If you own your home long enough, you are going to want or need to do renovations at some point. Deciding to "go green" with your renovations by making environmentally friendly changes can offer some benefits both to you as a homeowner and to the environment. Here are some ways you can make your renovation project as green as possible.
Reuse What You Can
Millions of tons of construction debris and other materials from homes and businesses are dumped in landfills every year as a result of renovation projects. Keeping as much of that out of the landfill as possible by reusing it isn’t just green, it can also cut down on your expenses. For example, rather than gutting your kitchen to the studs as part of a renovation, make only needed strategic changes. If your cabinets are in good shape, paint or reface them and reuse them. A fresh coat of paint changes a lot more than you think it would. Keep flooring that is in good shape and matches your new color palette. If you can't manage to use everything right away, you should store them. Even old boxes that you might think would take up a lot of space can be compacted down with careful stacking and bailing wire. For things you don't reuse, see if you can donate them to a non-profit rather than disposing of them.
Focus on Energy-Saving Improvements
When you are doing renovations, look to make improvements that will save energy. That could involve installing appliances that use less electricity and water. It also could mean installing energy-saving lighting or making some other energy-saving improvement to your home such as installing a smart thermostat. If you have problems keeping your home at a consistent temperature, you may want to look at replacing old windows and doors. These culprits can be huge energy leaks, and replacing them can also provide a great face-lift for your home.
Buy Eco-Friendly Furniture
If your renovation project involves a makeover of your living room or bedroom that will include new furniture, you can green up your project by buying eco-friendly furniture. Bamboo is a particularly eco-friendly type of material because absorbs more carbon dioxide than other kinds of trees and plants. Also, as NuEnergy points out, bamboo is technically a grass rather than a tree, so it grows quickly and without much effort. It also helps reduce deforestation, which is always a plus.
Use Recycled Materials
Using recycled materials in your renovation project is one more way to make it green. You can buy furniture or other items made of recycled wood or other materials. You may even be able to find some recycled construction materials. Check local listings and DIY groups regularly for materials that people are getting rid of.
Making your renovation project as green as possible may take a little extra work, but it will be well worth. Not only will you be making positive moves for the environment, but you may also save some money on your project as well.