Whether the aesthetics of your home have become too dull for you, or you need to urgently upgrade some of its outdated features, it’s likely that it needs a remodel. As exciting as it may be to envision what your home will look like once all of the work’s been done, there is a lot to consider before you even begin with any renovations. The time and the cost of fixing up your home may be your initial concerns, but it’s also vital that you think of the environment as you restore your home. Fortunately, you aren’t the first person to face this issue, meaning that you can learn a lot from others’ experiences. Here are some of the easiest ways to keep your remodeling eco-friendly.
Keep Air Quality in Mind
Whatever it is that you’re changing about your home, you’re bound to use some sort of paint to do it, whether for your walls, your floors or your furniture. The type of paint you use can make all the difference since traditional paints contain VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. Exposure to these can lead to a wide range of health problems, such as skin irritation, headaches, and allergic reactions, but they can also have a negative impact on your nervous system. The most alarming issue is that these paints release VOCs into your family and your immediate surroundings for years after you apply them. This is why it’s crucial for you to find a healthier, more natural alternative to such paints. Luckily, there are plenty of greener paints on the market. These either contain very few VOCs, which is lower than 50 grams per liter, or next to none, meaning that they contain no more than 5 grams per liter of paint. Keeping airborne toxins away from your home should be your priority, but this doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. Modern eco-paint developers have gone out of their way to produce premium, high-performance paints you can use for the interior of your home, as well as the exterior.
Don’t Replace Everything
Being eco-friendly doesn’t always mean buying a whole set of new appliances. It often includes saving whatever can be saved and reusing whatever you can, so as to keep the landfills as empty as possible. For instance, although new generation of smart appliances can probably save energy, it’s sometimes a smarter idea not to throw the old, still functioning one away. Similarly, you should always be absolutely sure that any plumbing or electrical work in your home is unavoidable, especially if it includes tearing down your walls. In addition, you should know without a doubt if the work you want to do on your own is even legal. For instance, in Australia, it’s illegal to replace a light switch or attach a new plug at the end of a lead. Australian laws also only allow licensed plumbers to do most of the plumbing work. That’s why Australians will call a professional electrician in Sutherland Shire when they need somebody to asses if they even have to do some work, or they actually need some work done. Not only is this in accordance with the law, but these experts also know precisely what they have to or don’t have to do, which can save you a lot of money and trouble, while keeping your renovations eco-friendlier.
Use Green Materials
Many of the building materials traditionally used in construction aren’t really environmentally friendly. If you approach your remodeling with sustainability in mind, you’ll be happy to know that, nowadays, it’s easy to find a plethora of greener options than those considered conventional. For instance, some people opt for denim or even wool insulation, bamboo flooring and cabinetry or cork for floors and insulation. It’s also important to know that, by using eco-friendly materials, you won’t lose anything when it comes to the appearance of your home. No matter what style you prefer, these materials will cater to your needs and your home can look as rustic or as luxurious as you want it. Plus, they are just as durable and as effective as their traditional counterparts. However, it’s essential that you do your research, instead of simply reaching for those materials that have the words “Green” or “Eco-friendly” on their package, as these can be misleading. If it doesn’t say clearly on the packaging, go to the company’s website and find out what it is that makes their product green.
You’ll contribute a lot to the preservation of the environment if, other than buying eco-friendly materials, you purchase them from local suppliers who sell renewable and non-toxic products. This way you’ll lower the waste of natural resources that go into shipping these goods globally but also protect nature from the harmful carbon emission. Aside from reducing air pollution, you’ll also participate in decreasing the environmental damage caused by excessive use of packaging. Namely, when a product travels a long distance, it has to be enclosed properly, which usually means additional packaging, often plastic, that will eventually go to waste and end up in the seas. Finally, supporting your local workforce is just as important as safeguarding the environment, which is why you should choose a local manufacturer over an international one whenever the circumstances allow it.
With a bit of planning, some thoughtfulness and these four valuable tips, you can make your remodeling more ecological and do your part in making the planet a better place, while making your renovations easier, more enjoyable and more affordable. After all, it’s our job to keep this planet as safe as we can, and our own home is the perfectly logical place to start.