Whether your current house is old and outdated and it’s time to make a change, or you’ve decided to buy a home and renovate it before your big move, it’s time to start planning your renovations. It’s becoming increasingly important every day to make eco-conscious decisions, and there are plenty of things to keep in mind to ensure your renovation is as green as possible.
Planning and Demolition
- Determine the minimal amount of material you’ll need to remove in order to have a strong foundation and keep creative freedom over your new floor plan. It’s important to keep as much as you can so that you produce less waste and save on costs of new material later.
- One you’ve cleared everything out, dispose of it in an eco-friendly way. Check to see if it can be recycled or reused by anyone on Craigslist, or donated to Habitat for Humanity Restore before sending it off to the dump, especially your appliances!
Who You Hire
- It’s crucial to hire a contractor who focuses on sustainable practices. The number of green vendors has gone up significantly in recent years, so it’s okay to be selective. Before meeting with a potential vendor, have very clear objectives and requirements in mind to make sure they’ll fully support your green goals.
- Make sure that your contractor has LEED certification, indicating that they have up-to-date knowledge of eco-friendly certified building techniques.
- Always use non-toxic paint and varnishes. Check that they’re certified organic, and contain little or no VOC. Read more about eco-friendly paint.
- Consider using other green materials for the new and improved interior on your home, such as bamboo flooring in your living room, coco or leather tiles in your kitchen, and 100% recycled bio-glass in your bathroom. Coco tiles resourcefully make use of discarded coconut shells and leather tiles recycle leather from furniture, vehicles and clothing to make an end product that looks and feels similar to wood.
- When purchasing a new refrigerator, look for styles with the fridge and freezers stacked on top as opposed to side-by-side; they use less energy. In addition, opt out of buying models with unnecessary features like auto-defrost.
- The most eco-friendly kinds of ovens available right now are induction and sun ovens. Induction ovens solely heat the pot or pan you’re using through direct contact, which severely minimizes the energy used. Sun ovens are environmentally friendly because solar cooking eliminates the use of fuel, electricity and smoke.
- Most new models of washers and dryers are front-loading, which generally uses less energy and water than a traditional model. Remember to always adjust the settings to fit your load size and temperature to avoid wasting any water.
- If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, look for models that are labeled “energy-saver” and have features like air-dry, which generally save money and resources over time.
Investing in being green throughout your renovation process will reduce your carbon footprint in a big way and end up saving you money on your utilities in the long run! Have you ever practiced any of these green techniques yourself? How did it go? Tell us about it in the comments below.