Outdated fixtures and decor can disturb the harmony of your home. We all want to live in a space that feels comfortable, welcoming, and personal.
If remodeling is on the table anyway, why not factor in both your and Mother Nature’s needs?
From changing a light bulb to ripping up floorboards, there are countless sustainable renovations to make your home and backyard greener (sometimes literally). Break out your Bob the Builder hard hat and take up a few of these eco-friendly projects.
If you already had plans to redo any surfaces in your home—walls, floors, or otherwise—take advantage of the opportunity to replace them with eco-friendly materials.
Here are a few ways to build sustainability from the ground up:
- Floorboards – Everyone loves classic wood flooring. However, eco-friendly styles like corkboard and porcelain tile can match its elegance while saving a few trees.
- Counters – Have a tile surface or countertop that’s looking a bit outdated? Replace it with recycled glass, paperstone (a recycled paper mix), or ashcrete (a coal combustion and cement combo).
- Paint – Lead paint isn’t the only kind to avoid. Pick out a solvent-free, no-VOC paint mix like BioShield, and protect your family from any airborne chemicals.
#2 Revamp Your Lamps
There’s a reason your Dad always made a snide comment when you left the lights on. Electricity can easily become a huge expense (and energy waster) without some maintenance. But with eco-friendly lighting, you’ll guarantee a swift cut to those utility bills.
Have an upstairs room with no easy window access? Look into sunlight tunnels, or in other words, ceiling windows. The sunlight will pour down to fill the room with free light (talk about a steal). And If you’re still using 60-Watt bulbs for all overheads, it’s time for an upgrade. You can introduce energy efficient lighting with LED bulbs, dimmers, and a proper contractor.
Alternative light sources are your friend, too. Wide-open curtains by day and plentiful candles by night will sustainably create a cozy atmosphere that no lamp can replicate.
#3 Heat It Up
Pull out the big guns and splurge on a new sustainable heating system. In the end, it’s a win-win for both your bank account and Mother Nature.
Here are some excellent options to remove yourself from the coal industry’s pocket:
- Solar panels – For those who enjoy the sunshine practically year-round, solar panels are excellent tools to gather natural energy. You can even take care of the installation yourself to cut costs.
- Pellet stoves – Embrace your Little House on the Prairie by setting up a wood-burning pellet stove in your common area. With little required maintenance and EPA-approved efficiency, pellet stoves are an excellent sustainable heat source.
- Geothermal heating – Derived from ancient civilizations’ heating methods, these systems work with the Earth’s underground geothermal temperature to both heat and cool your house. It sounds a bit out there, but it totally works.
#4 Take a Green Bath
You’ve probably been told to turn off the water while brushing your teeth or take a quick shower to conserve hot water. But your bathroom habits aren’t the only energy-draining activities happening in the restroom. Many of your appliances can waste unnecessary heat and water.
Start with your shower. Faucet heads are notorious water-waters, with older models using absurd amounts of water per minute. Laminar flow and aerating shower heads are great alternatives to keep your showers from practically draining the ocean. Aerators are also excellent to curb sink faucet wastage.
And don’t forget to renovate the prized throne! Like showers, older toilet models can waste numerous gallons. Take a tip from fancy restaurant bathrooms and go for a dual flush system, which drains liquid-only waste using half the water as a full-blown flush.
Paint it Green
We all want a nice home to live in, but without having a nice planet to live on, this won’t mean much. We hope these eco-friendly remodeling ideas will inspire you to remember nature’s irreplaceability when renovating your humble abode.