When you think about who the leaders are in eco-friendliness, the home renovation industry problem isn’t the first thing you think of. After all, home renovation can produce waste, and use up energy and resources. But more environmentally friendly home renovation is rapidly growing in popularity and there are several remodels that you can probably do right now that will make your home gentler on our planet.
Get a home energy audit
If you’re looking to reduce your home’s greenhouse gas emissions, the best way to identify problem areas is to have a home energy audit which includes a door blower test. This simple test using a screen and a large fan over one of the doors of your home, will quickly help you to identify drafty areas around doors and windows.
Your energy auditor should also be able to show you where your home needs more insulation and whether you should upgrade your furnace.
Make your bathroom greener.
You can conserve water in your bathroom through simple changes such as installing a low flow or dual flush toilet. If your home was built prior to 1995, chances are that you still have an older and less efficient model.
If you’re replacing the tile in your bathroom, expand your thinking beyond ceramic. While this is the choice of many home owners, it is not the most eco-friendly. Look at options such as recycled glass, or tiles made from recycled ceramic which have the appearance of natural stone.
While you’re at it, look for low VOC paints, caulks and sealants and replace that plastic shower curtain with a hemp one.
Install LED lighting.
A simple way to improve energy efficiency in your home is to change your light bulbs. Today’s LEDs are much more efficient than conventional incandescent and even compact fluorescent bulbs. While they tend to be a bit pricier, the cost of them has dropped dramatically in recent years.
While they are not particularly good for lighting very large spaces, they are more than adequate for smaller rooms.
Nothing perks up a tired looking room quite as quickly and cost effectively as a fresh coat of paint. But if you’ve ever felt nauseated by the fumes that paint emits while it’s still wet, you’ve probably rightly concluded that it is not the most environmentally friendly product in the world.
Fortunately to today, there are much more eco-friendly options available including:
- Low VOC paints which contain less than 50 grams per litre of volatile organic compounds.
- Zero VOC paints which contain less than 5 grams per litre
- Natural paints made from non-toxic ingredients such as water, resins, oils, clay, bees’ wax and plant dyes to name a few.
Consider greener materials
When renovating your home there are all kinds of eco-friendly choices when it comes to materials. Options include things like re-claimed wood for flooring, paper composite or recycled aluminium countertops, and recycled glass tiles.
The list is much more extensive than this, so be sure to talk to your contractor about your options.
If you’re considering an environmentally friendly home renovation, it’s important to work with a contractor who understands the techniques and materials necessary to help you achieve this. The Reno Pros have worked on many such projects and would be happy to provide you with suggestions and an estimate for your project.