experience benefits of sunlight, you can even consider installing solar panels that are much more affordable than you think.
Use low-VOC paint
Previously mentioned VOCs can also be found in paint you use on your walls, cabinets and other surfaces. But, there are low-VOC pain options that are eco-friendly and much better for yours and your family’s health. Low-VOC paints are odorless, splatter-resistant and usually require fewer applications.
Donate things you don’t need
There’s a big chance that you’ll realize there are many things in your home you don’t want or need anymore. When that happens, don’t throw them away. Instead, donate them to someone in need, or give them to someone who will restore and resell them. If you choose to donate, you’re not only being eco-friendly, but you’re also giving back to the community.
So, if you think your home needs renovating, consider an eco-friendly approach that helps the environment, your community, local businesses and keeps you and your loved ones safe. Also, you might even save some money on your electricity and water bill.
Amelia Atkins is an author at Smooth Decorator and a fresh architecture student. The love for architecture and design runs in her family and she knew what she wanted to do from a very young age. You can often find her with a notepad in hand, just looking at the clouds, dreaming about the next skyscraper.
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