How to Make Your Home Remodel as Green as Possible
Remodeling your house is the first step to making your home more green and sustainable. By reconstructing and reusing different materials your home already utilizes, you will be headed in the right direction! Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get started with this wonderful change.
In addition, there are far more steps that you can take to make your home use less and give more. It is time to say goodbye to hurting the environment, harmful toxins, and lowering the debris from demolitions!
“The global tree count has fallen by 46% since the dawn of human civilization,” states Time Magazine in a 2015 report. While this may sound frightening, we need to move forward and change our ways by reusing as much natural materials as possible. For example, reclaimed wood is a form of recycled wood that you can use for those gorgeous wooden floors you have always wanted.
The best part is, it will be at your - and mother Earth’s - convenience, no new trees need to be chopped down! You can also kick your green efforts up a notch by making sure the adhesive is free of formaldehyde. That will not only make your renovations greener, but it won’t be nearly as hazardous for you and your family in the long run.
There are plenty of other ways to utilize reclaimed wood in your home. For example, you can create a nice accent in your living room with a reclaimed wood wall. Simply add some plants around the space and bring it to life with some natural material decorations such as aluminum signs and textured picture frames.
You can even use reclaimed wood to add a natural accent to your kitchen island or even your patio - the possibilities are endless.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Quite possibly the biggest part of leading a green lifestyle is to recycle as much as possible. Just like using reclaimed wood for your flooring, you want to look at your home and see what you can keep before moving forward with any renovations to reduce debris during construction.
Building debris makes up ⅓ of solid waste in the United States, so minimizing that as much as possible is the goal. Can your doors be repurposed? What about cabinets or light fixtures? Many things can be repainted and refurbished to give it an entirely different and fresh look.
You can turn this into a fun and creative project while still being environmentally conscientious. By recycling materials that you already own, you minimize the pollution that would take to distribute these raw and natural materials, decrease the demolition that would occur in the process of obtaining these materials, and increasing the money you have in your pocket.
If you have materials to get rid of such as furniture or appliances, consider donating them and you may just be eligible for a sizeable tax write-off. Recycling does pay off!
One Step At A Time
If doing a green remodel of your entire home makes you feel overwhelmed, it may help to start small and worry about one room at a time. A great place to start would be your kitchen, the heart of every home. Whether you love to entertain, have a big family, or even live on your own, having a kitchen with sustainable appliances and non-toxic materials are central for green living.
Start by remodeling your kitchen with a beautiful stone backsplash. Stacked stone is extremely durable, requires low maintenance, can be applied without the use of toxic adhesives like formaldehyde, and is a natural alternative that will be the star of the show. Next, consider investing in sustainable appliances such as refrigerators and stoves.
For an extra oomph at no extra cost, place certain appliances in places that will reap the most energy efficient benefits - such as placing your fridge in an area with no direct sunlight. You can even choose to be a part of the Energy Star team. Here, you can discover energy efficient products, learn how to save energy at home, and even find energy strategies for buildings and plants.
Lastly, we’d like to remind everyone the importance of saving water. More than 47% of water use in the average American home occurs in the bathroom, with nearly 24% being used by toilets. That’s why investing in a water efficient toilet and slow-running faucet can make a significant difference in your water usage.
You can even recycle and utilize rainwater by collecting it in rainwater jugs and tall containers. Use this water for your garden and plants and even for washing your car!
Before you start on your green home remodeling, just remember that the millions of tons of garbage that we produce every single year, over 70% can be recycled. Whether you recycle it back into your home or donate it to someone else, every little bit helps. Happy renovating!