Many homeowners don’t think about the environment or using sustainable materials or designs when renovating their home, yet most people when asked are open to the idea of helping the environment if possible. People recycle more nowadays, are moving away from plastic, and often forgo products encased in wasteful packing materials. The fact is, you can create a more environmentally friendly home when you renovate or remodel. Every little bit counts, so why not take a few ideas into consideration when you’re ready to remodel your home to help the environment.
There are a few options to consider during renovation that can help save water. The most popular choice is opting for a low-flow toilet. Flushing is the biggest water hog in the house. Older, conventional toilets can use 5 to 7 gallons per flush, but low-flow toilets use as little as 1.6 gallons. Since the average person flushes five times a day, the gallons can really add up. You can also install low-flow faucet aerators in your sinks. Conventional faucets flow as high as 3 gallons per minute, but low-flow faucets flow at 1.5 gallons per minute. If you’re remodeling your bathroom shower, shower heads that are labeled as WaterSense are more water efficient than the average shower head. Keep an eye out for these types when shopping for a new shower head. And although they are considered a luxury, steam showers use the power of steam to keep clean, but they are also very water efficient. They use less water than a traditional shower and are very relaxing to use. Luxurious and environmentally friendly!
Oftentimes, a major remodeling project entails a lot of demolition, resulting in a lot of materials going straight into the dumpster. Sometimes that can’t be avoided, but with a critical eye, you might find a way to recycle or reuse some of those materials during renovation. Instead of coming in with a big hammer and demolishing the interior of your home, take it slow and steady. Give yourself and your contractor a chance to see what can be repurposed or refurbished. Old kitchen or bathroom cabinets could be reused in the garage or workroom. Same with certain lighting fixtures. The less you put in the dumpster, the less goes into landfills.
When you think of reusing materials, think outside your own home for resources. One of the benefits of the farmhouse chic trend is the use of reclaimed wood for mantels, barn doors or decorative beams. If you’re thinking of adding these or similar features to your home, talk to your home designer about reclaimed wood options. Some of those most stunning home pieces used to be something else in a previous life!
If you’re creating your dream kitchen, you’re likely replacing your appliances to go with your vision. Take the time to scout out appliances that are beautiful, functional, and low-energy. There are many options to choose from nowadays in a limitless number of colors and features. This applies to washers and dryers too, if your renovation includes adding or expanding a laundry room.
A change of view
If you’re doing a major remodeling project, you have the opportunity to change the orientation of your home, or at least how certain rooms are laid out. You could reconfigure your family room or home office, where you spend most of your daytime hours, so that it faces south. This will give you maximum sun and heat during the winter, reducing your home heating costs. If your master bedroom windows face west, causing your bedroom to stay too warm well into the evening, you have the opportunity to move windows are invest in window coverings to help keep your bedroom cool, reducing energy costs.
Remodeling or renovating your home can be exciting! Work with your professional home remodeler to help you look at eco-friendly options that will save you some money and help the environment. Win win for all!