Home remodeling is a daunting task by itself, so you probably think that making it eco-friendly will result in you losing all your money, as well as your head. But that’s not the case. It surely requires a bit of thinking, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Even if it is expensive, you will reap the benefits over time and earn back much more than you spent. Being eco-friendly is all about leading a sustainable lifestyle by following the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle).
Here are a few tips which will help you get started with eco-friendly home remodeling and the implementation of the three Rs.
Start from flooring
When completely re-doing your rooms, think about changing the material of your flooring. Go with renewable or recycled materials, like natural linoleum or eco-friendly carpet tiles. They’re usually long-lasting and easy to clean, so you won’t have to use your vacuum cleaner that often. If you’re setting up the room bottom-up, try using the fantastic steel formwork, as it will halve your work time, as well as cut costs by 50%.
When we remodel our homes, we tend to immediately think about replacing all the old things in every single room. Well, that’s also okay if we’re giving them away to someone, instead of destroying and leaving them on a junkyard. But that’s not usually the case. Instead of replacing your things, consider refinishing them if that seems doable. You can refinish your furniture, countertops, floors, almost anything except things related to water and electricity, which usually have to be replaced. Also, if you’re thinking of getting new items, why not try visiting local salvage shops? There are amazing pieces there waiting to be discovered and reused!
Coat with low-VOC paint
During the curing and drying processes, coating systems release a large group of chemicals called VOC (volatile organic compounds) into the air. Exposure to those particles can affect our health, from eye, nose, and throat irritation, to central nervous system damage. So, if you don’t want to even think about whether you exposed yourself to these particles, opt for low-VOC paint, as many paint manufacturers are developing water-based products that are safe to use. You get better air quality, and you also protect the environment this way.
Install energy-efficient windows
We spend a lot of our money on heating and cooling, or basically on our electricity bills. The reason for that is because our homes may not be properly insulated, so a lot of heated/cooled air goes right through our windows and drafty spaces. If you want to save hundreds of dollars, opt for low-E windows that will keep the heat in your house during the winter but will also keep it cooler in the summer. There are a lot of energy-efficient windows on the market, like dynamic glass (which is also called bird-friendly), or fiberglass. You can use fiberglass for doors, windows, and insulation to keep your utility bills low because it’s an energy-efficient, multifunctional material.
Mind your water flow
Have you ever wondered how much water we use daily at our homes? We take baths, use toilets, washing machines, we prepare food and wash dishes in kitchen sinks, then there’s also a bathroom sink. What about watering lawns, flowers, vegetable gardens, washing cars, filling swimming pools? That sounds like a lot, right? Learn to repurpose water, use efficient modern dishwashers, as well as washers. Use low-flow showerheads and toilets and cut the water consumption without even noticing it. We also spend a lot on heating water for shower purposes, so change your ordinary heater for a more efficient one, or consider installing hot water recirculation pumps which will save you both energy and money.
Leading a sustainable lifestyle and remodeling your home into an eco-friendly one might be difficult at first, but it goes a long way with helping you save your money and the environment. It can be implemented in all kinds of areas, from using synthetic grass in your yard, which requires no water and no mowing, to replacing wooden parts in the house with bamboo or the wood from sorghum plants. You will spend less money and protect the environment by reusing or repurposing some things, buying recycled ones, and thus reducing the waste.
Written by Carolin Petterson
About the Author
Carolin Petterson is a Business Lady and contributor for number of high-class websites. She loves to share her experiences and talk about practical solutions, but her specialties are sustainability, sustainable business and green living.
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