If you’re embarking on a home renovation, you may want to consider eco-friendly solutions instead of conventional building practices. Sustainable choices keep your household healthy and help you save more.
A BLP survey revealed that 78% of Brits would buy a home based on its environmentally friendly attributes. Therefore, going green will increase your home value should you decide to sell it. That said, here are some sustainable home improvement ideas to try out.
Embrace sustainable landscaping
Sustainable landscaping- also known as eco or green landscaping- involves creating, designing and maintaining your home landscape to save time, energy and money. It makes for healthy recreation space while reducing air, water and soil pollution. What’s more, it keeps damaging pests away while nurturing your local wildlife. Therefore, if you’re looking to help the environment, you may consider going green with your landscape.
Eco-landscaping doesn’t mean your outdoor space must be all green. Too many plants require more watering, which might not be ideal for water conservation. According to the BBC’s report, you may also want to avoid plastic pots as they are more challenging to recycle. Instead, you may consider native plants that adapt to your environment and stick with recyclable taupe pots. It’s also prudent to avoid chemical fertilizers to reduce pollution and use organic mulch in your garden beds to prevent weeds and conserve soil moisture.
Use reclaimed wood
Reclaimed wood is sourced from old furniture or buildings scheduled for demolition and can be used for roof construction, support beams and walls. Reclaimed wood has become a popular choice among homeowners due to its old fashion charm and rustic appeal. What’s more, it gives your home a unique aesthetic that boosts your home value. Moreover, it’s a sustainable option because it reduces deforestation and landfill waste, which is safe for the environment.
If you desire a long-lasting home renovation, you may consider reclaimed wood. This is because they are durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions. You may also use it for your home décor, outdoor structures, cabinets, and crafts, among others. Although reclaimed wood might be a tad more expensive than virgin wood, you won’t worry about getting new ones soon. However, it’s best to buy dry and tight wood with inner stability. You may also opt for bug-free wood, as you wouldn’t want a bug infestation in your home.
Invest in eco-friendly flooring
You can also upgrade your home by opting for sustainable flooring options, as they reduce demands on the environment during their life cycle. What’s more, they are cost-effective and don’t use harmful chemicals for installation. Besides, they beautify your home, keep your family healthy and are highly durable. Fortunately, there are various sustainable floorings on the market, and you can choose according to your preferences.
For instance, you may invest in liquid limestone floors. So, what is liquid limestone and how beneficial is it? This flooring option comprises crushed limestone and cream concrete and is a beautiful flooring option for your patio and other outdoor applications. Moreover, it’s affordable, durable and doesn’t require lots of water during installation, making it an eco-friendly option. You may also opt for wood and bamboo for your indoor flooring, as they are resilient and improve your indoor air quality.
Use eco-friendly paint
Sometimes, your home requires a fresh coat of paint to regain its splendour. However, some paints contain Volatile Organic Compounds such as adhesives, plasticizers, biocides and drying accelerators. These VOCs combine with outdoor air to produce smog, which pollutes the atmosphere. They also contribute to unhealthy indoor air and cause headaches, throat irritations, respiratory infections and damage to vital internal organs. Therefore, it’s safe to use paints with low VOC concentrates.
Fortunately, you can purchase various paints with reduced VOCs or certified green paints with VOC free colourants. These paints are made from natural ingredients like milk proteins, citrus, balsam, and clay, among others, which have little effect on your health. Therefore, they are the safest alternatives to apply. Besides, you’d be keeping the atmosphere free from harmful pollutants. Therefore, it’s best to check for a certified organic label and ingredients before purchasing any paint.
Upgrade your bathroom
Your bathroom is a frequently used area in your home, which is why you should upgrade it. Besides, a renovated bathroom increases your home value and is better suited to your family needs. However, it’s prudent to choose sustainable remodelling ideas to increase your home’s energy efficiency and benefit your environment.
For instance, you may opt for wallpapers made from natural materials and use recycled building materials. Besides, a ventilation fan eliminates moisture and odours and prevents mould and mildew growth. You can also create a bathroom skylight to increase natural light and opt for low-flow toilets and bathroom showers. Perhaps, you can get an eco-friendly toilet that breaks waste for your plants. Moreover, it can be run with batteries and require little to no water.
Apply eco-friendly insulation
Home insulation is vital for retaining heat during the winter and reduces your cooling and heating costs throughout the year. However, while most homeowners favour fibreglass as an insulating material, recent findings have shown that it can cause various health conditions like eye and skin irritation, respiratory infections and cancer. Besides, mould and mildew grow on fibreglass as it ages, further increasing your health risks. Therefore, you may consider more environmentally friendly materials for your home insulation.
For instance, sheep wool is an effective insulation option due to its beneficial properties. It is flame retardant, water-resistant and absorbs moisture quickly, which helps it produce heat and condensation for the summer and winter seasons. Cotton is also an excellent option, as it’s recyclable, pest-repellent, and doesn’t contain formaldehyde or cause respiratory conditions. Other eco-friendly insulation options include icynene, polystyrene, aerogel, ThermaCork and cellulose.
Purchase a programmable thermostat
a programmable thermostat enables you to allow less heat or air conditioning when you’re not home, using less energy and saving more money. Besides, you’ll reduce your dependence on fossil fuels and protect the environment.
While standard thermostats weaken your heating and cooling system by overworking it, a programmable thermostat enhances smoother temperature changes and reduces frequent repairs.
If you have a family then think about the long run
If you have kids, it’s best to put them into consideration when working on these sustainable home improvements. For instance, if you’re wanting to purchase the toys, you could instead buy equipment for playgrounds for the backyard. This way, you’re helping the environment by purchasing fewer toys, but you’re also adding a feature that can stick around for years. But it’s very important to think about the long run for what additions you plan to incorporate in your home as you want to make sure these decisions make a lasting impact.
You can improve your home’s looks and functionality without affecting your environment. Hopefully, you’ll follow these tips for a more sustainable renovation project.