If you’re going to undertake a renovation in the near future, there are many good reasons why you should aim to be as eco-friendly as possible. An eco-friendly home will save you money over time due to reduced energy costs and is a healthier place for you and your family to live. Plus, this type of renovation is great for Mother Nature and helps reduce your carbon footprint.
Here’s our list of simple things you can do to stay environmentally friendly during your next renovation:
- Buy reclaimed, like reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood is an ideal choice for flooring and walls. Using reclaimed products saves time and energy that would be needed to create a brand new product.
- Don’t demolish your home. Before you tear down walls and lift up flooring to start your renovation, walk around your home and see what can be salvaged and reused. Not only will you save yourself money by doing this, you’ll help the environment. Salvage things like light fixtures, tile, brick, cabinets and more.
- Donate unwanted items instead of taking them to the dump. The light fixture that you used to love might look great in someone else’s home! Consider getting in touch with Habitat for Humanity, they will take all your unwanted materials and sell them, using 100% of the profits to build homes for those who cannot afford good housing.
- Look for energy efficient appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens. You’ll be able to recognize them by their Energy Star logos. Although these eco-friendly products might cost more initially, you’ll save money on reduced energy costs in the long run.
- Beware of the Phantom! Some electronics will still draw electrical power even when they are turned off. You can plug some of these items into power bars that you can switch off to save energy.
- Prevent heat or cold air from leaking out of your home due to poor insulation. Use weather strips and caulking to seal up doors, windows, electrical sockets and baseboards. Boost the insulation in your attic and basement and use high quality insulation products throughout your renovation. Getting an energy audit completed on your home will show you exactly where you can improve the building envelope for energy savings.
- Use solar energy. Taking advantage of solar energy can help you reduce your water heating bill with the help of solar hot water panels. Solar electric panels can give you enough electricity to sell back to the main electrical grid through a special contract (Clean Energy Standard Offer Program) and connection with the Ontario Power Authority.
- Water conservation is important as well but it is often overlooked. Chose water saving shower faucets and a good quality 4 litre flush toilet to save the most water.
Some of the smaller things you can do to be eco-friendly right now, without having to complete an entire renovation, are easy. Install energy-efficient lighting like CFL or LED bulbs and use a rain barrel to capture rainwater so that you can use it to water your garden. Once your renovation is complete and you’re looking to accessorize your new space, consider shopping antique stores to find one-of-a-kind pieces.
For more information on how to keep your renovation as eco-friendly as possible, contact the experts at Menno S. Martin.