Are you renovating your house? If so, you might be considering adding eco-friendly elements. It’s always smart to ensure your project doesn’t create excess waste. Plus, you want to ensure your home remains sustainable for years to come. Those who pursue eco-friendly building initiatives can have a positive impact on the environment.
Here are 10 ways to tell whether your plans will be sustainable.
1. You Use Recycled Materials
It’s possible to choose from various recycled elements to remodel your home. Products like recycled glass should be the main features. You can also find other options, including:
Be sure to research what you need before you start. A plan will ensure you find the best eco-friendly supplies. These options should help you stay away from new materials that have to be produced and transported unsustainably.
2. You Choose Low-VOC Paint
What does “low-VOC paint” mean? This term refers to paint that doesn’t include volatile organic compounds. These are chemicals that can have harmful health effects when used indoors. If you want to create an eco-friendly indoor environment, you need to choose paint without VOCs.
3. Your Energy Options Are Green
The most effective sustainable home remodel will include green energy. There are many ways to heat and cool your house without creating excessive greenhouse gas emissions. A good option could be solar — which can require around $30,000 upfront but quickly mitigates those costs through tax breaks and energy savings.
4. You Pick Efficient Appliances
If you’re renovating your kitchen, you need to think about appliances. Our refrigerators, microwaves and dishwashers are often energy hogs. You can make significant improvements to your house when you use Energy Star models. These are government-certified options that reduce energy consumption.
5. You Hire Like-Minded Contractors
If you’re hiring contractors, you need to ensure you’re all on the same page. They should be ready to turn your plans into reality. That said, it’s not always possible to get a perfect crew. You might find that your team defers from the agreed-upon plans in some way.
A smart idea would be to look for builders and architects who have experience with sustainable construction.
6. You Aim to Reserve Water
You should strive to be water-conscious, too. There are a few ways to ensure that your home conserves water in the future. Here are some suggestions:
- Install a low-flush toilet.
- Add a rain barrel to collect rainwater.
- Consider a low-flow showerhead.
- Buy an efficient dishwasher and washing machine.
- Plant a rain garden.
These are ideas you can explore throughout your renovations.
7. You Keep Things Minimal
What’s better than adding sustainable improvements? The choice to use less. It’s “reduce, reuse and recycle” after all. Therefore, you should strive to keep your renovations minimal altogether. Be sure to make your needs happen before your wants
8. You Purchase Everything Locally
It’s essential to shop locally, too. Look for suppliers that are located nearby. You can even source items from small businesses. This effort drives the local economy, all while you’re putting your dollar toward more sustainable practices. That’s a win for the community and the planet.
9. You Get Pre-Owned Decor
In a similar vein, you should try to get pre-owned decor from local stores. Shop for items at thrift and vintage shops to ensure that you’re reusing items rather than buying new ones. If you can’t find what you need, you could always look online on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
10. You Do Your Research
Anything that has a label like “green” or “natural” will be eco-friendly, right? Wrong. Companies can call their products sustainable, but you should note that that doesn’t always mean what you think. Therefore, you need to research each business you want to buy from beforehand.
Remember that greenwashing exists, too. That’s what happens when brands lie about being sustainable to drive business because sustainability makes money. Be sure not to fall victim to marketing schemes that only want to sell you a product.
Keep These Points in Mind as You Renovate Your House
A home remodel can be stressful and time-intensive. It doesn’t have to be unsustainable. As you renovate, you should ensure you meet these points. They’ll help you achieve a genuinely eco-friendly build.
Jane is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co where she covers topics in sustainability and green building.