According to recent research, two-thirds of Americans have had an ‘eco wake-up call’ since the start of the pandemic. New data from Roofing4Us suggests Americans are now more concerned with eco-friendly home renovations than ever before. As people become more passionate about a greener planet we’re seeing rising trends in sustainable home renovations and eco-design. Here are 10 ways to make your projects more efficient and eco-friendly:
Donate Your Unwanted Goods to Whom May Need Them. Habitat ReStores are home improvement stores that accept small and large donations of new or gently used furniture, appliances, housewares, building materials and more. Proceeds from the sales of these items help Habitat’s work in your community and around the world.
Start Off With Eco-friendly Paint by Choosing Low VOC or 0-VOC paints. VOC stands for volatile organic compound–any of several chemical additives found in numerous consumer products. Because they’re volatile, these compounds vaporize and emit gasses, even long after they’ve dried. Paint, for example, emits only half of its VOCs in the first year. look for paints that are no- or low-VOCs. For paint to actually call itself “low-VOC,” the EPA requires that it have no more than 250 grams per liter (g/l) of VOCs for flat and latex paint–oil-based paints can have up to 380 g/l. (Some places, like California, have even stricter standards.) To call itself VOC-free, paint can have no more than 5 g/l of VOCs. If you are concerned because you have small children or chemical sensitivities, consider a paint that has the Green Seal label or Green Guard on it. These paints have no cancer-causing agents, reproductive toxins, or heavy metals.
Get Tile With Recycled Content.Whether it’s used for flooring, backsplashes, or countertops, recycled tile can be beautiful, durable, and fire resistant. It doesn’t off-gas dangerous VOCs, absorb pollutants, or harbor allergens.
Invest in Insulation. Insulation is one of the most important factors when it comes to a home’s energy efficiency. If your home insulation isn’t good enough, you’re going to be spending more money trying to keep the space warm. If the home has cavity walls, ask your energy supplier about reduced rates for cavity wall insulation. For those without, look at retrofit walls with insulated panels. Insulating a boiler or hot water tank is always beneficial. Also make sure to get insulation that’s not fiberglass with formaldehyde. Fiberglass is one of the most common choices for insulation because of its affordability and fire resistance. It’s also fairly easy to install. Yet with all of its attractions, it’s also known to cause respiratory complications and skin irritation. It’s also not particularly kind to the environment because it can’t be recycled and takes more energy to produce than its Eco-friendly counterparts. Click here to find alternative non-fiberglass insulation options.
And while insulation may come with an upfront cost, the money saved year on year means it’ll essentially end up paying for itself – a well-insulated roof can save hundreds.
Choose Cabinets That Are Made With Sustainably Harvested Wood.The certification of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ensures that the wood products are obtained from responsibly harvested forests.
Select Plumbing That Is WaterSense Rated And Help World Save Water
WaterSense labeled products are backed by independent, third–party certification and meet EPA’s specifications for water efficiency and performance. When you use these water–saving products in your home, you can expect exceptional performance, savings on your water bills, and assurance that you are saving water for future generations.
Choose Appliances With Energy Star Rated.
ENERGY STAR certified appliances help consumers save money on operating costs by reducing energy use without sacrificing performance.
Go Solar. Solar panels are great for reducing energy bills, generally don’t take up much space and need little maintenance once they’ve been installed. This gives them a lot of advantages over renewable home renovations. Depending on which state you’re in, you’re going to get a lot of sunshine and savings in eco-friendly homes.
Explore Energy-Efficient Lighting. If you haven’t got the funds to install solar panels or new loft insulation, a far cheaper – and also very effective way to go greener – is to install energy-efficient lighting in your client’s home. Some people also look to change the switch placement to encourage those living there to switch off the lights when they go by – the top and bottom of the stairs for example, will see you saving more energy than just one or the other.
Buy a New Boiler. This might not be the cheapest option, but it’s one of the most effective and worth considering if you’re looking to make a real energy-efficient change to your project. Like insulation, this is an upfront cost that pays for itself over time. If you haven’t got the funds to go new, make sure that the old boiler is serviced annually to avoid costly breakdowns.
Install A water Filter faucet In Your Kitchen To Get Away From Single-use Plastic Water Bottles.
And last but not least, another big part of sustainability is buying quality, durable products that are going to last so you’re not just buying a cheap thing that’s not going to last.
Click here to read more about Eco-friendly remodeling ideas for your project
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