Seven eco-friendly choices in renovation and upkeep
Going green is a hot topic these days for a number of reasons. People are increasingly conscious of the impact that their behavior has on the environment, both locally and globally. In addition, many individuals and businesses are recognizing that eco-friendly technology offers opportunities to not only help the planet but to save money in the long-term.
Here are a number of ways that homeowners can renovate their homes in a manner that is friendly to Mother Nature. These are good ideas to share with clients who are considering buying a home that they want to renovate in a socially conscious way.
Use reclaimed materials
There is a growing market of reclaimed materials, often recovered from old barns and factories, that you can use to redo flooring, walls and the like for a much lower price. Check it out. The reclaimed material may correspond perfectly with a customer’s tastes as well as offer an interesting backstory to the house.
A similarly eco-conscious choice for counters and cabinets is bamboo plywood. Unlike some other sources of wood, bamboo is not endangered because it grows so easily and so quickly. There is an abundant supply of the stuff throughout the world!
Eco-friendly cleaning products
You want to keep your house clean, but not by making the planet dirtier! Some cleaning products are pretty tough on Mother Earth, so try to either buy eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner or, even better, make your own! A common method is to mix vinegar, baking soda and water.
If it’s not useless, don’t trash it
If you’re redoing a home, some of what you’re taking down or away could be used by somebody else. If an old cabinet or an appliance, for instance, doesn’t fetch a lot of money on Craigslist, call up your local thrift store and see if they could take it off your hands.
Low VOC paints
Not all paint is created equal. Some have much higher concentrations of Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOC. High levels of VOC can cause some negative physical reactions, including headaches and dizziness, and some health authorities have expressed concerns that it could be linked to cancer. They’re also not good for air quality. The good news is there are a growing number of paints that tout very low levels of VOC.
Any major renovation creates a great opportunity to consider boosting a home’s insulation. Many old homes have awful insulation that leads to massive consumption of energy for heating and air conditioning. A one-time investment in a quality insulation system may reduce a homeowner’s energy use, which is good for their pocketbook and the environment!
Depending on where you live, solar panels could be a very good bet. You will likely save money in the long-run and you’ll have the pleasure of knowing that less coal or natural gas is being burned to power your home. You may even live in a city or state that offers tax credits or subsidies to encourage homeowners to install solar panels.
What are some other strategies for environmentally-friendly renovation and upkeep? Tell us in the comments section below or share with us on Facebook or Twitter!